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Five iconic brand partnerships to celebrate this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating a great match. Brands often fly solo, taking their full share of the spotlight. However, when brands come together, that’s often when something magical can happen. Brand partnerships can capture the public’s imagination and get people talking, allowing brands to share audience networks and build their authority in a potentially untapped market. Here are some of our favourite examples of when brands come together and share the love…


  1. Smells like success

Who wants to smell like Marmite? Well, if you do, Lynx Africa Marmite is a strong option. The unique collaboration between Lynx and Marmite created a genuine product – deodorant and body wash with hints of Marmite. The brands came together to deliver a suite of striking aesthetics, with a tone of voice stating the product is “for the lovers”.

There’s no doubt about it – this campaign wasn’t for everyone. It did, however, attract plenty of attention and enjoyed widespread media coverage.


  1. All the brands get the party started

Aldi was always going to celebrate its 30th birthday in style. In a series of hilarious tweets, Aldi tried to drum up interest for its virtual birthday party.  The Twitter team invited major brands to join in, with social media managers across the world rejoicing at the chance to flex their reactive marketing muscles. The thread attracted light-hearted responses from Waitrose & Partners, Co-op, Iceland and many more – much to the delight of Twitter users everywhere.

What’s particularly special about this campaign was that it gave each brand the opportunity to shout out loud and proud about their product. Asos discussed party outfits, Krispy Kreme suggested bringing a donut tower, CIF were down for bringing cleaning products… the list goes on. Some of the world’s leading brands joined in to solidify their place as part of the “in” crowd.

The low-budget campaign showed just what can be achieved from a sprinkling of creativity and the collaboration of great brands.


  1. A tasty team

The Greggs and PlayStation food box offer gave gamers the perfect treat to enjoy while unboxing their new console. The £5 meal deal included everything multi-players need to fuel up before a gaming session. Greggs even recreated Playstation’s iconic symbols in pastry products – solidifying the partnership as a real 2020 highlight.


  1. Airbnb “Hearts” Flipboard

The all-new Flipboard app gave users the opportunity to be immersed in curated content based on their specific interests. As part of the app’s promotion, Flipboard teamed up with Airbnb to help drive awareness and engagement, with users encouraged to explore Airbnb Experiences through content found on Flipboard. The partnership worked thanks to mutual appreciation of delivering great content focussed on specific interests and experiences.

Adding an incentive also helped the campaign’s success, as users who “heart” any stories featuring Airbnb Experiences were entered to win. This encouraged people to actively engage in the campaign.


  1. Rivals reap rewards

McDonalds and Burger King have been long-standing rivals for years. Yet, in the quest for brand collaboration, Burger King seems to always come out victorious. Its attempt to join forces in 2015 was quickly rebuffed by McDonald’s CEO (prompting widespread criticism). Burger King was not going to be deterred! It’s “a day without a Whopper” campaign saw Burger King stop selling its famous Whopper burger for one day. They even directed customers to McDonalds where sales of every Bic Mac burger raised money for Children With Cancer.

Even unrequited love can reap big rewards for brands who take the leap.


The benefits of brand collaborations

Sharing is caring! Collaborations result in both brands gaining access to a much wider audience. Brand recognition is invaluable and by getting it right, companies will experience enhanced brand affinity and loyalty too. This ultimately boosts sales revenue as new customers are introduced.

Brand partnerships are only successful when the collaboration is authentic and completely in-line with a brand’s messaging and values. If the partnership isn’t a good fit, it just isn’t going to work. As our examples show, getting it right might take months of planning, but it’s worth it if the collaboration gets people talking and boosts the reputation of both brands.


Which brand partnerships have caught your eye and sparked your inspiration?

We’d love to find out. Head over to our Twitter or LinkedIn pages and share your thoughts.

A Christmas Ad-Venture

It goes without saying, the festive season doesn’t begin until Christmas adverts start appearing on our screens. After a tumultuous and tough year for all, watching a series of scenes that pull on our heartstrings is the reminder of the normality we’ve all been searching for.

Throughout this year, brands have tapped into the sentiment of community, giving back and staying connected. Reviewing how Christmas is being communicated in 2020, we take a look at adverts from Coca Cola, John Lewis and Waitrose, ALDI, Lidl, McDonalds and Lego.



We can’t help but give in to the giddying excitement that Christmas sparks, as displayed in the ‘Inner Child’ by McDonald’s. Sound-tracked by Becky Hill’s take on Forever Young, we see a mother struggling, but failing, to bring out the playful side of her son, despite many attempts. The ‘inner child’ proves a moving visual metaphor for an older son who wants to have festive fun, but for some reason continues to resist. Eventually finding a way to dissolve this inner conflict that is often present in teenagers (we’ve all been there) the ‘inner child’ is finally released, giving in to the seasonal spirit during a trip to McDonalds.

After enduring a difficult year, now more than ever people need the catharsis of simple Christmas delights – and apparently a McDonald’s drive through does the trick!

Lucre team rating: 4 out of 5


Coca Cola

The quintessential Christmas advert, this year’s Coca Cola visual brings something a bit different from the usual ‘Christmas is Coming’ slogan. Directed by Academy Award winning Taika Waititi, a father embarks on an epic treck to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa – against all odds. Realising only when on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean that he forgot to deliver his daughter’s letter, the father battles all elements to reach the North Pole…only to find that it’s closed for the holidays. Eventually picked up by the iconic Coca Cola truck sent to take him home, he discovers that all she had wished was for her daddy to come home.

A classic tear-jerker, this advert definitely pulls on the heart strings. The feeling of isolation and disconnect has been an overarching theme throughout the pandemic, and as Coca Cola so perfectly portrays, all we  want for Christmas is something we can all offer – to be reunited with our loved ones.

Lucre team rating: 4 out of 5



A Christmas advert debut, LEGO have assigned children and parents alike to ‘Rebuild the World’. Equipped with LEGO’s humble bricks, the advert captures the powers of creativity in all of us. From blue horses, car chases, sausage trees, jedis, ninjas and dinosaurs, this Christmas campaign celebrates the optimism and open-mindedness needed to look ahead towards a better time.

Set to an adaptation of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, the image of children and parents building worlds together is also a nod to the difficult but insightful times parents have faced in home-schooling their children. The idea of rebuilding the world also captures the innovative ways families have stayed connected throughout the pandemic. Whilst not heavy on Christmas motifs, this advert champions the positives of a difficult year, and offers a dose of childlike optimism for good measure.

Celebrating the joy Christmas brings, these brands acknowledge that 2020 has been a little bit different – but also offer some fun, light-hearted festivities – bringing back a taste of the joyous normality of Christmas that we all need.

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5


John Lewis and Waitrose

Circling through various scenes depicting acts of kindness, each element in this advert is linked by a heart motif in the form of a car tyre, a balloon or an extravagant hairdo. Its tagline ‘Give a Little Love’ is given another dimension upon learning that this advert was produced using multiple forms of animated artwork. Requiring the skills of various artists from the creative industry, one of the hardest-hit sectors of the pandemic, this helps spread the message to simply be kind.

Far from simple, this advert is highly effective, offering a rich and considered quality. Whilst this year the much-anticipated John Lewis advert isn’t the traditional tear-jerker, maybe all we need is a reason to smile?

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5



As the old saying goes, ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Kevin the Carrot has been ALDI’s festive friend for a number of years now, and this year it’s no different. A light-hearted take on the problem many families are facing, Kevin might not get back to his loved ones in time for the festivities. With the help of Harry the Hedgehog and Santa’s motorbike, Kevin is transported back ET-style and reunited with his nearest and dearest.

Full of puns – the turkey shouts ‘I’m roasting!’ – this advert doesn’t ignore this year’s sentiment, but delivers the charming, light-hearted entertainment people are yearning for this Christmas.

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5



In LIDL’s parody on the overly sweet tradition of Christmas ads, what seems a classic festive clip stands apart from other brand’s attempts. Poking fun at its overly emotive competition, invasive price tags disrupt a cutesy Christmas scene of a girl offering a mince pie to a robin. The scene continues to mock other brand’s attempts – most notably its rival ALDI. The narrator sweetly sings ‘we don’t need cutesy characters when our carrots taste this good’, as a Kevin the Carrot lookalike is stabbed with a fork, a tear escaping its eye.

This refreshing, tongue-in-cheek advert takes aim at competing brands. Offering some refreshing light relief from what’s already been an emotional year, the ad stands out from the crowd…and does a great job of showcasing its products in the process!

Lucre team rating: 3 out of 5