With influencer marketing becoming an increasingly popular strategy, we have seen a number of great partnerships between brands and celebrities this May alone. Late last month, actress Busy Phillips announced that she had actually made more money through social media sponsorships with brand partners than she did acting last year. While many celebrities accept requests for social media sponsorship as a way of gaining extra income, the following list of partnerships moves beyond this traditional approach. Here are our TACK10 Tuesday Top 5 influencer partnerships that have created additional value this month.
1. Dove with Shonda Rhimes
One of Dove’s latest chapters in its Campaign for Real Beauty (besides the recent special edition Real Beauty Bottles) is Real Beauty Productions, a series of short films telling the stories of “real women.” Television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes – most well-known for her Thursday night dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal – has partnered with Dove on this initiative, acting as Real Beauty Productions’ Creative Director. The natural fit between Dove and Rhimes comes through the representation of diverse and strong female characters in Rhimes’ shows. The first Real Beauty Productions feature, titled Meet Cathleen, is shown through a short film online and a 30-second spot to be played during commercial breaks in both Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.
2. Thrillest with Aaron Sanchez
In another video-related influencer partnership, online lifestyle publication Thrillest, which focuses much of its content on food and drink, has signed a two-year deal with celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez. The partnership will be made up of both digital and in-store components, with the first taking shape as a 15-video series of Sanchez’s best recipes. Miller Lite is a third partner in this strategic mix, being used as an ingredient or as a pairing in each of the recipe videos. The partnership is the largest influencer-driven initiative to date for Thrillest.
3. Aston Martin with Tom Brady
Professional athletes are not shy when it comes to endorsements and sponsorships with brands. NFL quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady makes roughly $7 million each year through endorsements. His latest however, is more of a strategic partnership in that Brady will play a key role in designing a new special edition car for Aston Martin. The luxury vehicle manufacturer has signed a deal with Brady which will see the Patriot driving a 2017 DB11 and working alongside the brand’s designers to create a special edition Vanquish S – of which only 12 will be manufactured and sold at premium price points. In addition to the new vehicle, the partners will create and launch a video series titled Category of One about finding beauty in sport and in life.
4. CORE with Ellie Goulding
In a new multi-channel strategic partnership, musician and fitness guru Ellie Goulding has partnered with CORE Nutrition, creator of CORE Hydration and CORE Organic beverages. Launched in 2015, CORE has been quickly growing to own the premium bottled water and health beverage markets. As part of its latest strategy, this partnership with Goulding will launch a campaign titled #TrueToTheCORE which be made up of print materials, digital advertising, social media integration, out-of-home marketing, and contesting at both the retail and social media levels. Creating a campaign that encompasses so many marketing channels is a smart move for CORE, especially while leveraging a celebrity with as much influencer power as Goulding, who will surely allow for more impressions through each channel.
5. Fabletics with Demi Lovato
For the first time ever, Fabletics – the fashion-forward athletic clothing line co-founded by Kate Hudson in 2013 – has partnered with an influencer. The brand’s connection to musician and actress Demi Lovato comes through a shared foundation of female empowerment. Through this partnership, Lovato has designed and launched her own line within Fabletics, which will support a current partnership between Fabletics and the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign. A mini limited edition collection has been launched in Fabletics stores and online, with a full performance line set to launch this August.
Each of these strategic influencer partnerships go deeper than simple sponsorship or spokesperson relationships to create something new; whether that be content, product, or a combination of the two. As in any strategic partnership, the creation of additional value is the ultimate goal and the true driver of success between parties.