An Audit of Co–Branding in the television industry Stranger Things Edition
One of Chaffey’s six digital channels is online partnerships, the specific area I will be looking at in this piece is Co-Branding.
Co-Branding in internet commerce is when two firms work together to market a good or service.
Advantages of Co-Branding:
In Co-Branding – The science of alliance – Blackett ,T & Boad ,R (1999) it says Co-Branding ‘offers the opportunity to create an entirely new income stream or to boost sales of existing products’ in addition stating that it ‘may reduce the need for costly investment in targeting new markets’ as well as ‘gaining additional brand exposure’ and ‘provide a novel way of communicating with the market’.
In this blog I will look at these advantages of Co-Branding in relation to the television industry, specifically looking at Netflix’s original show ‘Stranger Things 2’.
Stranger Things X Tophop/Topman
In the build-up to the release of the new season, Stranger Things worked with retailer giant Topshop to create a marketing campaign that featured a limited edition range of clothing, a re-design of Topshop’s flagship store in London, a re-design of the Topshop website featuring a ‘Strangeify’ button, a link to the new trailer on the website as well as exclusive content on Topshop’s blog with Stranger Things star Natalia Dyer.
Some of the advantages of this partnership were to create a new income streams through *‘Royalty income’ by selling ‘Stranger Things’ branded clothing due to Netflix owning the rights for the shows imagery, gain additional brand exposure by collaborating with a well-known brand such as Topshop and to create a new way of communicating with the market by encouraging fans of the show to come to the Topshop flagship store and pay tribute to fan favourite – ‘Barb’.
According to the Daily Mail three ranges of the Topshop/Stranger Things collection sold out for £20, later items were found on EBay going for £50.
Topshop in the last 6 months has had 7.67m total views on their page with people staying on the page for an average of just under 5 minutes. This partnership created another ‘touch point’ for fans to interact with the brand thus increasing awareness of both brands. The Topshop line sold very well as indicated by products selling out and 15.8 million people tuned into the first episode of the new season according to engadget.com – that is almost triple the viewers of Season 5 of House of Cards.
They launched this collaboration via a social media campaign in which they posted this exclusive content with a hashtag #TopshopTopmanxStrangerThings. This hashtag enabled fans to share their experience with other fans, spreading organic EWOM about the brand. This is a useful channel to advertise in as it encourages fans to share their experiences with the brand and consumers trust consumers more than brands, so are therefore more likely to buy into the experience.
Stranger Things X Spotify
Another way in which Co-Branding has been effective in increasing brand awareness and creating more touch points is through Netflix’s collaboration with digital music streaming giant Spotify. Spotify is the 4th most visited site for people to listen to music according to similarweb.com. In the last six months there have been over 820k of total visits to the Stranger Things x Spotify section. 2.14% of Spotify’s traffic over this period has been Stranger Things related and 100% of this search has been organic, meaning they haven’t paid money to boost the SEO. Furthermore 11.12% of Spotify’s traffic comes from referrals, of this 8.93% has come from the Stranger Things partnership.
Spotify created playlists paired with characters of the show such as ‘Eleven’s breakfast jams’ & ‘Lucas’ bike around tracks’. This digital partnership has another benefit as it provides a different way to communicate with the market. The way this Co-Branding campaign was advertised is ‘it gives the users a chance to find out which character they have the most in common with’ – giving the listener another way to interact with the show and create an attachment through music with one of the characters. The campaign also encourages people to post their playlist on their social media, in doing so the post is turned upside down and fans are taken into *‘The Upside Down’. This makes the post stand out on a social media timeline thus increasing the chance of people taking interest in the post.
References and Appendix
- ‘Royalty Income’ – For manufacturers of products which are used as components or ingredients in the wares produced by their industrial customers, a co-branding deal offers a possibility of a new secondary source of income. Instead of playing an anonymous minor role in the product offer, the manufacturer of the component ingredient may be able to negotiate to receive additional payments.
- The Netflix Materials are owned by Netflix, its affiliated companies or licensors, and are rights protectable as intellectual property or otherwise. The Netflix Materials, and all uses thereof, shall at all times be and remain the exclusive property of Netflix or its designee. You shall not use the Netflix Materials in any manner that is objectionable to Netflix, at Netflix’s sole discretion. Netflix reserves the right in its sole discretion to terminate or modify Your permission to use the Netflix Materials, and take action against any use that does not conform to the terms of this Agreement, infringes any Netflix intellectual property or other right, or violates applicable law.
- The Upside Down – Is an alternate dimension existing in parallel dimension to the human world
- Co-Branding – The Science of Alliance – Blackett, T & Boad, R (1999)