Brand tie-ups … to make cents, they should never make sense.

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So this week we saw the Starbucks tie-up with Benefit Cosmetics, celebrating everything friendship related.

It didn’t make sense until I saw the #BFF reference (for those over 40, that’s Best Friends Forever). The brand values work together – meeting with friends, relaxing with friends and rewarding friends – so a weak link perhaps?

Or is this campaign about something else, in marketing terms?

Too often we hear about the challenges of media fragmentation, when in fact it’s starting to give us new media heroes?

Our friends at Benefit Cosmetics have driven all the PR activity surrounding the campaign, which of course Starbucks has supported with quotes and their obvious involvement. As a result I am now wondering if we’re looking at a brand tie-up, or actually a media planning phenomena for our age of social commerce?

Back in 2012, a study by JWT Intelligence found that over 40% of men and over a third of women are more likely to purchase something if a friend has recommended it on a social network. Could we argue Starbucks is now a social channel?

With close to 850 outlets Starbucks is arguably more effective in connecting with UK consumers through daily footfall than most mainstream news outlets.

So even if you agree with my observation, and we could be looking at a brave new approach to media planning, I have to say the best brand tie-ups have never made sense…to make cents.

Here’s my favourite from the early 90’s (for those under 40, that was the Fosters Lager & Haagen Daz campaign).

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