No, not giving them away for free! We said “complementary” or to “combine in such a way as to enhance or emphasize the qualities of each other or another.”  What you’re thinking of is “complimentary.” Notice the “i”.  This is the other kind.

Grammar lessons aside, the first step to a successful partnership promotion is choosing products that complement each other.

When done correctly, brand partnering can be mutually beneficial for all parties.  Partnerships can help our clients cut costs and increase awareness by “piggybacking” on each other’s brand equity.  But don’t force together two brands that have no business occupying the same ad space. 

The less awkward a pairing is, the easier it is to create a piece that represents each product equally and efficiently.  You can’t write about a PB&J without writing about both the PB and the J.  Your brand partnerships should have similar qualities.

Don’t try to throw in donuts with diet snacks or burritos with burgers.  The really great brand partnerships are the ones that have your audience thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Wet-Nap Any'tizers Wings Tyson CJRW

For example, this year we paired two brands that are a match made in sticky, messy heaven–Wet-Nap hand wipes and Tyson Any’tizers Wings.  The connection is obvious, a delicious mess and the means to clean it up.  The timing couldn’t be better either.  Because when it comes to tailgating, football may be the reason for the season, but good food and libations make the celebration! 

This was a fun execution for the creative team.  Pairing off the mess-makers with the mess-takers on the gridiron.  It’s a classic take on the Xs and Os of football.  And the wings look tasty too, so that always helps.

But remember, even the most appetizing photography does you no good if the partnership isn’t a good one to begin with.  Be adventurous, and try to discover new combinations of products that will have consumers and clients thinking, “Why didn’t we think of that?”


But also remember the old favorites, like the classic PB&J.  Your creative team will appreciate not having to stay up all night thinking of ways to promote asparagus and maple syrup. 

Check out more of CJRW's work for Wet-Nap and Tyson.