Content Marketing

Why is Collaborative Content So Powerful? – Here’s Why with Mark & Eric

When two complementary brands create content together, also known as “collaborative content,” the outcome can be mutually beneficial and goals can be reached that would not have been possible without working together. Big brands Playboy and Red Bull created some collaborative content recently with great success. One of the biggest benefits of co-producing content is having access to each other’s audiences. Find out what other benefits there are to be had in the latest episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric!

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Mark: Collaborating with brands complementary to your own can lead to exponential gains for all parties. In this episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric”, I’ll ask Perficient Digital’s Eric Enge what he learned in a recent chat with Playboy’s Senior Vice President of Marketing for Digital Media, Robin Zucker. Eric, you got to talk with Robin Zucker who directs the digital media marketing of the huge Playboy brand. Now, how does she view the marketing landscape today?
Eric: Well Mark, Robin told me that she’s seen pretty dramatic change in what constitutes effective marketing over the years. Traditional marketers have thought of marketing as a broadcast message: we craft a polished brand message, the audience passively receives it. But the modern marketer knows this won’t work. Consumers have way too many choices of content and have become immune to the direct sell. Robin said you have to be producing real, authentic content or it will have little impact.
Mark: Ok, so high-quality engaging content. That’s great, but what then? What has Playboy done to multiply the effectiveness of that content?
Eric: They’ve tabbed into the huge power of collaborative content.
Mark: Collaborative content, what’s that?
Eric: Collaborative content is when two brands, working together, produce something that appeals to both of their audiences. Each brand gets exposure and access to each other’s audience.
Mark: Well, can you give us an example where Playboy did that?
Eric: Happy to! Robin shared with me Playboy’s collaborative campaign with energy drink brand Red Bull. One of Red Bull’s celebrity endorsers is a guy called Danny MacAskill. Red Bull features MacAskill’s hair raising stunts in a number of videos that have gone viral.
Mark: But what was the tie in with Playboy? I mean, did they have him do stunts in a bunny costume?
Eric: So surprised that Playboy or Red Bull haven’t hired you away from us, Mark. No, they had him do something much more exciting. They had Danny MacAskill jump the pool at the Playboy Mansion!
Mark: Woah, talk about a bunny hop! Thanks everyone, I’ll be here all episode. Remember to tip your servers! But seriously, how did that work out for both brands.
Eric: Well, the video has over 2.6 million views!
Mark: Impressive, but what elements made this click so well for the audiences of both Playboy and Red Bull?
Eric: Well, for one thing, both brands already had huge audiences, and the video contained no self-promotion of either brand. At the same time, the video had clear associations with both brands. Action, adventure, and feats of daring are all part of Red Bull’s brand message.
And of course, MacAskill performs his stunts on Playboy Mansion’s grounds with the familiar Playboy Bunnies scattered about. That reinforces Playboy’s brand messages of a luxury lifestyle. The key here for both brands was presenting those messages in an indirect but engaging way that not only entertained their audiences, but was guaranteed to be reshared by them.
Mark: So what general takeaways do you have for brands wanting to explore collaborative campaigns like these?
Eric: First, audience targeting. There has to be a match between the content and the audience to which that content is to be delivered. Second, it has to be authentic, non-commercial content. That’s essential, especially if you want your audience to share the content with their friends.
Next, even though the content has to be non-commercial, it still must have brand relevance. It can reinforce the emotions and associations you want people to have with your brand without being selly-selly.
Finally, pay attention to the measurement of Key Performance Indicators. That allows you to know what worked and to fine tune future campaigns. So give some thought to non-competitive brands you can reach out to for collaborative content campaigns. If each brand has an audience that would have value for the other brand, you may be able to create marketing gold!
Mark: Thanks Eric! Now for more examples and insights from Robin Zucker of Playboy, be sure to click on the link to Eric’s full interview in the notes for this episode. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to get more useful videos like this one. You’ll find a handy subscribe link at the end of this video or in the notes below. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time for another episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric.”

About the Author

Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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Thoughts on “Why is Collaborative Content So Powerful? – Here’s Why with Mark & Eric”

  1. This seems like simple advice but it is easy to realize how effective brand collaboration can be. I am glad to see someone mention the importance of KPIs in determining whether any marketing or branding effort has been successful. It can be tricky to guess what connections are likely to work. Thanks for the great interview!

  2. Definitely agree with collaborative content; you get access to each other’s audience. Recently partnered with an SEO coach. We refer clients to each other – I refer clients who want to do SEO themselves, while he refers clients who don’t want to do SEO themselves.

  3. I love the idea of coopetition – where potentially competing brands trying to target the same market can actually work together to create a bigger return. Brands with audience cross-over can extend their reach in an eye-catching way that gets them noticed. I’m reminded of the Kit-Kat and Android 4.4 tie-up some time ago. That was brilliant.

  4. this is nice trial. Complementary products ( non competiting) could collaborate to better yield. Would like to see similar more experiments in content marketing

  5. I really loved the video, even though it was tailored for very beginner audience.
    Although, I do not do collaborative content with big companies like Playboy, I have done some of this type promotion with relatively successful businesses in the DFW area and it has been very successful for both companies involved.
    However, one of the most important things to note is that one company almost always benefits more than the other party, usually due to differences in size and reach. This has to be discussed beforehand as it can lead to different results than expected.

  6. Not sure if the collaborative content still work at these moments where we sees fierce competition within the same niche especially. Though the intention was great as 1+1>2 effect, but it’s very difficult to collaborate unless there’s a good idea. I haven’t really see any collaborative content in recent time especially when it comes to big brand.

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