Occasionally, a good advertisement can kill two birds with one stone. People in the biz refer to this as cross promotion. Common examples of cross promotion include making Happy Meal toys for new cartoons or children’s movies. This markets both Happy Meals and the cartoon, creating fat and happy children the world over.
But a recent commercial for K-Swiss turns cross promotion into a delicate art form.
The speaker in the commercial is Kenny Powers, the lead character from HBO’s comedy show, Eastbound & Down. In the show, Powers is a former baseball player trying to get his life back on track. So it makes a certain amount of sense that his character would be palling around with professional athletes. But the video editing has nothing to do with Powers or his show, it’s a shoe commercial.
To the naked eye, this might just seem like a celebrity sponsorship, and to some extent it is. However, season two of Eastbound & Down premiers in about a month. Catch my drift? While this probably won’t be the only advertisement for the new season of Eastbound & Down, it’s a great way to begin the show’s video production marketing push. Hopefully for K-Swiss, people won’t be so distracted by Powers that they forget to buy a pair of K-Swiss Tubes.
AMC’s Mad Men is also using an elaborate cross promotion campaign, attaching itself to brands like Banana Republic, Clorox, and the slew of name brands used throughout the show. People who visit Banana Republic locations can pick up a form for a Mad Men contest, while spots for the store play during the show. Likewise, ads for Clorox speak to people who are like some of the show’s characters.
Clorox may have learned the hard way that not all brands can be cross promoted, but some clever advertisers can do a lot with a well crafted cross promotion. For instance, marketers should consider doing cross promotion with other businesses. Perhaps Balani Custom Clothiers, a tailor here in Chicago, could advertise themselves with Downtown Cleaners, a dry cleaner nearby. The possibilities are nearly endless. But be careful, a place like Uncle Julio’s shouldn’t advertise itself with Pepto-Bismol. Well, they can try…
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