Wednesday, 22 April 2009

I Got Ya Partner

How totally and utterly shit was Lethal Weapon 4? I mean 3 was totally shit and then 2 was just shit whereas the first was totally and utterly awesome. Lethal Weapon seemed to provide us with no slow decline into the belly of total and utter shit. Aliens at least gave us a bumpy ride which led you to watch the next incarnation with a degree of hope that they could pull it off….all hope of which was lost after Alien 3.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with what I’m writing about. Just that I’ve wanted to use a Lethal Weapon image for some time and write a post about partnership being a nice way to pull off interesting stuff.

So, Burger King go to Crispin Porter + Bogusky and tell them there’s a Sponge Bob Square Pants meal coming out. CPB rather than throwing their arms up in the air saying this will totally contradict the brand strategy of targeting the Superfan (16+ year old guys who like computer games, girls and controversial humour) they say ‘ok, we’ll do a rap song about square butts and not show the food at all, then we’ll launch it as a music video’. Burger King say ok and a King (of sorts) was born:

I’ve often used and heard the term ‘perfume advertising’ as a way of describing something that limps with a vacuous and very non-genuine nature likened to Tony Blaire’s smile. However, when Gucci decided that rather than approach doing scent ads in black and white with models crawling over each other or walking on a New York roof top why not partner with Chris Cunningham and do something different. As a result the category norms are broken and stuff is made that stands out……and for the right reasons.

Numerous other examples are out there such as Nike & Apple, Breitling & Bentley, Top Shop & Kate Moss maybe even Destiny’s Child and Nirvana. Partnerships when done well seem to take category standard and mash up something new and wonderful.

What seems to run through all great partnerships are 3 things i) A skill set which is best in class ii) A common interest and iii) Courage. The third being the most important in order not to slightly dabble but to fully commit to appearing as one.

What seems crazy is that not that many agencies are pro-actively getting their clients to meet up with partners in film, music, clothing, cars etc. Surely the ad industry should be the shepherd to these partnerships rather than allowing them to…..well….just happen like the Beckham and Gillette marriage which is uglier to watch than his actual one. As opposed to the Beckham and Adidas affair which was much more sexier….you do get that I’m referring to Rebecca Loos. Anyway, my point being that the more exciting partnerships generated in the name of creating difference and rule breaking the better coz Riggs was small and Murtaugh was tall and together they made a difference by busting special service trained crime lords…which is no small feat.


Ed said...

Love this post...two is certainly better than one, unless you are Bruce Willis of course. Then again, he couldn't have made it through the trilogy without SLJ. (I have yet to watch 4.0, and it is therefore not on mmy radar!)

Ed said...

excuse the stutter!

Anton said...

Yes McClain was def a one man band....though he did require support from the ground as you rightly point out. 4's better than 3 coz it's just so f*cking stupid, like the bit where he takes out a helicopter with a car, that kind of audacity should be seen and respected.


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