Fortnite and Star Wars Show the Power of Co-Branding

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Co-branding is when similar brands partner to create a synergistic product, or advertising and marketing campaign. It’s a fun, creative way to strengthen each brand while creating cross-loyalty to reach a wider audience.

A terrific current example that launched last week is the Fortnite Star Wars co-branding campaign just one week before the international release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Fortnite’s virtual in-game movie theater, Risky Reels, showed an exclusive clip of the up-coming movie. An in-game avatar of director J.J. Abrams even made a live appearance.

Epic Games, Fortnite’s creator, said more than 10 million people logged in to attend the virtual event, with millions more watching via online streaming services such as Twitch and YouTube.

fortnite star wars launch

Fortnite boasts more than 250 million players worldwide, making it one of the most popular videogames in history. Several Star Wars-themed items, characters, weapons and challenges were added to the game as part of the co-branding campaign.

Teases for the event started several weeks ago, with in-game posters and social Stormtrooper skins. Players can use different light sabers, blasters and Star Wars-inspired character emotes.

This wasn’t the first time Fortnite has incorporated popular movies in a co-branding effort. Past films such as John Wick and Avengers: End Game have also been incorporated in similar ways.

Other Unique Co-Branding Examples

Here are three other cool co-branding partnerships you may remember.

Red Bull and GoPro: Technically, Red Bull sells energy drinks, and GoPro sells cameras.

red bull gopro co-branding

But those are just the products.

What these two companies REALLY sell is a lifestyle. They sell adventure, action and fearlessness.

The target audience for the co-branding effort was primarily action sports fans and adventure enthusiasts.

The most famous Red Bull/GoPro campaign was “Stratos” when Felix Baumgartner jumped from a space pod at 24 miles above the Earth’s surface. Of course, he had a GoPro strapped on to record the out-of-this-world feat.

Taco Bell and Doritos: Three words: Doritos. Locos. Tacos.

doritos taco bell locos tacos

Taco Bell tacos with a Doritos Nacho Cheese chips shell. BRILLIANT!

The tacos used the original corn masa recipe complete with nacho cheese dust left on your fingers.

Ads depicted the taco wrapped in a Doritos bag to convey how natural the combo was.

Nike and Apple: The focus of the original Nike+iPod co-branding campaign was to combine Nike shoes with Apple technology so runners couple track their runs while listening to their favorite tunes.

Nike+ Apple co-branding

The partnership has evolved into Nike+ which equates to “personal” and connects to Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Training Club and Nike+ SNKRS apps. It now syncs with the Apple Watch and other new Apple technology.

Fitness trackers are built into Nike shoes to help athletes get the most out of their workouts and reach their goals.

The partnership has existed for nearly 20 years and allows both companies to leverage each other’s customer base to bring them something unique that likely would not be achieved alone.

What other co-branding campaigns do you think are awesome?

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