Joining Forces

Tuesday 8th July 2014 02:02pm
By Networx Sydney

A chilly Sydney evening didn’t hinder a busy Networx at Criniti’s Woolloomooloo this week, where a panel of experts shared their tips and strategies for ‘Joining Forces’, whether it’s with an ambassador or another brand or event.

The night’s panel included Mitch Catlin, Head of Partnerships, Community and Media at Swisse, DHL’s Corporate Communications Manager, Tara Hayes and Meredith Fraser, Head of Brand Partnerships at Shine Australia.

The panel members agreed that you need to step away from traditional ideas in order to maximise the investment of a partnership. Whether it’s with a celebrity ambassador or you’re aligning with another brand or platform you need to think about the big picture and what you hope to gain.


Mitch shared the background around Swisse bringing The Ellen DeGeneres Show to Australia and how this partnership was not only with The Ellen Show but also with a range of Australian partners including, QANTAS, hotel suppliers and Australian tourism providers. He stated that there is no longer the budget for companies to do things alone; aligning yourself with likeminded brands will help build the possibilities and benefits.   Mitch also spoke about the importance of integration in a brand campaign, incorporating activity above and below the line for maximum exposure – such as advertising, PR and ‘money can’t buy’ promotions for consumers.


Tara shared the origins of DHL’s 10 year partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia which commenced with DHL rebranded to yellow and red. Aligning with Surf Life Saving Australia enabled them to promote the new image, and also involve their team in integrated activities including Boardies Day where their drivers wear board shorts and collect donations for SLSA. DHL enjoys a number of global partnerships including Fashion Week which they have in Australia to include an Export Scholarship for emerging designers - a successful concept that has now just been launched by DHL globally. Other global partnerships including Formula 1 and World Cup Rugby 2015.


Being the Head of Brand Partnerships at Shine, Meredith gave valuable insights into broadcast product placement and partnering with TV shows. Her first piece of advice was be clear on what you want to achieve from any partnership, these KPIs need to be set from the start, you also want to be very upfront and lay everything out when you talk to a production company. Shine work on numerous hit shows including, The Voice, Masterchef and The Biggest Loser, and they need to make sure every brand is a perfect fit for each show. Meredith shared a successful brand partnership with  Barilla pasta, which included taking the Masterchef contestants to Italy to share the story of the pasta company. Having a brand that aligns perfectly with your products can open endless opportunities!  Meredith said that brand integration in reality television is a real opportunity for brands in the future, and signalled this as a major growth area for marketers.


Finally, our panellists weighed in on what to do if everything goes wrong, for example, your ambassador is caught up in an unfavourable incident. Mitch’s biggest piece of advice is, don’t react immediately,pause, and think things through before you decide what to do. If it’s a partnership you firmly believe in, than stand by your ambassador or brand partner, as may also want them to stand by you should something occur that impacts on your own brand image in the future.


Top tips from the night:

  •  Have you ever noticed that you only see Ricky Ponting as a Swisse ambassador during the cricket? Or George Calombaris during Masterchef? This is a technique Swisse constantly use; making sure ambassadors are used during periods where they will be most effective.

  • In this social media age, ensure you’re building social media terms into your contacts.

  • Make sure the brands or ambassadors you’re partnering with align with not just your brand but also the messages you want to share.

  • Swisse usually sign ambassadors on a two year contact, to provide sufficient duration to maximise results.

  • According to Meredith, Reality TV is just going to continue growing in Australia and the possibilities for brands to partner with them will also continue to grow.

  • Always be clear on what you want to achieve when ‘joining forces’

We would like to thank everyone who attended, especially our fantastic speakers who shared their wealth of knowledge on joining forces.

Please see photos from the night on our website.


Double Edge PR

Telephone: 02 9957 1352


Posted in