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Don’t Do Cool Simply Because It’s Cool
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There are so many ideas and partnerships available that there is no lack of interesting and exciting opportunities. Brands no longer need to stick with the traditional media placements or partnerships and instead are able to create their own. This means there is no lack of cool new opportunities and brands are loving it. But many times the focus is wrong. Brands are more interested in finding the most different, most unique option that they forget to analyze its relevance to the business. This is doing “the cool” just because it’s cool. And to be honest, that’s just not cool. Brands need to balance the new and interesting with the core messages of the brand. And when a match is found, there’s perfect harmony and success all bundled into one little partnership.

AT&T luckily understands the importance of truly identifying partnerships and opportunities that work to elevate the brand. Ones that highlight the brand’s core competency and provide a new outlet for the brand to showcase who it is. And so AT&T has become best friends with basketball and March Madness and is partnering with NCAA during one of its busiest months of the year. But it’s important to note that this partnership is not the standard “sponsored by NCAA” but instead is more unique and showcases AT&T in the technology world. The brand bought ads for tweets that are going out from @MarchMadness, which is the NCAA’s Twitter handle for the tournament. So what does this mean? It means AT&T is showcasing real-time updates to March Madness followers. And for AT&T this allows the brand to shine in the light of technology, which is exactly where the brand wants and needs to be. It’s a unique partnership, it’s very relevant, and for AT&T it provides continued emphasis on what the brand provides.

It’s true brand love when companies can find partnerships that really allow the core values to shine. And AT&T seems to have found this in conjunction with NCAA and March Madness. AT&T is in the midst of connecting viewers and allowing them to engage with the March Madness brand. In addition, AT&T is able to benefit from the portion of this partnership that showcases the speed of conversation — how much more perfect could the message be for this brand?

There’s a fine line between doing something cool and doing something that’s brand relevant. But when something is created that combines the two, it’s like the holy brand grail. It’s not cool for coolness's sake, but instead it’s unique, relevant, and hopefully a brand success.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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