The three cultural collaborations that caught our eye this month happen to have a few things in common. They’re all from the US, they’re all iconic and they all involve food. November sees a celebration of a pop-culture icon through soup and the resurrection of a 25-year-old advertising campaign (with a sweet twist).
1. Campbells x Mickey Mouse
Limited editions were the order of the month, as brands came out in force to celebrate the 90th birthday of an American pop-culture icon - Mickey Mouse. Oreo, Smeg and Bearbricks were just a few to get in on the action.
But it was a fellow pop-culture icon that stole the show. 149-year-old Campbell Soup Company – or Campbell’s for short – was around before Mickey was even a glint in Walt’s eye. And they did Disney proud with their revamped signature soup cans.
Suitably Instagrammable, the Mickey-themed series comes in three designs; each representing a different illustrated version of the mouse.
In a world where the ability to cut through using traditional paid-for-media is an increasing struggle, brands should look to rewire their approach and think about using the pack as the media itself.
Packaging is prime media real estate – and something you, as brands, have full control over. It’s your walking, talking POV on the world. Let’s consider something more than just shelf-science. Let’s consider if what we’re creating is actually interesting to our culture hungry consumers.
Whether you make a connection by celebrating an iconic moment in culture on pack, or collaborate with artists who use packaging as a canvas for storytelling, a culture-first approach is all about amplifying from the pack out, rather than comms in.
Think - is your packaging interesting enough for your consumers to take it home? And photograph it? Film it? Share it? Even resell it for a profit? We think these handsome cans certainly are.
2. KITH x Got Milk?
The California Milk Processor Board announced it has revived its iconic “got milk?” campaign with the help of KITH Treats – the cereal and ice cream bar located in streetwear retailer, KITH’s stores.
The “got milk?” campaign first launched in 1993 with the now-famous “Aaron Burr” TV advert, directed by Michael Bay. The iconic campaign ran until 2014 and featured ads with Beyoncé, Kate Moss, and Serena Williams, among others.
For its recreation, KITH has enlisted the help of Seth Rogen, Chrissy Teigen, Joan Smalls, and Bobby Flay to launch a new set of ads.
The partnership coincides with the launch of KITH Treat's Latte de Leche, a confection that consists of sweet cereal milk and an embossed espresso lollipop. KITH will also drop a small “got milk?” co-branded capsule collection.
“As a child of the '80s and '90s, working with the CMPB was a no-brainer,” said Ronnie Fieg, the founder of Kith and Kith Treats. “Seeing those ads in magazines and on TV during print and television’s golden era had an impact on me that words can’t describe.”
KITH Treats, which was born out of Ronnie Fieg’s love for cereal, has evolved from an in-store cereal bar to a brand of its own. Previous collaborations include capsule collections with Cap’n Crunch and Coca-Cola.
3. KFC Meets Streetwear
Finally, one for the hypebeasts.
Streetwear and fashion have had a longstanding fascination with fast food – or ‘McCouture’ as some like to say. Take Supreme x White Castle, McDonalds x Moschino and Shake Shack x Colette, to name just a few.
This month, we saw fast food and streetwear (potentially my two favourite passion points) come together once again with a collection born out of the founding father of streetwear, NIGO’s admiration for the KFC brand.
NIGO travelled from his home of Japan into the heart of Kentucky to gather inspiration for the collection at KFC’s HQ and the Colonel Sanders Museum.
“When we heard of NIGO’s obsession with Colonel Sanders, we had to invite him for a rare tour of the Colonel’s personal archives to help inspire him,” said Steve Kelly, KFC’s Director of Media and Digital Marketing.
NIGO was granted access to the brand’s cavernous catalogue of artefacts, vintage promo materials – and even the Colonel’s suit.
In true drop culture style, the KFC x Human Made collection was served up via a special pop-up shop at a KFC location in Manhattan, following with another drop in Tokyo a few days later.
What makes this a cultural collaboration we love? Consumers are savvy and have a high bullshit radar. A brand can’t pretend to be something it’s not. At LOVE, we see the way new luxury consumers appreciate challenger brands that put across a strong point of view, openly sharing their passion. In this case it’s a whole lot of why-not-ness and a shared, genuine admiration for each counterpart. It’s the difference between culture and marketing.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org