To be successful at marketing, companies have to shill their products in a variety of ways: on TV, in print, via editorial coverage, and so on. Partnerships with other companies and organizations can be a great way to generate awareness, too -- remember when Oprah Winfrey gave away those sweet Pontiac G6s? Even though Pontiac lost money by donating the 276 cars, its return on investment was huge, and the story stayed in the headlines for weeks. If only GM had targeted the right demographic and stayed ahead of that pesky tax issue, who knows where Pontiac might be today?
Sadly, not every strategic partnership seems that well thought-out. Case in point: Smart's car giveaway partnership with Little Debbie. Are snack cake fans really a target market for the ForTwo, or did Smart just go stupid for a minute? [SmartUSA via JV]