Yellowstone Brands, Co-Promotions, and Branded Content


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Take Us To The Ranch

Yellowstone is officially back for its fifth season, and it's time to get back on the ranch and saddle up with the Duttons. Predictable advertising and in-your-face marketing are a thing of the past. Now more than ever, marketers are challenged with the task of creating engaging, unique, and subtle content that promotes brand awareness. Enter product placement, co-promotions, and branded content.

As the most-watched show on cable, Yellowstone has perfected building opportunities not only for placement but co-branded spots during the show break, allowing wins for all involved. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares brands featured in Yellowstone and the co-promotional branded content surrounding the series. 

Yellowstone Brands & Co-Promotions (1)

Yellowstone Has The Best Branded Content Commercials

I'm a Texan gal forever, who lives in Cali, and I like to revisit the feel of the southwest by diving into shows like Yellowstone. It's not that I grew up with an oil well in my backyard, something I was actually - repeatedly - asked when I was in Europe in college and years after.

Nor did my parents have a ranch, although some of my extended family and classmates did. I grew up where people hunted, and I cried and rebelled by using a camera to shoot instead. I took Texas history, played cowboys and Indians (a no-go today), and dreamed about the Alamo. I went to day and night camps of all types and grew up knowing how to ride a horse, fly fish, skeet shoot, kayak, and camp under a sky blazing with stars. I was an absolute tomboy and risk-taker in my youth who loved some of the essentials associated with being from the West.

I acknowledge that in today's non-gender specific supportive new world, "tomboy" is no longer politically correct. But what I was to an even greater degree, to a "T": Texan. I love my cowboy boots and hat. Amongst my fondest memories is fishing for crawdads with hotdogs on strings, capturing tadpoles and growing them into frogs, if that helps paint the picture. My parents put up with a lot (a life of thank you's!!!)

So that means I LOVE watching content where I see glimpses of my past life and hearing the familiar twangs of accents and such nicely phrased southern acerbic comebacks tearing down a character in an oh-so-nice way. 

Yellowstone is one of my go-to's to watch, and I was looking forward to this new Dynasty-like soap for more reasons than just the storyline this weekend. The team at Paramount is doing an incredible job working with brands to create co-branded commercial spots starring secondary characters. They have built opportunities for brands to have a product placement moment to a full-scale integration and the added ability to run a co-branded spot positioned perfectly in the show break. But that's not all they have done. No, they've taken it to the penultimate level of branded pop culture partnerships.

The branded content celebrity endorsement spot.

Content that in :15 to :60 seconds tells the brand's story through the mouths of secondary key characters in the series. And it's great fun!

Yellowstone & Duluth Trading Co.

Photo Credit: Stories From The Bunkhouse |

Despite having been in the entertainment and advertising industries for over 25 years, I'm not immune to being advertised too. In fact, I know that I'm a good market research test subject to be able to say that the tactics we build for marketing as an agency works because - It Works Even On Me. 

I'm a sucker for infomercials, talk show steals and deals, and pop-up ads of all types. Give me a good relatable influencer-to-me, and I'm buying the hair product if it hits my messaging points of pain, triggering need.

Despite the knowledge I have in advertising, I'm easily influenced to buy.

I could put up ironclad walls, but the fact is, I choose to let the brand ads in sometimes past my ironclad shield because I LIKE being a consumer, buying things that get my attention, and getting the reward of boxes of new goodies at my front door. Mostly things that I don't really need after all or all that much, but I enjoyed the adventure and reward along the way.

I find myself watching those spots,not fast-forwarding like my usual go-to. As my consumer self, I like the plus of more lines and characters I want to see in unexpected places. I pay attention to those branded spots. And I talk about them with others - to a much higher degree than you might talk about them, but I bet you notice them too. If you haven't seen the series check it out.

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Brands I Noticed

The winners that stood out to me in the double episode season opener included:

  • Buffalo Trace Distillery integration and branded content
  • Duluth Trading branded content - check their shorty award entry to see what the brand, Palisades Media Group, Paramount Network and Viacom Velocity crafted together. This is great branded content. 
  • Dodge Ram placement and season opener branded content
  • Coors Banquet, which is this season's official beer partner. They've gotten a lot of screen time with the franchise and developed a "Live Like A Dutton" sweepstakes to win a trip to Montana. Sign me up. I'm ready to go!
  • Troutslayer double verbal mention integration

Although I'm still trying to figure the Coors announcement coming out at the same time as the Troustlayer integration, a non-Coors brand and instead owned by Montana's largest brewery, Big Sky Brewing Company, a brewery and taproom located in Missoula, Montana.

That could be because the Coors deal came together late in the game, or that there is no competitive brand limitation. It could also be that Coors is about to own the brand and it's just not published. Or, the show creators have a new stake in Big Sky Brewing Company and are helping them grow their brand through their content and it's a carve out...who knows.

That last idea is one you are going to start seeing more and more as brands become even more established as the new influencers - with capsule collections and strategic partnerships brand to brand. We love building smart strategic collaborations - because you have two entities who really benefit when working together. 

Regardless, Coors' partnership with Yellowstone includes activations across retail, eCommerce, and out-of-home advertising through 2022. They're doing a great job building out touchpoints to engage their target in a variety of ways and really leveraging the partnership.

Coors Banquet & Yellowstone

Photo Credit: Coors Banquet |

Proof Product Placement Works

Check out these two articles to see how three brands had some massive sales lifts from product placement. 

  1. Coors gain 5% marketshare due to being in Cobra Kai with anti-hero Johnny
  2. How much Coke and Lacoste got out of their Stranger Things product placement appearances. 

The Yeezy Is To Be Renamed

It's going to be quite the interesting billion-dollar impacting marketing test that Adidas is about to deploy. Breaking from using the celebrity to drive footwear sales, they are of the mindset that the shoe brand is more powerful than the celebrity that not only endorsed it, but created it as well. 

If that statement makes you go hmmm.... you are not alone. As part of the re-launch, the Yeezy name will be forgone - no doubt because Kanye holds the trademark to it. What he doesn't hold is the actual ownership of the design. Adidas shared that they expect to save over $300 million in royalty payments. Hmm....

“Let me be clear, we own all the [intellectual property], we own all the designs, we own all the versions and new colorways, It’s our product,” We intend to make use of these rights as early as 2023.” - Adidas’ Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer 

Take Our Survey!

How will fans of a brand that was built by being fans of a celebrity they are seemingly loyal to no matter what he seems to do or say, going to react? 

What do YOU think will happen? Shoot me a note if you are a 1 2 or 3, and I'll share the results next week!

  1. Adidas sales will be successful - no one cares about Ye or the brand collab partner Yeezy. They just love the form factor and colors of the shoe.
  2. A new brand will be born that ticks along until it decides its future fate by finding something to market around - like a new celebrity endorser.
  3. The new shoe line will tank. Ye will triumph in that Adidas is not making money without him. 

So what do you think?

More On Product Placement & Co-Promotions!

While you're at it, check out some of the other blogs we have written on product placement and branded partnerships!

Are you interested in integrating product placement into your entertainment marketing mix, but simply don’t know where to start? Our short video helps give you a broad overview and next steps to make it happen for your brand!

Watch the video to learn what is Product Placement