Ambush Marketing is one of the most debated and controversial topics in the marketing arena. A clear definition as to what exactly constitutes the “Ambush” factor in marketing is still under discussion across various forums around the world. It is most commonly described as a scenario where, a company or a brand makes a false association with a major event where it is not the official sponsor. Primarily done to gain publicity for the brand, without expending a large proportion of the budget involved in securing official rights for the sponsorship, this publicity gimmick is often termed as “Ambush” marketing because of the nature of the strategy used.
Ambush marketing typically happens in major events like Olympics,FIFA world cup, ICC Cricket world cup, Wimbledon etc. which attract huge crowds from the public. On a global scale, it has been observed that ambush marketing is quite rampant across the beverage [Coke and Pepsi], sports apparel[Reebok, Nike, Adidas] and fast food [Mcdonalds, Wendy's] industries.
Examples of Ambush Marketing in the past
Qantas Airlines - For the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the slogan for the games was “Share the Spirit.” Qantas airlines adopted a slogan “The Spirit of Australia” associating itself with the games despite the fact that Ansett Airlines was the official sponsor.
–Here the association of words, symbols, countries linking to Olympics –such as “Olympian, olympus, gold, silver, bronze ” is reserved only for the official sponsors. The Sydney Olympics in 2000 were the first to be protected by legislation aimed at preventing non-sponsor companies from using phrases like “Sydney Games” or “ Australia”
Bavaria’s Brewery – 2010 FIFA world cup: A group of 36 models, hired by the Bavarian Brewery company were jailed for pulling an ambush marketing stunt in the stadium triggered by Bavarian beer where Budweiser was the official sponsor. The 36 models who wore orange colored t-shirts, were sent out of the stadium by...
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