ambush marketing Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Power Sponsorship

Olympic Sponsorship Analysis – Part 8: The Fallout and the Recovery

I went into this Olympic season thinking I would be writing about ambush marketing. It’s a fascinating subject and probably the most public peek behind the curtain the average punter sees of our industry. This year, however, the real story turned out to be the lengths to which the Olympic movement and its sponsors went to “protect” themselves, and the personal freedoms and genuine national pride they were willing to quash along the way. Honestly, I have been struggling to write this. The issues are big and far-ranging, and as a heart-on-the-sleeve idealist, difficult for me to reconcile after the last few years of extraordinary sophistication growth for our industry. So, rather than having that […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Analysis – Part 7: The Cheeky, the Sneaky, and the Brilliant

While the real ambush marketing news has been about the ridiculous lengths the Games organisers have gone through to thwart ambush marketers, and the negative impact of those activities, strategic ambush has gone on unabated. That butcher who put five sausage rings in his front window learned a big lesson about the cost of national pride, as did that florist who was threatened with a huge fine. But strategic ambushers – the ones sponsors and rightholders really need to worry about – they got the job done without breaking a single rule. There were cheeky ambushers, sneaky ambushers, and brilliant ambushers. We can learn from all of them. The Cheeky Topping the category of “cheeky” […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Analysis – Part 6: I Hope You Don’t Want Fries with That

You can’t get fries without fish at the fish and chips shop in the Olympic Precinct. You can’t get fries with anything else. The only place you can get fries in the Olympic Precinct is at the world’s biggest McDonald’s. Why? Because McDonald’s insisted on having exclusive rights to serve fries. Really, McDonald’s? Were you really that scared that people being able to get a hot chip somewhere else would undermine your brand sanctity? Was it worth it? Because from here, I can’t see how having hundreds of media outlets, and many thousands of social media pundits, taking the crap out of your selfishness is doing a lot for your brand. (Yeah, I know… in […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Analysis – Part 5: Welcome to the Sponsorship Nanny State

McDonald’s is a global TOP sponsor of the IOC. So is Coca-Cola. Cadbury is a Games sponsor. There has been a lot of controversy around these sponsorships, capped off by a riveting piece of propaganda, entitled The Obesity Games. The premise seems to be that Olympic sponsorship is some sort of corporate plot to make our children obese. Seriously, if you listen to some of the commentary around these sponsorships, you’d think Ronald McDonald was force feeding people Quarter Pounders on the way into the stadiums. Except that McDonald’s provides many healthier options, and Coca-Cola bottles water, juice, sports drinks, and plenty of other health-friendly products. And isn’t a small amount of dark chocolate actually […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Marketing Analysis – Part 4: We Own You

In the past couple of days, Lord Sebastian Coe, head of LOCOG, was quoted as saying that people attending the Games should not wear Nike shoes or Pepsi t-shirts, as they would be thrown out by security. He then backpedalled, saying people wearing Nike trainers would “probably” be let in, but ticketholders wearing Pepsi t-shirts will not be allowed entry. LOCOG has further “clarified” that people can wear what they want. But wow, what a pointed illustration of the ugly lengths the Olympic movement would like to go to, in order to protect their fiefdom: We own you. We own what you wear. We own your memories and your ability to record and share them. […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Marketing Analysis – Part 3: Social Media Idiocy

You can go to the Olympics. You can soak up the atmosphere, show your national pride, and experience moments that you will never forget. Or at least you’d better not forget them, because recording them for posterity is against the law. That’s right, people: The IOC and LOCOG have decreed that you don’t own your memories. You have no rights to document your experience or share your memories with others. LOCOG would say, welcome to 2012, where we have even more fronts on which to protect our intellectual property. I say, welcome to 2012, where sharing your experience with others in your social network is an integral and expected part of that experience. I get […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Analysis – Part 2: Olympic Sponsor Awareness Surveys

Every four years, the Summer Olympics roll around, and with it, meaningless sponsor awareness surveys. Media love to sensationalise this frivolity, calling sponsor who appear on the list “winners”, while sponsors that don’t are “underachievers”. Then, of course, there are the non-sponsors who show up on the list, who are roundly referred to as “ambushers” (cue disparaging looks and finger-wagging). In reality, those lists mean absolutely nothing. First off, there are myriad reasons why a company might end up on one of these “can you name the sponsors of the Olympics” (or similar) lists – or not – and many of those reasons have nothing to do with actual performance. Why a brand might end […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Marketing Analysis – Part 1: Nike vs Adidas… Again

I love ambush marketing. I don’t love that it happens, because the only reason it works is because the rightful sponsors aren’t effectively leveraging their investments, and I just hate that. But I do love the strategy and creativity that goes into effective ambush marketing, so for me, the Olympics is always a smorgasbord of amazing ideas and implementation. What’s that, you say? LOCOG has clamped down on ambush? In their dreams. Laws don’t control strategic ambush marketing; they just stop stupid brands from doing stupid things that wouldn’t net them a result, anyway. Good ambushers don’t need to break any laws, and they don’t need anything an organising committee can offer, in order to […] Read More

20+ Ambush Marketing Resources Every Sponsorship Professional Should Review (Updated)

Ambush marketing is terribly divisive, but we’ve got to face facts… It’s legal (unless the ambusher is really careless). It’s creative. And it works really well, when it’s done well. In short, sponsors could learn a lot from ambushers. You’ll be better at leverage, you’ll be more resourceful and creative, and you’ll protect yourself from being ambushed. Don’t dismiss these techniques, just because they are usually used by ambushers. There’s nothing stopping you borrowing them. To that end, I’ve chosen a select few ambush marketing blogs, to get you up to speed on the opportunities and threats presented by this controversial and interesting marketing medium. If you like any of these, I encourage you to […] Read More

How the World Cup Ambushed Itself

It started with a few dozen pretty women in orange mini-dresses with no apparent branding attending the Netherlands’ first round match. “Dutch supporters”, they said. FIFA correctly thought otherwise, then did just about the stupidest thing they could have done. What FIFA should have done… Get their own megalomania under control. Roll their eyes at the lame attempt to “ambush” the World Cup with a low-impact, first-generation visibility grab. Realise that 36 pretty girls sitting together in orange dresses is not going to harm the sponsor, particularly if they had done a good job of leveraging their massive investment. (It was Budweiser, but how many of you knew that?) Inform the broadcaster not to dwell […] Read More