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Ambush Marketing

ambush marketing is for organisations to grow their brand

Definition Of Ambush Marketing

Ambush marketing, broadly refers to a situation in which a company or product seeks to ride on the publicity value of a major event without having contributed to the financing of the event through sponsorship.
The strategy of the official sponsors’ rivals is typically targeting major sporting events. It is a newly popular marketing technique that raises awareness of a brand in different ways.
The term “ambush marketing” landed sixth in the Global Language Monitor’s “Top Words of 2010,” solidifying its reputation as an emerging marketing method. Ambush marketing methods come in many forms and it all shares a core element which aligns a brand with an event or property without having paid for the right to be a sponsor.

Breaking Down Ambush Marketing

Imagine that you’re at home watching your favourite sports team. You begin to notice something in the match. Every time the camera zooms in on the coach for his reaction to a play, there’s always the same group of people wearing the same t-shirts sitting directly behind the bench; those people are promoting a brand that hasn’t officially sponsored the game.
Typically, ambush marketing is used to ”ride off” the prominence and draw of a major event, aligning promotional activities and publicity around it, without having to pay fees to the event’s organizer to be designated as an “official” sponsor in a certain product category.

Types of ambush marketing

This marketing technique can be classified into two different forms:
1.DIRECT : involves advertisers promoting themselves as being a part of or associated with an event, diluting the exposure of official sponsors and their respective campaigns;
2. INDIRECT : uses of imagery relating to an event in advertising. This is to evoke a mental connection with a brand without any mentions.

Forms of the direct type involve fraudulent claims by a non-sponsor that pass themselves as being an “official” sponsor. This is usually by making direct references to trademarks related to an event without having any official authorisation to identify themselves as an official sponsor or to use its trademarks. Most forms of indirect ambush marketing involve a non-sponsor making use of imagery, themes, and values similar to what the event and campaigns from official sponsor express; positively or negatively without making specific references to the event itself or its trademarks. The advertiser markets itself using content that evokes a mental association with the event. As a result, it will appeal to those who are aware of the event. Advertisers may use a well-known generic nickname for the event that is not a trademark, such as “the big game”.

Pros and Cons of Ambush Marketing

Pros:
1. It is a much cheaper option to get the brand noticed, for the company running the Ambush Marketing campaign;
2. Ambush Marketing is a great way to jump start a business. Most start-ups don’t have the financial capability to sponsor large events
3. From a consumer’s point of view, Ambush Marketing creates more competition that usually leads to lower prices.
4. Ambush marketing can be a cheap way to disrupt a competitor’s marketing campaign or sponsorship deal

Cons:
1. The word “Ambush” itself carries a negative connotation with it;
2. Smaller business may not be able to handle the negative media and brand impact resulting from such advertising method.
3. There is a lot of concern expressed regarding the breadth of activities caught by the definition of unauthorised association and the subjectivity which is required to assess whether such an association has arisen

 

Useful links:

Internal sources: 

How to raise awareness for your foundation

Brand Awareness

External sources:

Ambush marketing: The good, the bad and the beautiful 
What is Ambush Marketing? How it is used in Brand Wars?