Ambush Marketing: Definition, Meaning, Strategies And Examples

Ambush Marketing Strategies and Examples

Ambush marketing has started becoming an even more popular marketing technique in the business world. It is one marketing technique where a particular brand utilizes cunning ways to create awareness about its products, without actually paying for the right to become a sponsor.

Today, many start-up brands, because they do not have the big financial resources, utilize the ambush marketing as a way to get to prospective customers and get a foot on the market.

However, they are not alone in this sneaky marketing. The big brands too, utilize this marketing technique to avoid spending so much of their resources in acquiring the rights of sponsorship.

In this post, I will share with you the various types of ambush marketing, the pros and cons, and some notable examples so as to enable you decide if the ambush marketing is right for you or not. If you will eventually go down this path, remember to always stay within the law.

Types of Ambush Marketing

Ambush marketing could be broadly divided into the following three categories. Let us consider them one at a time.

Direct Ambushing

This is when a particular brand directly attacks its rivals because it wants to become affiliated with a particular event for which it has not purchased the right to become the sponsor. The types of direct ambushing include:

Predatory ambush marketing: This type of direct ambush marketing is one that is characterized by a direct attack by a particular brand on the official sponsor of an event in order to get a market share.

Coattail ambush marketing: This is when a particular brand tries to use legitimate means to directly identify with a particular event aside acquiring the rights of sponsorship.

Indirect Ambush Marketing

Under this type of ambush marketing, a particular brand is associated with a particular event for which it is not the official sponsor by rights, but not overly disturbed with the activities of its rivals. Under this type of ambush marketing, we have the following:

  • Associative ambush marketing:
  • Distract ambush marketing:
  • Value ambushing marketing

Incidental Ambushing

The incidental ambushing could be sub-divided into the following:

Unintentional ambush marketing: This is when the media states information concerning the equipment for an event.

Saturation ambush marketing: This is when a particular brand increases the awareness of its products without making any sort of reference to the event in question.

Pros of Ambush Marketing

  • For the brand carrying out ambush marketing, it provides the brand a cheaper marketing avenue for it to be noticed by prospective consumers, and the impact may be as much, or even more, than the impact produced with a sponsored marketing campaign.
  • The ambush marketing could be an opportunity for new brands to take a good stand in the market. For most new business start-ups, they do not have the financial resources to sponsor grand events such as the World Cup, or Super Bowl.
  • One benefit to consumers is that, ambush marketing could result to lower prices of products since ambush marketing provides the platform for competition among various brands who wants to take hold of the market.

Cons of Ambush Marketing

  • Ambush marketing reduces the value of brands that have invested in it.
  • Ambush marketing is a very dishonest way of marketing. It may result in a negative view of the brand involved in it.
  • Brands who involve in ambush marketing do not enjoy the other special privileges and benefits that the real sponsors of the event enjoy.

Notable Examples of Ambush Marketing

Having considered what ambush marketing is; the various types of ambush marketing; and the pros & cons; you should be in a better position to decide if you want to go down the road of ambush marketing or not.

Here are three notable examples by Nike, which you could steal some ideas from if you want to go down the road of ambush marketing. It could be quite risky though.

The 1992 USA Basketball

In USA, 1992, the USA basketball team and Michael Jordan were sponsored by Nike. At the awards ceremony, Michael Jordan was noticed to have used his American flag to cover the Adidas logo appearing on his uniform.

This action, which did not go unnoticed by spectators and the public, sparked some reactions. A lot of people actually felt it was a deliberate action from Michael Jordan, inspired by Nike.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games

Nike utilized the ambush marketing again in the 1996 Olympic Games that was hosted in Atlanta. Nike was not the official sponsors of the Olympic Games; Reebok actually was. But at the end of the Games, no one ever remembered that Reebok was the official sponsor of the Olympic Games.

Nike who did not spend their resources in acquiring the rights of sponsorship decided to launch advertisement campaigns, which carried the Olympic theme, all over the streets of Atlanta city. Michael Johnson, who collected several gold medals in the Games, also raced in gold Nike shoes throughout the Games.

The 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany

Nike again pulled off this ambush marketing. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Nike launched an ambush marketing, which became very successful. They started the “Joga Bonito” (beautiful game) market campaign where they launched a social networking website for all the soccer fans all over the world.

Nike did not have to spend huge millions that their rivals Adidas paid to become sponsors of the tournament, yet they had the same exposure. Nike’s claim was that the website they launched, together with their official sponsorship of the Brazilian national team, afforded them an equal exposure in the tournament as their rivals Adidas.

Ambush Marketing Strategies: Advantages Disadvantages

The merits of practicing ambush marketing in any industry cannot be over-emphasized, because most people get interested in products through this. The simple word “ambush” is mostly associated with negative and aggressive procedures that even the government discourages. You may want to know the meaning of ambush marketing, and here it is;

SEE: 5 Viral Marketing Ideas & Techniques That Work

Types of ambush marketing ppt
Ambush marketing is a marketing  used method which entails the company riding the coattails of an event but not paying for the sponsorship. Let us use the case of the Super Bowl as an example. Imagine Pepsi pays to be the main sponsor at the bowl, then if coke surrounds the stadium with adverts related to the event that Pepsi sponsored. Coke would get lots of publicity even without sponsoring the event.

READ: Developing Internet Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

The merit is crystal clear, as Coke takes advantage of an event to increase traffic. The people that argue that this would be unethical are very wrong. Using events to promote one’s product is ethical, and Pepsi the sponsor gets numerous privileges that Coke will not get.

20 Free Internet Marketing Tools For Small Businesses

The advantage of ambush marketing to the consumer is that it makes the competition fierce. And when the competition is fierce, the prices reduces as seen in common ambush marketing examples in India.

READ: 5 Examples of Marketing Strategies To Improve Sales In Business

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