For months prior to games, Visa ran TV commercials advising American Express cardholders to leave their AmEx at home as “the Olympics don’t take American Express.”. Take Newcastle Brown Ale’s “chalice” campaign above, for example. What we want to know is whether the ambush marketing campaign was worth $364,000 – and this is where it gets complicated. It is estimated that the Atlanta Games will have generated 11 million ticket sales and an estimated total (unduplicated) broadcast audience of 4 billion, with total revenues for the 1993 to 1996 Olympiads expected to be $2.6 billion.15 Of total revenue, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) distributed 93 percent to the organizing committees (in Lillehammer and Atlanta), the various NOCs, and the International Sports Federations. . Commercial sponsorship for marketing purposes developed only during the past twenty-five years. Now that we know what ambush marketing is, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of this type of advertising campaign. However, Pepsi denied the charges of ambushing, claiming that the Olympic Games were not the appropriate vehicle to reach its target market and asserting its right to free speech.52. For example, Visa arranged to become the official credit card of the city of Atlanta.45 Under this arrangement, other credit card companies were precluded from diminishing the exclusivity of Visa’s sponsorship. If we regard the practice as unethical, againstwhat benchmarks can we make such a judgment? In the United Kingdom, Heineken Lager was both an event sponsor and the sponsor of ITV’s coverage of the 1995 Rugby WorldCup. So, we’ve looked at how and when ambush marketing can work well, but this approach is not without its downsides. 22–25; and. Sponsoring an event simultaneously attracts and provides access to an audience. Asone corporate sponsor suggested, “Ambush marketing implies a connection to an event for which you have not compensated the owner. 26. R. Grover, “The World Cup of ‘Ambush Marketing,’” Business Week, 2 May 1994, p. 37. Ambush marketing is a method whereby a company latches on to the coat tails of a major event or campaign without participating in or paying for the sponsorship or event. J. Lipman, “Olympics Ambush Strategies Spur Debate,” Wall Street Journal, 7 February 1992, pp. M.R. 12–13. practice of hijacking or coopting another advertiser’s campaign to raise awareness of another company or brand 15. International Olympic Committee, “100 Years of the Olympic Movement,” Marketing Matters, Summer 1994, pp. Overall, the Atlanta organizers took precautions to ensure an ambush-free event.43, A corporate sponsor must press an event owner to police events and be prepared to sponsor both the event and its broadcast. Using these figures, we can say that Samsung’s ambush marketing event cost $10,240. Analyze & improve your digital marketing -- for free! Similarly, the sponsor as buyer should reap the rewards of its investment and be protected in so doing. As such, it may seriously inhibit the further growth of corporate sponsorship. It further requires that the key marks, emblems, and designations must be protected through legal registration. Tony Meenaghan is a lecturer in marketing at the Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin, Ireland. Plan advertising that coincides with the sponsored event. Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy, Executive Guide: The New Leadership Mindset for Data & Analytics, Four Principles to Ensure Hybrid Work Is Productive Work, Culture 500: Explore the Ultimate Culture Scorecard. One of the earliest known examples of ambush marketing is the bitter feud that erupted between MasterCard and Visa during the 1992 Winter Olympics, which was held in the town of Albertville in southeastern France. Brands can and frequently do employ techniques that may be beyond the scope of a company’s established brand or advertising guidelines, affording the ambusher a great deal more creative freedom and flexibility. Sponsorship Research International, Annual Estimates of Sponsorship Expenditure (London: SRI, 1994). For example, Seagram’s “developed a program to ‘Send the Families’ of the U.S. Olympic athletes to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which involved no payment to the Olympic Committee.”27 Foster’s campaign during the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Britain was similarly creative; while Steinlager, abrewing company, was an official worldwide sponsorof the event, its competitor, Foster’s, ran an ad campaign around the theme “Swing Low, Sweet Carry-out” in the United Kingdom. Italian car manufacturer Fiat leveraged this principle to great effect in an impromptu ambush campaign back in 2013 when Fiat somehow managed to park a red Fiat 500 hatchback car on the front steps of Volkswagen’s Swedish headquarters – just in time for a Google Maps car to pass, which preserved Fiat’s little stunt for years in Google Maps results. The specific rights vary according to the size and nature of the event and the specifics of the contract. 5. Since most ambush marketing campaigns directly respond to or otherwise leverage an existing campaign by a close competitor, ambush campaigns can – and often, have to – be extremely creative. M. Jones and T. Dearsley, “Understanding Sponsorship” (Turin, Italy: ESOMAR Seminar on “How to Increase the Efficiency of Marketing Communications in a Changing Europe,” 11–3 October 1989, paper). Major event owners seek to control or minimize potential conflict for their sponsors by striking agreements with broadcasting partners and other sports organizations, thereby offering exclusivity and first-option contracts. In response, BMW purchased an enormous billboard across the street from Audi’s billboard: By now, you’d think that two of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers would have tired of their childish tit-for-tat. In October of 2011, Apple was preparing to launch the then-latest iteration of its flagship mobile device, the iPhone 4S. 10. In this article, I focus on an increasingly prevalent corporate sponsorship practice in which a company, often an event sponsor’s competitor, attempts to deflect the audience’s attention to itself and away from the sponsor. Stakeholders (e.g., fans) might also ask if a community does not have rights of access and information and if the Olympic spirit is not ultimately an inalienable part of our collective heritage. 2–4. Many ambushers have created highly imaginative strategies to associate with particular events. 27. In the United Kingdom, a local electric utility, National Power, was the sponsor of the Independent Television (ITV) network’s coverage. In another approach, the ambusher gives the impression of association yet makes no payment to either the governing federation, the Players’ Pool, or individual celebrities. Ethical Perspectives in Ambush Marketing Plenty of people managed to resist Samsung’s tempting offer, but many more still chose to walk away with a brand-new Samsung device rather than wait in line for the iPhone 4S. Sponsored Events as Promotional Opportunities Ambushing refers to a continuum of situations, with varying extents of legal and ethical infringement.Several common ambush strategies are: 1. D. Buckley, “Who Pays the Piper?,” Practice Review, Spring 1980, pp. Take the very public spat between Audi and BWM in Santa Monica above, for example. 77–88. Another benefit of ambush marketing is that, done well, it can actually help brands cultivate and exhibit new brand attributes and values that consumers may not necessarily already associate with that advertiser. When you’re one of the wealthiest companies in the history of mankind, you can’t help but attract attention. This strategy outraged Coca-Cola, which complained to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
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