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What Is Ambush marketing And Why It Matters In Business
As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.
Indirect ambush marketing involves a more subtle approach. The business concerned does not try to take advantage of the competitor who has paid for sponsorship rights.
Instead, it attempts to take advantage of the hype surrounding the event itself. Any possible affiliation between the ambushing business and the event is unofficial and left for the consumer to decide.
In the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games, Irish gambling chain Paddy Power put up billboards claiming to be the “official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London.”
In much smaller print, however, they stipulated that the town referred to in the campaign was London, France.
The result was that Paddy Power was able to create marketing hype around the Olympic Games – since consumers knew which London was being referenced – while avoiding any legal ramifications in the process.
The most obvious advantage of ambush marketing is that it is low-cost and has the potential to be highly effective. In successful marketing campaigns, the exposure a brand receives will outweigh any fines or penalties that may be incurred.
Businesses who engage in ambush marketing also create associations with that event in the minds of their target audience. This increases brand equity or the perceived commercial value of a brand name over a product or service.
In terms of disadvantages, ambush marketing can sometimes involve heavy penalties or lawsuits that exceed the financial benefits of brand exposure. Since ambush marketing campaigns are relatively spontaneous and unpredictable, it is hard to predict return-on-investment (ROI).
Businesses who engage in ambush marketing must also be prepared for long, protracted disagreements with the business they are ambushing. These disagreements have the potential to erase beneficial exposure and needlessly eat into marketing budgets over time.
Ambush marketing describes the scenario in which a business ambushes a competitor’s event sponsorship arrangement in an attempt to gain more exposure.
Ambush marketing can be direct or indirect, depending on the objectives of the company and its ability to absorb fines or litigation costs.
Ambush marketing is a high risk, high reward strategy. It increases brand equity and is a cost-effective form of advertising. But the ROI is hard to predict and it can lead to public battles between organizations.
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