Archive for the ‘ambush’ tag
An interesting side story on the London Olympics (Games of the XXX Olympiad) is the power of brand sponsorships and the battle against ambush marketing. Olympic organizers have hired about 250 “brand police” to patrol the London streets to make sure brands that are not official sponsors of the Olympics are not presenting themselves in ways that mislead the public to believe that they are. The organizers raised more than $1 billion from official sponsorships. Given that amount of money, it only makes sense that some resources would be committed to minimizing ambush marketing, which had been significant at several previous Olympic games.
Wikipedia defines ambush marketing as “a marketing strategy wherein the advertisers associate themselves with, and therefore capitalize on, a particular event without paying any sponsorship fee.”
The first major example of ambush marketing occurred in 1984 when the International Olympic Committee awarded a sponsorship contract to Fuji. Kodak responded by purchasing large amounts of advertising space. Because of Kodak’s extensive advertising during the Olympic Games, the public perceived both Kodak and Fuji to be sponsors of the event, much to Fuji’s frustration. In subsequent sporting events, Nike has done this to Reebok and Adidas, as has Pepsi to Coca-Cola.
Since then, New Zealand, Canada and the International Trademark Association (among other entities) have enacted legislation against ambush marketing.
Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop
The year 1996 was a great one for Nike. The brand spent millions on its Summer Olympics campaign, plastering Atlanta with ads and erecting a majestic Nike building to overlook Olympic Park.
Then, in an epic climax, American sprinter Michael Johnson broke a world record, crossing the finish line with a gleaming pair of golden Nikes strapped to his feet. He was later featured on the cover of Time magazine with those sneakers draped around his neck, along with his two gold medals.
Too bad Reebok spent $20 million to be the Games’ official sportswear sponsor.
Nike’s marketing victory proved an embarrassment for both Reebok and the event’s organizers. The incident prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to clamp down on ambush marketing and ever since then such incidents have been kept to a minimum.
But that’s all about to change. With London 2012 being heralded as the first truly “social” Games, this year’s official Olympic sponsors are more vulnerable than ever.
The business of sponsorships
The London Olympics are expected to be the most regulated Games ever in terms of protecting brand sponsors, and a major reason for that is the proliferation of social media.
Sponsorship is big business. The IOC has already raised $957 million from the Olympic Partner programme (TOP), which is the organization’s second-largest money-maker after broadcasting rights.
TOP includes 11 worldwide brand sponsors on its roster, each of which enjoys exclusive marketing rights for the duration of the four-year Olympic term. Another 14 brands are affiliated as official supporters and partners of the 2012 Olympic Games and are given similar privileges, including product category exclusivity.
The promise of sponsorship rights protection was one of the central reasons London won the bid for the Summer Games. The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act, passed in the U.K. Parliament in 2006, allows for “brand exclusion zones” to be set up across the city for the duration of the Games.
Extending one kilometre around venues, the zones prevent any brands that aren’t sponsors from displaying ads or logos.
The strong measures have stirred up controversy. McCann Worldgroup attorney Marina Palomba told BusinessWeek, “it’s the most draconian law so far in advance of an Olympic Games ever.”
When sponsorship meets social
Making matters more complicated are the online restrictions. According to ticket purchase terms and conditions, fans could be punished for taking photos or videos at the events and uploading them onto public sites. Access to wireless networks might also be restricted, as well as the size of cameras spectators can use.
The IOC’s social media guidelines [PDF] also stipulate that athletes are not allowed to comment on the performances of their competitors, nor are they “permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise any social media platforms or on any websites.” Unless, of course, that brand is a sponsor.
In other words, Michael Phelps will be out of luck if he wants to tweet about the Subway sandwich that propelled him to victory. Too bad he didn’t eat a Big Mac instead.
These rules may have been easy to enforce four years ago (back then the IOC didn’t even bother with a social media policy), but with nearly a billion people on Facebook, 140 million on Twitter and 18 percent of the world owning smartphones (not to mention netbooks and tablets), the IOC’s efforts may be too little too late.
Brand exclusion: Helpful or harmful?
Nevertheless, the IOC remains enthusiastic about the engagement opportunities that social networks offer sponsors and fans.
The committee has created the Olympic Athletes’ Hub where fans can follow the online lives of their favourite sports stars. It funnels content from the various social media feeds of Olympic athletes into one platform, making monitoring easier for everyone – including the IOC, of course.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee, told The Guardian that the need for regulation to prevent ambush marketing is more pressing than ever.
Of course, regulating and monitoring virtual spaces will be more of a challenge than at the physical venues. IOC Head of Social Media Alex Huot warns that mechanisms are in place in case of online copyright infringement but acknowledges the impossibility of monitoring every tweet and webpage.
“We don’t police but we’re working closely with all the platforms to make sure the trademark and (internet protocol) rights are respected,” he told The Guardian.
Is sponsorship worth it?
With social media making it easier than ever for unofficial brands to piggyback off the success of international events, it stands to be asked: Are sponsorships even worth it anymore?
A 2010 case study published in the Journal of Managing and Marketing Research found that sponsor-event fit and brand equity were the most important factors when measuring the long-term financial success of brand sponsors, and that so long as those factors are in place, sports sponsorship remains lucrative.
That’s especially true for high-profile international events like the Olympics, which have long been considered the Holy Grail for brands. The event tends to have a “halo effect” and brand sponsors bask in those good-vibes associations.
But as Mary Lou Costa argues in a 2011 Marketing Week article, the halo effect can go both ways: People often assume popular brands are affiliated with international events.
And with social media making it easier to spread content, non-affiliated brands have the potential to practise online ambush marketing.
Meanwhile, the Olympics and their sponsors are getting a bad rap for the very regulations meant to protect them.
When tickets went on sale for London, Visa was the only method of payment available, causing a media uproar. Then, the company replaced the 27 existing cash machines at the main Olympic venue with 8 of its own, subsequently facing allegations that Visa is intentionally starving the venue of cash.
So how does one measure the value of building brand equity through sponsorships against the potential bad press that results from strict protections? One way is through dollars.
Local sponsor Adidas hopes to make more than $156 million in U.K. sales from the deal. Those earnings alone might be worth the investment.
But just like in 1996, main rival Nike is hoping to upset Adidas’ strategy with a plan of its own. The brand has opened a giant concept store at a shopping centre near the main venue, which nearly 70 percent of ticket holders are expected to pass through on their way to an event.
Nike has also found a clever way of bypassing the online restrictions with their #MakeItCount campaign, which pulls off the balancing act of referencing the Games without actually mentioning them.
The result? According to a study by BrandWatch, Nike is outpacing Adidas as the apparel brand most associated with London 2012.
Finally, in a recent online poll, The Guardian asked responders to vote whether Olympic sponsors should be protected with strict laws: 91 percent voted “No.”
So let the games begin and may the best brand win.
Het wordt een hete sportzomer. EK en OS, met als smakelijke tussendoortjes Wimbledon en de Tour. Guerrillero’s liggen dan ook vanuit alle hoeken klaar voor een ambush, en daarvoor krijgen ze van officiële sponsors ook alle ruimte. Als warmmakertje: mijn Top 4 ambush lijstje. Met WK, EK en OS-klassiekers.
Lees Meer over: Ambush klassiekers en kampioenen.
Het Heineken EK-shirt is niet bedoeld als guerrilla of ambush. Zeggen ze bij Heineken. Daarom hebben ze bij de brouwer niet onderzocht wat de (juridische) consequenties zijn als een legertje supporters in het shirt het Metalist-stadion van Charkov in wil. “Dat is mensen hun eigen verantwoording.”
Lees Meer over: Heineken EK-shirt: to guerrilla or not to guerrilla.
Dove Australia has created the world's first makeover targeted at advertisements instead of women. Created by Ogilvy, the campaign introduces an app that lets Facebook users choose a feel-good message about women's bodies and use Dove's media buy to pump out pithy bits of positivity to the Facebook universe—to counteract those self-esteem-destroying side blurbs that ask if your love handles are overexposed and the like. The video below explains how it works. It makes it sound like an ambush—that the app somehow takes down the old ads and replaces them with yours. That's not the case. The media buy just gives users, on certain page loads, a Dove ad instead of another one. Still, that's a minor point—the Dove inventory will indeed frequently bump other ads. The interactive element is nice, too—simple and smart. And the target will love the app and forward it and rave about it because media is the best scapegoat ever created for self-esteem issues. Media is so big and out of your control and impossible to combat that it must be evil. And small steps like this, which put a modicum of control (significant or not) over advertising in the hands of the consumer, will make them feel empowered and positive about your brand as well. Of course, as always, just don't remind the Dove lovers that Unilever also makes Axe/Lynx. It tends to upset them.
As a brand, Newcastle Brown Ale is no nonsense—or as its new ad campaign puts it, "no bollocks." The British beer also has little time for rivals who it believes are all bollocks—chief among them, Stella Artois. The new campaign from Droga5, breaking today, announces itself in part with a cheeky outdoor ambush of Stella's "Chalice" ads. Next to Stella billboards that proclaim, "It's not a glass, it's a Chalice," Newcastle has placed boards that ask, "Who uses the word Chalice?" That sets the tone for the campaign, which is meant to be aggressively yet humorously anti-bollocks, with the hoary clichés of the entire beer category as its target. Check out the first commercials below, directed by Ivan Zacharias. As the agency puts it, "Newcastle's heritage, its founder, hometown and brewing process are all fair game. … It's beer advertising without all the bollocks that usually comes with beer advertising."
The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Rob La Gesse, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — rode out of Dodge and straight into an ambush. Well, no, but in service of the OverAggregator Lord here are our talking points: Microsoft trembles at the alter of irrelevance, Google doesn’t get TV but may sneak into the tablet market by giving them away, and HTML5 still can’t get a date.
I snuck in the usual mentions of Mad Men and push notification, the first a reference to the return of the mesmerizing prequel to Seinfeld, and the second the technology that ensures that you don’t have to watch the stream all day to stay up with what’s going on. Combining delayed gratification theatre with premature notification will produce the next big hit of the iPad Age.
@stevegillmor, @scobleizer, @jtaschek, @kr8tr, @kevinmarks
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
- What Do Social Media Influencers Do That You Don’t (but Could) – Forbes
Social Media “Influencers” pulling bigger numbers online than traditional media. OK, but it raises the stakes of relevance and means we cannot find relevant influencers as simply and easily as we do traditional media.
- Greenpeace Fans Ambush Volkswagen’s Facebook Wall | Adweek
A reminder that if you silo social media, marketing and PR — or aren’t talking. This kind of situation can go one or two ways for you.
- Election Forecasts – FiveThirtyEight Blog – NYTimes.com
Cracker Barrel does a nice parody of the whole "We've secretly replaced…" genre of ambush advertising in this online clip from mcgarrybowen, in which the brand gets carried away secretly replacing just about everything in a woman's life with Cracker Barrel cheese. The Saturday Night Live vibe shouldn't be surprising, as the actors here include Second City alums. It's certainly a change from what the brand usually does, which is the advertising equivalent of starchy mashed potatoes and gravy.
TED wants to nurture ads so good you choose to watch. Hence, its second annual Ads Worth Spreading initiative.
According to TED, an ad worth spreading is a short way of communicating an idea. The ad can be as long as it takes to communicate the idea powerfully, up to five minutes. What matters is the “a-ha” moment, the central idea.
“In our brave new interconnected world, the rules of marketing are changing fast,” said Chris Anderson, TED Curator. “Ambush advertising is broken. We think there’s a better way based on sharing powerful ideas.”
Ads Worth Spreading is open to all creators of campaigns in the business community and authorized brand representatives. The submission process opens on October 15, 2011 and closes on December 31, 2011.