5 Ultimate Ambush Marketing Campaigns

1.’Beats’ Headphones beats marketing rules at Olympics

Ambush Marketing 01

Dr. Dre and his Beats headphones created marketing controversy at the Summer Olympics 2012.

Pre-2016,London Olympics organizers and the International Olympic Committee had strict rules to protect official sponsors who have struck multi-million dollar deals for the exclusive right to exploit their association with the event.it was called as Rule 40. It stated that athletes were not permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a blog or tweet or otherwise on any social media platforms or on any websites. The IOC issued guidance against so-called “ambush marketing” by non-Olympics marketers ahead of the Games.

Beats gate crashed the IOC party .The headphone brand was not an official sponsor of the International Olympic Committee or the London 2012 Olympic Games. Under Olympics sponsorship and marketing rules, it should therefore not get promoted by athletes at the Summer Games.

But Dr. Dre’s company sent some high-profile members of the British team special versions of the headphones decorated with the union flag. Among others, British tennis player Laura Robson and diver Tom Daley have been seen sporting them. Soccer player Jack Butland has even been tweeting about them.

Daley was seen on screen with his Beats headphones ahead of the synchronized platform diving competition on Monday, an event watched by seven million at its peak on the BBC.

According to a report in The Guardian, Robson tweeted about receiving her headphones, although the post now appears to have been removed from her Twitter account as did a Twitter post from Butland, which had said: “Love my GB Beats by Dre.”

Among U.S. stars, Michael Phelps has been seen using the headphones in the Aquatics Center to help block background noise before races and help his concentration.

The ambush marketing initiative came on the heels of a protest – initiated by U.S. athletes, including 400-meter sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross & Dawn Harper, the Olympic 100 meter hurdles champion

In reality, the brand was an unknown brand to many before 2012 Olympics. How Beats gave athletes a free pair of headphones in their countries’ colors and became the talk of the Games. This therefore becomes one of the excellent examples of ambush marketing.

2.Paddy Power:The Irreverent brand

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 Paddy Power – the bookmaker has become renowned for its irreverent and cunning approach to sports marketing. For the London 2012 Olympics, it took out a series of provocative billboards which read: “Official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year! There you go, we said it”. In parenthesis underneath, the ad admitted that its sponsorship was, in fact, for an egg and spoon race in the town of London in France.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games ordered that the billboards be taken down for breaching sponsorship agreements but Paddy Power dug its heels in, lawyers circled and the campaign was allowed to continue.

Paddy Power wasn’t the only cheeky Irish marketing stunt at the Olympics, with boxer Paddy Barnes holding up a sign with his Twitter handle and the words ‘Open for sponsors’ during the opening ceremony, exposing him to around one billion TV viewers.This therefore becomes one of the excellent examples of ambush marketing.

3.Nike-Find Your Greatness

Nike  created an ad that showed plenty of running, jumping and diving alongside the word ‘London’ but, cleverly, ensured that they filmed in the UK capital’s namesakes in the US, Norway, Jamaica, and Nigeria.

It was a first that brand like Nike came prepared to spend big money in airing what is essentially an ambush advert.This therefore becomes one of the excellent examples of ambush marketing.



Ambush Marketing 03

On a slightly smaller budget, UK bottle shop Oddbins created an Olympics-themed ad which was quite open about the fact the Games can’t be mentioned by non-sponsors.it went a step further by actively rewarding customers that use the brands of sponsors’ rivals during the Games

Customers wearing Nike trainers, brandishing an iPhone, a bill from British Gas and a receipt for a Pepsi bought at KFC will receive 30% off their purchases at Oddbins.This therefore becomes one of the excellent examples of ambush marketing.

5.I Select

I Select , an insurance company  took a slightly different tack, with Mr iSelect, played by actor Jason Geary, complaining “Every four years it’s the same story.

Companies that have nothing to do with the Games jumping on the bandwagon,” all while performing various Olympic sports, such as swimming, weightlifting and rhythm gymnastics, in the office.

The ad, which premiered during Nine’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony in 2012, has been applauded for achieving great exposure at a fraction of the cost of official sponsors.This therefore becomes one of the excellent examples of ambush marketing.

IOC has changed the Rule 40 for Rio 2016. Was it the result of these ambush marketing campaigns?Which is your favorite campaign of these ?Do write back with your comments

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