Web 2.0 and Ambush Marketing

An article on the marketing in and around the Beijing Olympics and the ones scheduled in London in 2012 offers an interesting insight into the world of ambush marketing in the post web 2.0 era. It uses the successful examples of viral marketing campaigns by Pepsi and McDonalds which have leveraged the concept of consumer generated content to skirt the strict advertising and sponsorship norms of the International Olympic Committee. The regimentation of the outdoor advertising has been hugely undermined by the smart virals. Jesse Kanclerz has an interesting article where the author observes that “Ambush marketing is at its worst when the company misrepresents itself as the official sponsor of the event. ” However, in Pepsi’s case, the cola giant played upon national pride while skirting clear of any hints of formal tie ups with the event. It would be all the more interesting to observe how lesser known companies with limited marketing budgets use the web 2.0 and buzz marketing campaigns for share of voice. Will get back with some interesting cases.

2 thoughts on “Web 2.0 and Ambush Marketing

  1. Jesse Kanclerz says:

    Hi Preeti,

    Another important take away from my article is there doesn’t always have to be a negative connotation associated with ambush marketing. Although the cases that generate the most controversy tend to receive the most media coverage.

    For instance, the grand daddy of ambushes goes to Nike during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. They
    plastered the city with Nike bill boards, fliers and erected a Nike center overlooking the venue. Although underhanded, Adidas might have lessened the impact if they’d worked closer with the IOC in outlining their sponsorship rights.

    I find ambush marketing more acceptable when it adds value to the lives of the target audience, which is arguably harder and more clever than what Nike accomplished in Atlanta.

    Mengniu’s Chinese TV show featuring the country’s best amateur athletes leading up to the Beijing games is a shining example of ‘good’ ambush marketing at work. Specifically because it first bolstered national pride, in addition to improving the positive association Chinese have toward Mengniu (I.E. Mengniu milk builds strong Chinese champions).

    In my book that’s brilliant marketing.

    Could you please forward me the link to the first article mentioned in your post?



  2. Richa says:


    I am Richa from SiliconIndia, I trust my email finds you in good health and high spirits. I am also an avid blogger and thought it’s a good time to initiate an interaction by updating you on some of the recent happenings at SiliconIndia.

    • We are now a strong community of 1 Million professionals
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    We would love to see you, embark on blogging here and sharing your perspectives to the rapidly growing SiliconIndia community and appreciate your community initiative here.

    Please mail me back at richa@siliconindia.com with your suggestions and feedback.

    Richa Sharma
    Blog Editor – SiliconIndia

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