Saturday, 26 March 2011

Ambush Marketing or Parasitic Marketing

Ambush marketing or Parasitic marketing means taking the advantage of value of a major event publicity i. e. that product or company live on food made by other events. The Macmillan English Dictionary defines ambush marketing as a marketing strategy in which a competing brand connects itself with a major sporting event without paying sponsorship fee.

The word "ambush" as used in the expression ambush marketing, means "an attack from a hidden position" and is derived from the old French verb embuschier, having the meaning "to place in a wood." The term "ambush marketing" was coined by the famous marketing strategist Jerry Welsh, while he was working as the manager of global marketing efforts for the American Express Company in the 1980s.

A variety of techniques are used in ambush marketing. The most basic is simply buying up billboard space around an event, assuring that people who attend the event will see the marketing. This practice is entirely legal, although event organizers and sponsors may find it annoying. Ambush marketers may also be more subtle, doing things like passing out t-shirts, hats, and other promotional gear to people attending the event so that their branding is seen in the stadium.

Main consequences of ambush marketing are:

* The commercial value of the event decreases.

* It creates unhealthy competitive environment.

* It may adversely affect the funding of the event.

* Every company would like to be an ambusher instead of paying a huge amount for sponsoring.

The success of any sponsorship finally rests on the sponsor's ability to sign a watertight contract, fully leverage the opportunity and always stay a step ahead of competition.

LG, for instance, has played smart in its recent global sponsorship contract with ICC. For the price it has paid to ICC, it has also seized the global sponsorship right to computer and computer peripherals apart from the durables. Consequently, Samsung cannot burst onto the TV screen even with its computer peripheral's commercials that feature the cricket stars. However, the fact remains that LG did not block the cell phone category, thus leaving it open for Samsung to advertise. But despite these measures, there is little that be can be done to control creative advertising. Samsung in an all out effort to undermine LG's sponsorship is launching a campaign saying `Official sponsor of the digital passion'. It is important to remember, there is a war out there and one brand's ambush is another's victory!

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