The regular definition?
"A surprise attack by someone waiting in a concealed position."
When this term gets associated with marketing, it pretty much defines the same scenario, but the repercussions and variables are a whole other ball game (sometimes, literally).
Let's look at a popular scenario.
Brand A and Brand B are immediate rivals and popular in the market in a specific industry and/or section of consumer goods and services. Now, the scales are always tipping either side, much like a see-saw. Sometimes, Brand A seems to be almost monopolizing the market, right before Brand B decides "Hey, not under my watch!" and decides to ambush the former brand through a single or series of ad commercials that basically puts them in a bad light.
I know, it sounds rather harsh and unfair, but that's business and it's the only way it works; you either beat them or get beaten.
How long has ambush marketing been around? For a considerably relevant time.
A few decades ago, ambush marketing was frowned upon and even ruled as illegal in many parts of the world. We're talking about a time when ethics was greater than competition, probably because competition wasn't much of a problem in a less-explored market. Today, competition is everywhere; literally everywhere. If you're budding businessman with an idea that you think is completely fresh and unique, you're probably wrong. Innovation and coming up with fresh ideas has become a rather tedious task, simply because the rate at which new ideas are being churned out is nothing short of ridiculous.
Let's understand a few technical things about ambush marketing before we get into the juicier section of this.
There are two main types of ambush marketing: Direct and Indirect.
Direct ambush marketing again has 4 types:
1. Predatory - When brand A literally says "Brand B sucks, don't buy it." No, really.
2. Coattail - When Brand A is the sponsor of an event and Brand B just shows up, uninvited, and steals the thunder.
3. Self-ambushing - Brand A signs a contract to not give out personalized merchandise at an event but says "What the heck", and does it any way.
4. Property infringement - Brand A has patented certain terms or colors as their own and Brand B deliberately misuses these for publicity.
And then, Indirect ambush marketing has different types too:
1. Value-based - Brand A is the main sponsor for a big event, so Brand B copies or rather mimics its style of marketing and its slogans to grab the attention of people.
2. Distraction - Brand B is hosting an important sports event, so Brand A decided to set up shop very close by and distract the customers towards them.
3. Associative - If an event has a color theme or logo, and either of the brands are not officially associated with it, they make use of a theme that incorporates these things and indirectly associate themselves to it.
Has Social Media played a role in giving ambush marketing that platform it’s always craved for? Absolutely!
Platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter are the easiest ways to let something go "viral" in a matter of minutes or even seconds. So much so, most of the marketing today is done entirely through social media, and doesn't even reach common mediums like televisions or billboards.
And finally, let's look at an example in motion: When Jaguar ambushed BMW with ease (and humor)
Digital Marketing companies and Advertising agencies in Bangalore are constantly looking for new ways and means to capture a rather competitive market. At Ruckus Advertising and Events, we always strategize and ideate in a way that brings out the most unique concepts that will leave the audience thinking, if not wanting for more!
Coming back to our subject matter, Ambush marketing is and will continue to be utilized in the most creative ways. And, by the looks of it, ambush marketing seems to be a trend that is here to stay and for all the right (and wrong) reasons!