36 Dutch women achieved a marketing dream by promoting their sponsor, Bavarian Brewery, on one of the largest globally recognized venues, the World Cup. Their marketing ploy, which stole the attention away from official sponsors who paid hundreds of millions of dollars to be present in a very corporately protected environment, was a simple coordinated dance. This act is the epitome of Guerrilla Marketing and is the goal of every company that does not have the monetary resources of Coca-Cola and Budweiser. The unfortunate reality of these guerrilla tactics is the growing awareness of their presence and the larger consequences that accompany their success. For example the successful spotlight that was cast on these women came with the cost of banishment from the games for the whole group, and jail time for two of the promoters.
This group of ambitious advocates for Bavarian Beer were charged with, “Unauthorized use of a trade mark at a protected event,” and “Entry into a designated area while in possession of a prohibited commercial object.” When international news of their imprisonment reached the Dutch Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen he expressed his disbelieve that these women had earned such a serious punishment, and within hours they posted bail and were free to go home. While being imprisoned in South Africa was certainly a wake up call for the two promoters, their bail of around one thousand dollars was barely a drop in the bucket when compared to the $474 million dollars that rival Budweiser paid to be an offal sponsor of the World Cup. Because of the insignificance of the punishment companies will continue to push the limits and find creative loopholes around copyright infringement.
As a spectator I thoroughly enjoy this rivalry between regulations and creativity. It gives rise to the possibility that companies without a global presence can still reach the headlines of distant countries. This ambition to stand out amongst traditional media keeps consumers wondering if they are utilizing the most current slang or just repeating a meme that was created by a marketing team.
To give you a current idea of where self expression and structured marketing become blurred here is an image of Brent Celek celebrating after a touchdown.
If you thought this was merely a clever pose you would be wrong. Celek was inspired to reenacted this iconic stance, because of a covert challenge presented by Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. If a player was caught on tape boasting with the “leg up” celebration Captain Morgan would donate $10,000 to the Gridiron Greats foundation.
Sentimental memories are relived, and not for the mere enjoyment of revisiting monumental moments of your life, but for a doubly dehydrating marketing ploy that inspires tears and sweat. Gatorade has created the “Replay” campaign to help people relive turning points in their athletic lives, so they can decide the true victors of epic rivalries that ended in tied scores.
Canada is definitely not boring, and that is why they have an interactive twitter account.
I wish I had more room to expose additional undercover campaigns that are infiltrating your everyday experiences, but if you have any recent undercover or guerrilla marketing campaigns please include them in your responses.