Ambush marketing can be described as a marketing strategy where a company takes advantage of a particular event in order to attract the attention of people in that event. This tactic is usually carried out without having to sponsor or participate in the event. It's all about being captivating enough to steer the mind of the audience away from other competitors at the event to your own product or service.

There are direct and indirect ambush marketing techniques. Note however that you do not have to be fraudulent in carrying it out. You are to steal the show, not official names or trademarks. Hence, ambush marketing calls for a lot of creativity.

How to Carry out Ambush Marketing

A direct form of ambush marketing is such that advertisers promote themselves as part of the event by riding coattails. This is mostly achieved when the products of such advertisers are in use in that event.

On the other hand, Indirect forms of ambush marketing make use imagery and themes related to an event. This is intended to influence the minds of those who are associated with the event. All of these are carried out without making any specific reference bro the event itself. It is a subtle and creative way of evoking a mental connection to the event. One of the best ways to do this is by making use of popular nicknames (not trademarks) that are associated with the event.  

Real-Life Ambush Marketing Examples

We've all witnessed some form of ambush marketing without even realizing it. Many renowned companies make use of it to promote their products or service, and boost sales.

Here are some highly effective and stunning ones that have happened:

Rona and Apple: This happened in 2010, but is still considered one of the most iconic ambush marketing tactics to date. Apple had a billboard filled with images of various colourful iPods and had these colours dripping down to the bottom side. It was a very attractive display that Rona took advantage of.  What Rona did was to place another billboard underneath that of Apple. It had some small boxes designed in such a way that they looked like they were collecting the paints coming out from that of the iPods. To add to this appealing look, Rona went further to add the tagline - “we collect leftover paint”. Such creativity was hard to miss.

Nike in the 1996 Olympic games: Here, Nike decided to try some ambush marketing tactic instead of investing in sponsorships. They did this having Michael Johnson race in gold Nike shoes and in his gold medals. This had a memorable impact, overriding other competitors like Reebok, who was a sponsor.

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