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Ambush marketing: a strategy where advertisers capitalise on an event without paying a sponsorship fee.  Ambush marketing is not illegal, it’s about being innovative and making clever connections between your product and an event.

Whilst we’re not all organising events of the magnitude of the Olympics or World Cup, they are a great platform for event planners to pick up an idea or two.

Here’s an example…

The success of Beats brand headphones can be put down to Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s ability to market the brand by thinking differently.

Its beginning, with product placement in influential music videos was key, but a standout was the (alleged) circumvention of 2012 London Olympics sponsorship agreements that barred brands from being advertised during the Olympics that were not official Olympic sponsors.

When the participants of the London 2012 games arrived in the city, boxes of Beats headphones were delivered to hotels and the Olympic Village.  Athletes were seen wearing their shiny new headphones, many carrying the colours and flags of their country, walking out to events. You really couldn’t miss them.

Beats did the same for this years’ World Cup. With no official ties to the competition, Beats seized a moment of opportunity by congratulating the winning team with a commemorative pair of headphones dipped in 24-carat gold. Before delivering the headphones, however, Beats wanted to showcase them to the whole world in grand style. They called upon Naomi Campbell to model the headphones and commissioned fashion photographer Rankin to capture the “celebratory salute.” “We know you only get one trophy, so Dr. Dre and myself are sending you a pair of 24-carat gold Beats,” Campbell says in a video documenting the shoot. Take a look…

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The song playing throughout the behind-the-scenes clip is  the same backing track used for Beats’ advertisement that premiered ahead of the World Cup. Simple. Effective. Clever.

If anyone doubts the value of a highly visible brand; in May this year Apple confirmed its deal to buy Beats Electronics for $3bn, the largest acquisition in its history.

 

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