|Nothing Official about it - Pepsi's Ambushing Coca-Cola in ICC Cricket world cup 1996|
ICC World Cup is big news for India and cricket crazy Indians. It is said that 6500 crore Indian rupees are riding on Indian cricket in the next eleven months. All companies want to climb the band wagon of cricket whether officially or otherwise.
While non-sponsor brands cannot use World Cup-related trademarks in their marketing campaigns, they are finding new methods and techniques to make their offering to the consumer. (Business Line print edition dated February 15, 2011)
- Parle Products is bouncing a ‘Full Toss', a potato snack, under the same name.
- Nike has launched a range inspired by the ‘Men in Blue'.
- ICICI Bank is tempting credit-card holders to keep the “score” going while shopping.
- Public sector Canara Bank has put up a huge billboard to announce its ‘Hatrick' quarterly profitable performance.
- Cycle Agarbathi will be rolling out mobile vans with special prayer kiosks that will allow customers to light Cycle Pure Agarbattis and pray for Indian cricket team.
- Reliance Digital is urging consumers to get ready for the World Cup with an air-conditioned stadium at home; with an eye on its latest range of air-conditioners on offer (all examples from Business Line print edition dated February 15, 2011)
Surrogate ambushing: Can this be termed ‘surrogate ambushing? Technically speaking what these companies are doing is not illegal. But in countries it is illegal.
Companies are claiming that cricket is a common property and no one can claim exclusivity. The companies are determined to cash in on the craze and it is a futile attempt to stop them because they will stop at nothing. Hotels will have menus with cricketer’s names and cricket strokes.
The discussion leads us to ambush marketing. Ambush marketing is a marketing campaign by a competing company that takes place around an event but does not involve payment of a sponsorship fee to the event. The company that has paid the sponsorship fee to be the official sponsor pays the money but the competing company cashes in on the craze without paying any fees.
During the 1996 cricket World Cup, although Coca Cola was the official sponsor of the tournament, Pepsi ambushed the campaign by coming up with the tagline “nothing official about it”. The campaign by Pepsi was so successful that everything official was seen as "strait jacketed, boring and outdated" and Unofficial was branded as “new, exciting, and trendy”