Ambush marketing is a marketing technique in which businesses piggy back off the back of a major event, normally a sporting event, associating and positioning themselves as a sponsor of the event whilst not being an official sponsor.
There are a number of ways that this can be applied as a search marketing model in the run up and during the Olympic Games in London. In The Sydney Morning Herald, Jaques Rogge, President of the IOC stated: “if there is a blatant attempt at ambush marketing by another company or by a group of people with commercial views, then of course we will intervene.”
Looking here at how they might “intervene” it’s important to understand what ambush marketing entails. There are 3 elements to ambush marketing, however the 2 main elements that we need to consider as seo consultants are as follows:
Direct Ambush Marketing of Olympic Games
This is all about making false claims and falsely associating a business with a brand or event such as the Olympics. In the case of how organisations are doing this with the London Olympics 2012 it may just be a case of them adding the words Sponsors London Olympics 2012 or Official Sponsors of the London Olympics 2012 – something like that, it’s quite a bold and audacious move and one in which I’d have thought the IOC and LOGOC would be able to crack down on relatively easily.
I’ve done a quick search on Google for the phrase Official Sponsors of London Olympics 2012, the first website I found making such claims was Max Farquar, I’m pretty such they aren’t offical sponsors and I’ve checked the London Olympics 2012 Partners Page, that and the comment which reads: “Good one Max, shove it up the litigious parasitical LOGOC arse.”
Now I’ve said that you’ll probably find a good deal of websites, blogs as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts out there where people have thought it would be funny to claim they are Official Sponsors London Olympics 2012.
Indirect Ambush Marketing of Olympic Games
Indirect ambush marketing is a relatively simple process for a seo consultant to implement in a website, this is about association rather than out an out lying however there is still some elements of unethical twisting of the truth to get the content of a website to this point.
Another route that many marketers in the UK will be taking over the coming weeks is about value based association – that is creating the perception that the values of an organisation are in line with the values of the Olympics movement and specifically the London Olympics Games. I’ve found an example of this put out by Ebrahim College, clearly aligning the college, their values as well as the values of Islam with the Olympics. There are plenty of examples out there when you start looking.
It may be that people set up a website or create a load of content that runs in parallel interest to certain aspects of the London Olympics Games, that doesn’t purport to have anything to do with the London Olympics 2012, doesn’t use any information about or imagery etc but which features content that people will search for when searching for the Olympics – maybe about a specific sport or individual.
Ethical Ambush Marketing For Olympics Traffic
It’s fairly obvious that of the above forms of ambush marketing, only Indirect Ambush Marketing is ethical and it’s the only way that you’re likely not to get a tonne of bricks dropped on you from a heady height. I expect there will be a lot of marketers and content writers out there who are looking to piggy back off the back of the London Olympics in 2012 as there will be so much traffic.
Probably the best way to go about it would be to target the brands sponsoring the Olympics – there’s plenty of information about them out there so is there’s probably a way to link a case study back to a client. On the other hand it may be a case of targeting a sports personality to try and generate some traffic – perhaps reviewing the way they train and relating it back to the business, or even looking at the sport itself.
Why are the Olympics So Strict About What You Can and Can’t Say?
The Olympics is a “clean event” – that means there are no billboards in the stadia, there are no bib sponsorship etc. The way the games is funded is by a select group of Sponsors providing a large chunk of cash every four years, as such they Olympic movement tries to prevent association of brands with the Olympics when they aren’t paying for the privilege of that association. It makes a lot of sense from a commercial point of view.
London Olympics Brand Protection
Whatever you plan to do make sure you take a look at the London Olympics 2012 Brand Protection Guidelines, that way you can have some fun with search marketing whilst covering your back.
To summarise, Olympics Ambush Marketing is going to be going on all around you in the next few weeks and the hysteria that will be created from the Olympics can only be a good thing both for the Olympics movement but also for the economy in general. The big brands are going to continue to dominant the search sphere by and large, but there’s plenty of scope out there for the long tail phrases that the big boys haven’t necessarily thought of. If everyone gets behind it ethically, I’m confident that there is enough traffic that we can all benefit from the Olympics.
Just in case there is any confusion – there is no association between GrowTraffic or Simon Dalley with the London Olympic Games etc (although I do plan to go!), it’s crazy that I feel the need to add that to the end of this blog post but that’s all down to the hysteria that’s been whipped up around the Olympic Brand Protection Strategy or perhaps Sponsorship Protection Strategy.