Making an Impact with Ambush Marketing


Businesses are always on the lookout for new, interesting and attractive ways to present content and market their brand to their target markets. While many looks towards their competitors to build their own marketing campaigns and focus on their differences, there is another tactic you can use that focuses on this in a brilliant manner. Right off the bat, the phrase “ambush marketing” immediately demands your attention. It’s brash, upfront and does exactly what it says it will ambush you. But this is not just another marketing gimmick that will pass with time, no. This is very real, very effective marketing and you can make it for your business too.

Without firsthand knowledge of what this type of marketing is, one may quickly associate it with brands that simply are more aggressive with their campaigns. And although there is a level of aggression to ambush marketing, it is actually cleverly disguised as co-opting on another brand’s campaign.

To help you understand, Real Business proposes following this scenario. For example, Brand A may have a billboard campaign featuring a new product launch, highlighting why they have a superior product in the market.  And Brand B may publicly respond to this saying that they do not need a new product to compete with Brand A – as they’ve always been superior. Brand A, can then cleverly respond and say something to the effect of if that were true, they wouldn’t have had to produce a product. And so it goes on,  this is a predatory tactic and can be referred to as ambush marketing.

There are numerous examples throughout the marketing history of this format. Rivalries between brands make for excellent marketing opportunities. Brands can capitalize on this common knowledge to draw attention to their brand in a unique manner and still imply that they have a competitive edge. From car manufacturers to smartphone brands, it’s proven marketing that does the work it needs too. And if major corporate brands around the world use it to their advantage, so could you and your business.

Here’s why our team at Real Business believe ambush marketing can work for you.

Ambush Marketing Is Ingenious

This type of marketing is seen as a dialogue between two brands that are open to the public. It allows brands to use their brand voice in a clever, unique and unique manner. This means that brands are given full control of creative, using the dialogue to guide them and providing content that their consumers have never experienced before. This level of creativity is ingenious and can be quite memorable to both target markets.

Ambush Marketing Supports New Directives

Ambush marketing is a good tool to utilize when brands are ready to depart from their usual style and content, to feature new imagery and tones. Brands develop over time, and some characteristics may become redundant. With ambush marketing, new traits can be introduced to the consumer in a smart way.

Ambush Marketing Is a Free Bird

Well, somewhat of a free bird. Because of the creative freedom allowed with ambush marketing, Brands can sometimes venture into different tones and styles aside from the usual voice used. however, it’s important that consumers are not confused with this change in wording or personality and easily link it back to the brand itself.

But much like any marketing format, there will be limitations, and these include the below.

Ambush Marketing Is Difficult to Evaluate

A significant limitation is that it can be difficult to quantify the return on investment with ambush marketing. This is because even though this type of marketing achieves memorability and likeability, it may be unlikely to validate actual lead conversion. While consumers will enjoy and appreciate such campaigns, it may not translate to an instantaneous brand change or huge sales.

Ambush Marketing Might Be Out of Your Budget

Even with the most thorough planning, ambush marketing can quickly spiral in terms of cost. Your budget may allow for some leeway, but there really is no way to determine if your competitor brand has a bigger budget. This could affect the overall impact you hoped to make with your campaign, because your content and effort may appear much cheaper in comparison.

Ambush Marketing Can Be Confusing

No brand focuses on just one marketing campaign at a time and consumers realise this. While your billboard ambush marketing may be going well, it can be confusing to your other formats of marketing. Multi-media formatted marketing may remain true to your brand’s style and voice, any deviations on social media may seem more than peculiar – it will be disconcerting to the target market. Consumers who notice the lack of cohesion are more likely to move over to other brands, such as to a competitor brand, thus doing the exact opposite of what you wanted to achieve.

Ambush Marketing Is More Expensive Than You Realise

Setting aside a favourable budget to support your ambush marketing spend, will allow for a good campaign. But there are other constraints you may not have accounted for, such a time and physical locations for example. Brands need to respond in real-time, and they do, if you miss your competitors’ response or reply too late, your campaign will no longer be effective. If you plan to have physical space to use for your marketing content, it’s important to remember that your competitor may not have the same. These two factors can lead to costly bills to remedy, rendering your ambush marketing more experimental than effective.

Despite the numerous advantages and disadvantages, ambush marketing doesn’t necessarily work for almost every brand. Poor planning is usually the downfall of out-of-touch marketing campaigns and there is always a chance that the brand you are engaging with, may see this as an overly aggressive tactic – and miss the point. The decision to utilize ambush marketing in your next campaign needs to be well thought out, carefully prepared and most importantly be directed by an objective. Ambush marketing needs to be creative, likeable and impactful. With these fundamental keys driving your campaign, you can achieve your marketing and business goals, successfully. Browse Real Business for more informative articles.