Guerrilla marketers and the World Cup - how to identify the legitimate opportunities.
To ambush or not to ambush - that is the question.
However, those ambush marketers who think they might make an outrageous fortune at this summer's World Cup are more likely to suffer slings and arrows and find themselves in a sea of troubles.
With just three weeks to go, Brazil is set to host the world's largest single sporting event at a cost of up to $16 billion, more than the cost of the 2010 and 2006 World Cups put together. TV viewing figures will almost certainly exceed South Africa's 3.2 billion.
So it is hardly surprising that sponsors such as Adidas, Coca Cola, Emirates, Sony and Budweiser are pouring billions of dollars into the commercial rights to the unique global mega audience.
Nor should marketers be surprised that the organisers are taking the most draconian measures to protect the brand and its commercial affiliates and to secure the revenue streams which keep the whole multi-billion dollar caravan rolling from one competition to the next.
Ambush marketers, the organisers argue, are not just out for a bit of colourful, harmless fun - they are putting the whole enterprise at risk by seeking free advertising and devaluing official sponsorship.
This is a reasonable case. The plain fact is that these planet-sized events would simply not happen if it were not for deep-pocketed sponsors laying out unimaginable sums, and it is perfectly reasonable for the event organisers to legislate to protect their interests.
But there is more than one way to skin a cat and the savvy marketer can still gain enormously valuable exposure to the huge crowds who will be attending the World Cup without infringing the designated event zones, which are clearly available on the plans.
Events can still be staged inside buildings within the designated areas, or outside if need be, and within these events branding opportunities are immense.
The use of instantly recognisable brand icons can get under the obvious ambush tactics that are logo driven. Take, for instance the green thumbs up and red thumbs down for TiVo users - by handing them out outside the event zones, the chances are you can slip into the events and capture the audience participation on TV.
PixAngels, the on-the-move, in-the-moment instant memory service, has a camera loaded application that imprints branding into every image taken and allows this branded image to be shared instantly across social media platforms from a cloud based gallery on a brand's site. This can facilitate branded magic under the ambush radar.
Imagine Puma arming insiders with these cameras and driving thousands to their site, capturing data on the way before seeding and amplifying across facebook, twitter and Instagram? That's covert, stealth ambush marketing.
Tens of thousands of consumers will also be travelling to matches on public transport systems which are well outwith event zones and they provide guerrilla-minded marketers or business owners with an opportunity to grab some of the attention, for instance by offering "free" wifi zones with branding on the sign-in page.
But no matter how marketers operate, there is very little wriggle room within the brand protection rules and they should make sure they have certain precautions in place prior to a campaign, as ignorance of the law is no excuse.
In other words, you are presumed guilty until you can prove your innocence. If unauthorised advertising activity is carried out by someone in your business, the perpetrator and everyone in authority within the business, all the way to the boardroom, would have to prove that they had no knowledge and took reasonable steps to avoid ambush activities.
Source: Blog by MD of Kommando: http://wallblog.co.uk/2014/05/27/guerrilla-marketers-and-the-world-cup-how-to-identify-legitimate-opportunities/