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Kommando at the Front Line!

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“Originally described a brand's attempt to associate itself with a team or event without buying the rights to do so, in order to detract from a rival that paid to be an official sponsor.” In one of the best-known examples, American Express Co. rolled out television ads in 1992 with scenes of Barcelona, Spain, the host city of the Summer Olympics that year, and a message that said "You don't need a visa" to visit Spain. Visa Inc., an official sponsor of the Olympic Games, complained loudly.

With over fifteen years guerrilla marketing experience, Mark Evans, Managing Director of Kommando is at the frontline delivering successful Guerrilla and killer ambush marketing campaigns for global brands worldwide.

With a specialist military background there is not much that Mark Evans and his company Kommando don’t know about covert marketing operations and stunts.The first agency of its kind to ambush National press catching consumer attention with the most underground marketing campaign the UK had seen, Kommando was bouncing the first ever laser projections onto cloudbursts in 95.

Since then, Kommando have hijacked the Brit Awards for the Kooks and the famous David Blunt stunt at London Bridge for Cussons in 2003, not to mention the famous conversion of Kensington High Street into the contents of a ladies makeup bag for Superdrug. Kommando have a wealth of sporting related Guerrilla activity under their belt including news generation and infiltration at the likes of Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and recently they promoted the Commonwealth Games bid for Glasgow 2014. Pre bid activity included Stealth marketing teams in and around Glasgow , increasing national anticipation and support. Kommando’s own unique hand held AV projectors were used to project live video content onto city buildings and street canvases with Bluetooth messages streamed to the gathering crowds.

Geared up and ready to take centre court in the world’s biggest brand Marketing Platform. Kommando offer the following five codes of Guerrilla conduct for successful ambush of the nation’s most anticipated sporting event, the London 2012 Olympics. They are not suggesting that anyone breaks the law but by all means seek the best advice from the experts if you want a piece of the action!

1. Be prepared, plan plan and plan…understand your target. What makes the SAS the best in the world is not just knowledge and physical stamina nor equipment, it’s the ability to plan for absolutely every eventuality and to expect the unexpected. Experience is what separates the men from the boys.

2. Check the laws and bylaws, they change every day and the risks have increased. Pointing a giant projector out the side of van in London is highly likely to get you the wrong attention under the climate of threat.

3. Create and activate under one line of control. Anyone that tells you they use multiple agencies to activate, walk away! Experience teaches you that shorter lines of communication eliminate misunderstandings. Evidence of this on an epic scale is the Boston “Aqua Teen hunger force” fiasco that cost Turner media 10,000 million dollars in costs.

4. Use the best technology to measure the impact and excite the target, make it targeted there is nothing worse than invading personal space.

5. Be covered, be aware, be insured and carry out due diligence. Undertake risk surveys to protect the brand and ultimately the client. Most importantly be safe!

Mark Evans, says: “The landscape and rules change every day when it comes down to Guerrilla techniques. No matter what fluffy name you choose to label your offensive “ambush” “covert” or whatever, you are into potentially dangerous space. Reputations and messages are lost and brands can be damaged both financially and in name. I remember carrying out the famous Woody in Wimbledon campaign for E-map many years ago and generated huge PR and TV noise creating great media hype. Back then it was about milking TV coverage and even more so now, especially when viewing figures are so focused on one channel and the audience is guaranteed for events such as the Olympics. There are clear legal rules and there will be a focused effort to lock down descent. I’ve never turned down a mission or failed yet.

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