National Football League fans consider it an annual rite of passage when the season finale approaches early in the New Year. Like clockwork, the annual Super Bowl arrives to breathless anticipation and more than a few risky bets, bringing smiles to the bookies. And just as regularly, television advertisements, radio spots and print ads proliferate, heralding deep price discounts on big screen televisions from big box appliance stores and mom and pop electronics vendors alike. The sellers are diverse, but their message is a common one: It is almost time for the big game, and the only correct way to watch is in high definition, full color, digital glory. The unspoken but equally well-understood message: have plenty of chips, dip, and beverages for your guests along with a screen spanning the length of the room, or run the risk of your company venturing elsewhere for said big game.
The Advantages of Ambush Marketing
From a business owner’s perspective, the approach is brilliant. While there’s a good chance none of these companies are investing in network television commercials in a climate where 30-second spots carry costs measured in the millions, enterprising proprietors are taking advantage of the big game’s media buzz to drive customers through their doors.
Knowingly or utterly unaware of the tactic, these Michigan business owners are engaging in the time-honored and time-tested art of ambush marketing. Simply put, ambush marketing involves advertisers leveraging opportunities by associating themselves with a particular event, all while successfully leaving their financial resources untapped – a boon for the bottom line.
Following along in a similar vein, businesses might take advantage of the hype surrounding a national or regional holiday, a concert performance, parade or any other event generating wide-spread interest and likely drawing a sizable audience.
In any case, the key to ambush marketing is conserving resources while taking advantage of the advertising opportunities. It’s the ultimate way for any business to score big, without the related cost.