Listening Post
London Olympics: Ambush advertising
We examine the competition between corporations and brands using the Games to make their mark.
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2012 09:27

From July 27, London will host the 30th Olympic Games. The stakes are high and the competition will be fierce, not just among the athletes, but among the corporations who will use the mega-media event to sell to the billion people tuning in.

The price to advertise has been around the $50m mark and companies have ensured that they are getting their full money’s worth.

The official sponsors, however, find themselves competing with numerous advertising rivals - 'ambush marketers' who employ guerrilla tactics to crash the branding party that the Olympics have become.

Listening Post's Flo Phillips looks at the competition of the corporations in this year's Olympic Games.

"Ambushing is a relatively new phenomenon. So if we look at Olympic Games in past decades, the legislation hasn't been sophisticated or as complex as it is now .... If we go back to Athens 2004, Twitter didn't exist and Facebook was just an idea in somebody's mind. The Beijing Olympics in 2008, social media is very heavily controlled anyway in Beijing. So really 2012 London is the first summer social media Olympics. Potentially, Twitter could be used for ambushing. If Twitter can bring down governments in the Arab world then certainly you can organise an ambush through Twitter."

Simon Chadwick, the author of Ambush Marketing


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