The ambush PR marketing tactics of the brewer, Barvaria at this year’s World Cup have created plenty of media coverage.
In 2006 the company engaged Dutch fans in a similar stunt – which involved them sporting Bavaria branded lederhosen (really!).
The 2010 stunt has led to arrest of its organisers and the sacking of an ITV television presenter over the supply of tickets to the 36 ladies in orange mini-dresses (sans logos) at the centre of the storm. But undoubtedly it has been a master-stroke of marketing PR – provided you accept that the ends justify the means.
In total contrast, I found the following photo in the Commons Nationaal Archief collection at Flikr. It shows a group of Dutch World Cup supporters at the tournament in Milan, 1934.
As far as I can tell, there’s not a piece of marketing merchandise in the image. Back then, people enjoyed life largely free of mass branding.
Today’s World Cup as with many other social activities has become the domain of marketing might. The rights of the organisers – to protect their sponsorship income – are heavily enforced. One can’t but wonder what the joyous ladies in their summer frocks and hats would make of this modern marketing world.