A world apart – it’s a marketing world cup

image 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.

imageIn 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.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

4 thoughts on “A world apart – it’s a marketing world cup”

  1. Back then, marketing tactics were not as aggressive as is today. Social media channels including the traditional marketing tactics are utilised for the purpose of marketing.

  2. Thanks for your comments. Appreciating that marketing was not so aggressive historically, one has to question its impact on events such as the World Cup. It seems to me that there is a “marketing arms race” and there is so little left unbranded these days. Surely events like the World Cup are negatively affected when the marketing is seen by some as more important than the sport itself.

  3. good points here about negatively effecting the sport with too much marketing. You see this with all sports now a days. I bet that some athletes make more money on advertisements than to actually play the game

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