Ambush Marketing Definition, Types, and Benefits

Understanding Ambush Marketing, Types, and Benefits for Startup


Marketing is about reaching prospective buyers and attracting them to our products/services. To achieve this goal, a marketing campaign must be captivating and informative. There are a lot of marketing strategies out there, but ambush marketing is one of the effective ways to reach this goal. Ambush marketing helps to drive attention to a brand. 


What is Ambush Marketing?


Ambush marketing is a strategy where a business co-opts (associating themselves) with other businesses’ campaigns to steal exposure from other companies. Usually, a company conducts this strategy during another company’s event. Although a business might not have a sponsorship right, by driving this marketing strategy, it still can acquire awareness from the fame of other companies’ events. 

There are many ways for businesses to do this marketing strategy, such as creating exciting visuals and copywriting to respond to other companies’ events/campaigns. Take a look at this photo as an example:



Types of Ambush Marketing


1. Direct

This marketing strategy is an aggressive way of diverting attention from one business campaign. There are three common types of direct ambush marketing:

  • Predatory Ambushing: As hinted by the word “predatory”, this is a marketing strategy where a business directly bombards other businesses’ events/campaigns to steal the public’s attention. 
  • Coattail Ambushing: Is an effort to associate a business with an event without being an actual sponsor of the event. 
  • Self Ambushing: This is a marketing strategy where a sponsor of an event conduct promotion beyond what is stated in the agreement, for example, by giving merchandise to the audience.

2. Indirect

Indirect ambush marketing is when a business is indirectly associating itself with an event/campaign. Companies can do this strategy by using subtly similar visual attributes (colours, copywriting, objects) or intentionally scheduling a marketing campaign close to an event. 


Benefits for Startup


Ambush marketing can be challenging to execute. In doing it, a business must be careful of violating the rights of other companies. Furthermore, a business should not only rely on this marketing strategy. Although it can be difficult, it brings several benefits. 

1. Witty Advertising

The goal of this strategy is to steal attention and trick the audience into paying attention. To do this, a business must make its advertisement witty and exciting. Since it’s interesting, many people can be entertained by the ads. Interesting advertisements lead to more awareness since people willingly talk about them and share the ad. 

2. Low Commitment

With ambush marketing, companies didn’t have to be the sponsor of an event. Instead, they can associate themselves or follow the trend and divert some attention to their brand. 

3. Less Planning

Ambush marketing is spontaneous and reactive to the current trends. Hence, this marketing strategy requires less planning and more improvisation. Less planning can be beneficial since it takes less time to execute, yet it can result significantly.


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