Ambush Marketing - What it Means and Why is it Used?

By Tanuja A Akkannavar Monday, 13 January 2020


Ambush, it means conducting a surprise attack on someone. In the same way, ‘Ambush Marketing’ is a kind of marketing strategy, in which a company will surprise its competitors with an advertising attack. This strategy is used to confuse the consumers and make them think twice comparing the products displayed through ambush marketing strategy. The term Ambush Marketing was first used by Jerry Welsh in the 1980s. Earlier Ambush Marketing was used in advertising any product or company through contributing an event, not in terms of finance or by buying any rights as the organization do not willing to get exposure as official partners but, revealing indirectly using the method of Ambush Marketing. Today, Ambush Marketing is leading as one of the most used marketing strategies by the companies, and the reason for this is highly competitive market margins and reaching to the masses within a shorter period of time.

Types of Ambush Marketing –

1. Direct Advertising –

Here a company will directly sponsor a grand event that will help to reach a huge audience and try to create a connection of that particular product and event in the minds of the crowd witnessing that event. For example, a brand sponsoring cricket matches that are played on a higher level. When the audiences watch a brand on the jerseys worn by the players it remains on their mind for a very long time. Like Sahara India, a brand that was associated with Indian Cricket for an extended period which has left a connection on the minds of Indian cricket lovers.

2. Indirect Advertising –

A company indirectly uses the techniques or scenarios that are similar and reminds the consumers of a specific brand or company and make them think twice about their decision in choosing the other brand or product. This normally happens between telecom companies, a recent ambush advertisement observed was between Airtel and Jio companies. When the Jio Company made some major changes with the pricing of their existing plans, the company Airtel used this as a strategy to promote its brand and started a campaign with the tagline – Truly Unlimited!

Advantages of Ambush Marketing –

  1. It is an easier way of advertising any company or product to a huge audience.
  2. It is a much cheaper form of advertising a product and reaching the masses in a shorter period of time.
  3. It increases competitiveness between two companies as they are being advertised to the public at once and this creates a sort of confusion in the consumers.
  4. The companies can use different ways of creativity in advertising their products and sometimes can go off-beat or a decent informal way in reaching the audiences.
  5. Also, sometimes it may change the perception of a consumer regarding any product or company.

Ambush Marketing is a strategy can be easily applied by any company. It is a method that can be effectively used by all types of organizations such as a well-established company or a start-up. It is one of the most less expensive and effective ways of advertising.


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