Published on August 6th, 2010 | by drkkr



Mumbai always teaches me life learning lessons, the recent trip of mine Mumbai taught me a lesson or two in marketing. On 23rd of July Mumbai woke up with mysterious news. The hoardings of Mumbai screamed about ‘A Mystery Shampoo!! 80% women say is better than anything else’. It is evident from the message that a new brand is getting into the shelves of the FMCG line up , was just wondering who it was and got to know that  P&G,  was planning to unveil the new Pantene on August 1. But what happened in few days was a marketing rebound or should I call it as a cracker… on July 28, HUL, came up with a campaign which announced, “There is no mystery. Dove is the No.1 shampoo’. HUL has four brands under its shampoo portfolio and dove is one of them.  It is a classic case of Ambush marketing. I have witnessed two other classic cases on Ambush Marketing, JET vs Kingfisher and Coke Vs Pepsi.

Picture Courtesy – Alvin Saldanha

On the skies, after fine tuning the image makeover, Jet airways put up several billboards in mumbai declaring “WE’VE CHANGED”. Instantly, kingfisher put up a billboard on top of it, reading “WE MADE THEM CHANGE”. Jet had to pull out the Rs.90 lakh campaign, but kingfisher tag line still stands and also relevant.   Similarly, cricket world cup, 96: After coco cola grabbed the official sponsorship, Pepsi ran ads: that said: ‘Nothing official about it’.

World over brands use opportunities to take pot shots between them. Marketing history is flooded with stories of their one-upmanship. Check this out for a starter: There was a board reading “coco-cola: Fourth floor,” outside one of its India offices. Just a few inches above was a Pepsi board declaring “Pepsi everywhere.  Big Bazaar, came out with some spoofy acts on its competitors, one of their print advertisement reads, “Shoppers! Stop. Make a smart choice! Saree’s Rs…” another one “Change your lifestyle” and “Keep your west aside”. They were calling their shots against Shoppers stop, Lifestyle and West side. Welcome to the world of guerrilla, ambush and direct hit marketing. Post those tales which you have come across…!

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12 Responses to WOR(L)D DUEL !!

  1. Roshan says:

    the interesting study is to analyse the impact of ambush marketing in the case of FMCG as compared to airline industry, where a single day or even hourly delay by major FMCG giants can oscillate the market share. It can spell disaster in a perfect competition. Very nice article

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