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Ambush Marketing

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With the Vancouver Winter Olympics fast approaching, the city is now fully adorned with ads from Olympic sponsors. All of the city’s outdoor advertising, including bill boards and buses, has been purchased by VANOC. In a classic example of ambush marketing, Pepsi capitalized on it’s sponsorship of the World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatchewan, running a national contest to develop a new cheer for the Canadian junior team. The winning cheer, “Eh, O’Canada-Go!”, is still being heavily promoted – particularly at point-of-purchase. Of course, Coca-Cola is an official Olympic sponsor.

In another example, ScotiaBank recently launched it’s “Show Your Colors” campaign, depicting cheerful Canadians adorned in red. Based on the picture on the right, would you perhaps associate them with Olympic sponsorship?  Are VANOC or RBC particularly pleased with ScotiaBank’s campaign? Nope.  A smart marketing ploy by ScotiaBank? I would have to say yes.