Creative ‘ambush’ marketing @Olympic Games – Nike

The Olympic Games are over and the market researchers are analyzing the end-conclusions in terms of economic value.  One of those facts and figures is of course the impact from the enormous sponsor packages – Visa, Mc Donalds and Adidas paid $155 million for its official London 2012 sponsorship. But it looks like Nike, who couldn’t sponsor the games, is the big winner. Nike was very clever and creative to use all kind of  ‘ambush’ marketing to get into the pictures. They had the great ‘find your Greatness spots’ where they featured normal athletes from several locations called London (but without showing the real London or referring to the Olympic games). Next to these briliant, subtile spots, a lot of athletes were wearing the neon-yellow shoes from Nike – apparently 41 athletes with medals walked around with the ‘Volt’ shoe. You can find a longer article on the site of NBC news.

I think that Nike showed a great example of creative thinking (and advertising). They were forced to think outside the box because the ‘offical sponsor box’ was already full. So they had to come up with ideas that were hiding just outside the borders of the box (and apparently theu found a right balance because there message came across without having legal claims against them). As a creative facilitator, we use this method of defining boundaries to come up with new ideas all the time. We challenge the participants in a brainstorm session to think of new ideas if their budget is gone; if the client is a totally new target group; to find solutions if we restrict the ‘completion time’ for a process is reduced by 50%. And you notice that the ideas get more and more creative.