World Cup v Sponsors

World Cup lets down multi-million pound partners
Brands have yet to benefit from their sponsorship of the World Cup, according to an exclusive Marketing poll, carried out by Lightspeed Research. The mobile research, conducted during the England vs USA game last Saturday, shows that 88% of respondents did not feel that their opinion of the official sponsors had changed as a result of their link to the World Cup. Only 8% claimed that sponsorship had a positive effect on their view of the brands, while 84% were no more likely to buy a brand in the future as a result of its sponsorship of the tournament.

SHOCK! HORROR! World Cup sponsors NOT most associated with World Cup
It should come as no surprise whatsoever that non-World Cup sponsors have out-scored official World Cup sponsors in on line buzz according to research commissioned by Nielsen.
FIFA cracks down on ambush marketing
Yesterday at the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Denmark, FIFA continued to confiscate several flags bearing brand names from fans as the football governing body attempts to crack down on ambush marketing. According to law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques, ambush marketing is an attempt by a third party to create an association with an event without permission and can deprive official sponsors and suppliers of public recognition, weakening their commercial investment.

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Sponsor Logos: Marlboro v F1, Liverpool turns Chinese

How a Barcode Could Make F-1 Racing Illegal on UK TV
In the UK it is illegal to show tobacco advertisements on certain television programs, like sporting events. Today, a bar code painted on the spine of a Formula-1 race car is causing problems for Marlboro and the Ferrari F1 cars sponsored by the cigarette maker. This story is worth reading if for this quote alone: “The bar code looks like the bottom half of a packet of Marlboro cigarettes. I was stunned when I saw it. This is pushing at the limits. If you look at how the bar code has evolved over the last four years, it looks like creeping branding.” -prominent English physician John Britton.

Carlsberg is bidding to increase its brand awareness in China with a novel one-off marketing ploy which will see its logo on Liverpool football kit written in Chinese. The specially designed kit will appear in Liverpool’s match against Chelsea on 2 May and marks the first time the logo on the kit has changed in 18 years. The lager brand is using the shirt sponsorship to capitalise on the interest of football fans in China. The move also ties in with the brewer’s role as partner of the Danish Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 event in Shanghai.

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Harley Davidson Takes A Right Turn

Dave Nottoli alerted me to the fact that “It appears Harley-Davidson advertising has yanked the brand far to the right. In a full page ad appearing on the back of today’s USA Today sports section, the American motorcycle company has chosen the risky strategy of embracing political speech. The ad, whose copy reads: “It’s A Free Country. But Have You Felt Like That Lately?” continues in red and blue typeface over an image of a biker flying the Stars and Stripes “Has the torch of liberty gotten a little dimmer? Is it starting to feel claustrophobic inside the safety net? Do we still live in the home of the brave?”

harley davidson right wing crazies


Interbrand Report: The World’s Most Valuable Brands (
Harley-Davidson cutting more jobs (

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Axe/ Lynx Archive

I have been an admirer of Axe/ Lynx marketing over the past few years. In my mind they genuinely succeeded in becoming part of the cultural landscape amongst young men (even if the first TV ads reminded me of the Hai Karate ones from the 1970s!) Here’s an Archive of some of the work from around the world.
Here’s the Hai Karate ad …
On a related note … I learn that Lynx agency FP7 has punished their Doha office over the Lynx scam scandal. Several creative staff are parting company with FP7 Doha and the office is handing back all of its Dubai Lynx awards, it was announced today in the wake of the scam ads scandal. Parent group Fortune Promoseven has issued a statement following the conclusion of its internal investigation into the affair. The action has been welcomed by the organisers of last month’s Dubai Lynx, who are overhauling their entry regulations in light of the recent issues.
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Rugby v Mills & Boon

What an excellent idea – and untraditional approach. British Rugby is seeking female fans through Mills & Boon novels. The Rugby Football Union has licensed its brand to romance books publisher Mills & Boon, which is publishing eight books with plots linked to the sport. The first book in the series will be published on February 1 to coincide with the RBS Six Nations tournament, followed by another title every month.
The Prince’s Waitress Wife‘ opens at a Six Nations match at Twickenham with a sex scene in the President’s Suite after heroine Holly is seduced by a prince. The RFU hopes the books, which will bear its logo and include an explanation of the rules of the game with tips on what to wear to matches, will help bring more women fans into rugby.
Clare Somerville, sales and marketing director at Mills & Boon, said the books have familiar ingredients such as “jet set locations, hunky alpha male hero … but in a rugby context”. Somerville added: “The RFU may not seem like a likely partner but it’s an apposite match. About one third of rugby supporters are women and the RFU is obviously keen to widen its female audience.The RFU has been great to work with and hasn’t been so precious about its image, it has let us get on with it. There is quite a bit of naughtiness that goes on, but the RFU has realised that it is all about good wholesome fun.”

Disappointingly this isn’t a brand new idea. Mills & Boon’s parent company Harlequin already has a similar licensing partnership with the American racing car body Nascar.

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