Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bavaria Beer Babes Busted!

A group of 36 female Netherlands supporters, all identically clad in orange dresses, were removed from the Netherlands-Denmark match by stewards and were then quizzed for three hours by South African police - with FIFA subsequently claiming that their appearance in the stadium represented 'ambush marketing'.

Ambush marketing sounds like it might involve violence - perhaps turning a corner and having an advertising billboard dropped on your head - but, apparently, it's when a company who aren't the sponsor of an event stage something to get attention for their brand...

You see, the dresses they were wearing were the very same dresses that were given away in a promotion by Bavaria beer in the Netherlands. They're plain orange dresses - no branding, no Bavaria logo - but, since FIFA have an official beer sponsor in the shape of Budweiser, they are fanatical about protecting their sponsorship income.

South African authorities are being a tad vague about the reasons the women were removed from the ground (since, last time I checked, wearing orange and making a lot of noise fails to differentiate you from pretty much any other Dutch football supporter) but FIFA are rather vehement about their decision saying the women were "used by a large Dutch brewery as an instrument for an ambush marketing campaign."

I would also think that the 36 women in question might have grounds for some kind of legal action as - being held and quizzed by police for wearing an orange dress seems slightly over-the-top. What next? A night in the cells for being seen drinking Pepsi rather than the official Coca-Cola? A week doing hard labour for chowing down on a Big King rather than a Big Mac?

Two things sprung to mind when I read this story:

1) Bavaria - if they are indeed behind this - must be cackling to themselves over their breakfast this morning. For the insignificant price of 36 tickets and some cheap orange dresses they staged a stunt that - due to FIFA's heavy handed tactics - has made front page news around the world. Had FIFA done nothing, most people probably wouldn't even have noticed...

2) The Dutch supporters should probably appreciate the humour of this and turn up en masse in orange dresses for the Netherlands-Japan game. I would love to see how FIFA deals with several thousand mini-dressed Dutch supporters with tickets turning up at the stadium! Perhaps someone should start a campaign?

And finally, as I wrote this, I began to wonder - how did FIFA actually manage to spot this group within a crowd of thousands wearing orange? It had to be some kind of tip off. And, based upon how this all turned out, I'm guessing that call came from someone not a million miles away from Bavaria...

1 comment:

  1. Frigging LOVE it!!!!

    bring on more of this stuff!

    no need for reality shows. this is it!!!