Ambush Marketing : Push Notification campaigns to grow conversions

Ambush marketing is certainly no novel concept, or a tactic employed frequently by major players. But, it certainly has its set of detractors who question the need for this, at least ostensibly, a rather covert line of brand advertising.

A line of advertising that seeks to fracture the rules of the trade, without quite breaking them

However, all said and done, you certainly cannot question the sheer effectiveness (in terms of engagement) of an ambush marketing campaign timed well and executed right.

These campaigns are cleverly thought out and perfectly placed to evoke a reaction from the masses and imprint the brand in their memory, while simultaneously landing the first blow in a never-ending game of advertising oneupmanship.

And, although doubts about its respectability, morality and other flavors of virtue may still persist, more reputed brands are waking up to the fact that they may need to resort to it every now and then.

A Classic Ambush

In what was a lesson in classic timing and reactive ingenuity, Oreo took advantage of a blackout during the 2013 SuperBowl to engage in some clever manipulation of the second screen syndrome.

They tweeted this picture, alongside the caption ‘Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark’

Oreo-Dunk-in-the-Dark.jpg                                                 Image source : Twitter

Whoa, now that’s something you aren’t likely to miss.

Sure enough, with over 15,000 re-tweets and still a popular Internet search, Oreo made sure they imprinted themselves in the minds of millions by piggybacking on an event they had nothing to do with in terms of participation or sponsorship.

Classic guerrilla tactics, and much more effective than anything they could have tailored for their own audience.

 A Push notifications campaign

But can something similar be achieved in the push notifications domain? In other words, can user-specific content be manipulated to result in certain outcomes that can be considered ambush marketing tactics?

Such a campaign should combine creative thinking with potential for instantaneous visibility. The news of the best push notification strategies do go viral, but what if the campaigns themselves could? That’s exactly what these guys decided to do.

Meat Pack – Hijack

When Meat Pack, a contemporary Guatemalan shoe store, decided that they needed to revamp their promotional campaigns, the result was a brilliantly staged push notification campaign. Instead of handing out the discounts and talking about it everywhere, they decided to let their customers take matters into their own hands.

The Meat Pack app users would get a push notification about a discount sale happening at Meat Pack, but only when they entered a rival store in the vicinity. The catch? The discount started at 99% and kept reducing for every second it took the users to reach the Meat Pack store, ensuring most of them headed out straight for Meat Pack right away.

After all, why would you stop to assess things when you see the words discount and 99% side by side?

Result ?

Meat Pack were unanimous winners in the whole scenario. Not only did they put on a show for everyone watching the customers rush through the mall to claim the highest discounts, they also made the customer engagement a fun experience, who likely enjoyed great discounts on the products as well. A classic ambush marketing, in short.

By getting the timing and demographic targeting dangerously spot on, they also introduced a sense of gravity to the situation by equating quicker action on the part of the user to better deals. Sinisterly clever.

Find and Save – Cash Dash

If Meat Pack scratched the surface, these guys took their Push Notification campaign to a whole new level. Find and Save styles itself as an app that enables retailers to target each other’s customers. Its latest offering was a feature it called the ‘Cash Dash’ which primarily relies on location metrics to target consumers.

Retailers who sign up to Cash Dash can avail of these services and trigger personalised push messages to consumers the minute they step into a rival store.These push messages typically contain promotional information such as discounts and other offers aimed at enticing the customer then and there to consider shopping at said retailer’s outlet rather than at the competitor’s.

By combining interesting offers with location centric, cleverly timed push notifications, Find and Save make sure their partnering retailers bag the cream of the shopper crop. Brilliant.

So there you have it. Some fantastic doff–your-hat marketing genius here. Were you impressed ? Write to us at with your thoughts on this one

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