I'm not going to rant again about the whole ambush marketing/erosion of human rights in favour of commercial gain fiasco of this year's World Cup, but I received an interesting press release yesterday from Hall & Partners, who were always the most intelligent and useful research agency we used back in my advertising days.
Their - ahem - WebWordTM tracker has revealed that during the World Cup, in the blogosphere (not the beer blogosphere, the whole kit and caboodle) Bavaria trounced Budweiser.
WebWord is a "social media listening tool" that tracks online conversations in real time. Following the expulsion and detention of the 32 women wearing unbranded orange dresses at Holland's game on 14th June, H&P tracked "Budweiser AND (FIFA or World Cup)" versus "Bavaria AND (FIFA or World Cup)" to see which combination of terms got the most mentions online for the duration of the tournament.
They found that Bavaria gained 371% more blog buzz than Budwesiser. Interestingly, it also beat every other World Cup sponsor - Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony and Visa.
But who needs expensive research to prove this? Simply Google 'World Cup Beer', and see how many stories come up about Bavaria before you get any mention of the official sponsors.
FIFA has shown itself to have an extraordinarily aggressive attitude to ambush marketing. But these figures show that the more they fight against it, the more powerful they make it. Big, ugly corporations still have much to learn about marketing in social media.