Home > marketing ramblings > FIFA get fruity over orange

FIFA get fruity over orange

If you’re unaware of the little orange dress saga at the World Cup, it concerns two women paid by a non-sponsor (Bavaria beer) to recruit pretty blonde South African girls, kit them out in orange mini-dresses and take them along to the Holland vs Denmark game.

Anyway, FIFA had the two women arrested for breaking the exclusivity agreement with Budweiser as the official beer of the World Cup.  FIFA allege the orange mini-dresses were part of an ambush marketing stunt by Bavaria.  FIFA are understandably touchy as sponsor revenues are huge for them and their bank balances and they’re especially wary about Bavaria who performed a similar stunt in Germany 2006.

FIFA allege that the women devised a strategy to decoy security services by dressing the girls as Danish supporters before they stripped off to reveal their orange dresses – yep, the girls were dressed in orange to disguise the fact they were wearing orange dresses!  Now for many outside Holland this seems a very heavy-handed approach by FIFA as the logos on the dresses are virtually invisible and were certainly not visible on TV in this clip.  However, as this clip shows the “Dutchy Dress” is heavily marketed by Bavaria.

Bavaria were clearly hoping that this discrete branding stunt would secure them coverage of the girls and their mini-skirts and sell tons of beer and dresses back home.  The YouTube footage above is clearly edited as a flash-mob style stunt and it looks like they achieved greater publicity than they could have dreamed of thanks to the press.  I say good luck to them – owning a “national dress” was an inspired move.  Imagine Speedo launching Pam’s Baywatch swimsuit and then paying girls to wear it to events… it’s just a shame that corporate greed politics looks set to make two girls’ lives miserable for a while.

The girls were due to be back in Hillbrow court yesterday, but I’ve trawled all the official news outlets and can’t find anything… maybe team revolts are flavour of the day. UPDATE:  Hurrah!  Barbara Castelein and Mirthe Nieuwpoort had the charges against them dropped.  I guess the FIFA lawyers realised they’d be fighting an uphill battle arguing that a plain orange dress of a particular cut should be recognised as branding.

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Categories: marketing ramblings
  1. Anonymous
    June 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Brands pay a fortune to be associated with the World Cup, Olympics etc., but the ‘policing’ of these brand rights borders on the fascist. At one of the Olympic Games, spectators had Coke bottles confiscated as Pepsi were sponsoring the event (or something like that). In 2012, I like to think we Brits will come up with some particularly ingenious guerrilla stuff.

    • boingster
      June 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

      Indeed, only one brand of bottled water will be able to be drunk at the Olympic venues in 2012 – all others will be confiscated unless in plain bottles… imagine depriving someone of something as fundamental to survival as water because of branding.
      I reckon a rival water company should sell an un-branded bottle as a PR stunt during the Olympics.

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