Sep 15, 2011 at 01:36 PM
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Fashion Week: Clever Automobiles Aid Ambush Attempts

Sponsors and ambushers have found some common ground at this year's Spring 2012 Fashion Week: their affinity for automobiles that activate. Some, like official sponsor, Mercedes-Benz and non-sponsor, Band-Aid, are in fact using automobiles to activate around pretty much the same theme of fashion emergencies.

“Sponsors are increasingly demanding of the property owners that they provide protections against ambush or guerrilla marketers,” Linda Goldstein, chairwoman of the advertising, marketing and media practice at the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips told the New York Times. “Here, you’re in public streets so it would be more difficult to prevent. You can’t police all the highways.”

While ambushers have no choice, but to exist on the fringe of an event, many official sponsors are also using the streets to extend the reach of their official deals. Look no further than Mercedes-Benz Fashion Patrol. In the make-up category, official sponsor Maybelline is in the fifth year of its official sponsorship. While competitor, L'Oreal Paris, won't have access to many of the rights afforded to Maybelline, it's shown adept at mounting a giant hairspray bottle to a tiny car, which is driving around the city offering samples and hair touch-ups.

The maximum effect an ambush can have to a large extent may depend on what your objectives are as the official category sponsor.

“We thought doing it within the context of Fashion Week was a way for us to support brand partners in general and the fashion community at large,” said David Manela, senior vice president for strategic marketing at Ideeli. “I’m not disturbed. I can understand that if your objectives are different, then it may be more or less annoying."