Dutch Design (57): The Dutch Dress Guerrilla Marketing Babes leave FiFa with Egg on its Face

Part 1 of the story:

Bavaria, a small Dutch beer brand engages the stunning Dutch wife of one of the Dutch football (or soccer if you wish) players, Sylvie van der Vaart, to present its new marketing tool, The Dutch Dress (originally they coined it the Dutchy Dress).

You get The Dutch Dress free whenever you buy a crate of their beer, but you can buy it as well without the beer. Over 200k dresses have been sold by now.

The presentation of the dress gets a bit of attention already.

Sylvie announced she will wear the dress at the WorldCup matches…some journalists already whisper that will cause havoc with the Dutch Football Association, because their main sponsor is another beer brand. Noteworthy a brand that doesn’t hesitate to do some guerrilla marketing of its own.

The video of the presentation of the dress is worth a look already:

Part 2 of the story:

The Dutch beer label provides a couple of Dutch and South African Babes with free tickets for the match Denemarken-Holland.
They enter the stadium disguised as fans of the Danes. During the match they strip down to the Dutch Dress and start singing. Several heads up shots follow.

Officials of the FiFa order them to leave the stadium, because the head sponsor of the WorldCup is another beer brand and this is forbidden. They do not comply immediately. Thereupon the babes are taken into a room of the stadium for interrogation by the South African Police. The South African babes are released after interrogation, but the Dutch babes allegedly organizing this ambush advertising campaign are arrested the next day and taken to the police station for further interrogation. Their passports are taken in and they have to go on trial and could face 6 months of jail, because Ambush Advertizing is against the law in South Africa….changed so by virtue of the contract South Africa signed with FiFA to get the WorldCup to Africa.

The Dutch foreign minister is already taking diplomatic steps and requested the South African ambassador explanation.

An English television reporter seems sacked because of he allegedly had provided the tickets for the ladies from his ticket allocation for members of his family…

Here is the Youtube footage of the act itself:

Questions

Off course this is a variant of guerrilla marketing. I love it! Not only advertises it the beer label, but also the fact that our Dutch ladies are stunning creatures. But should you be labeled as a criminal for this? Apart from a very tiny Bavaria label in the dress there is no clear Bavaria logo. An orange dress is a dress is a dress…nothing else..

South Africa has specifically enacted anti Ambush Advertising laws when they signed up with FiFa for this WorldCup. If this is true we should start to boycott FiFa. For South Africa this could mean that it sinks in the esteem of the international public opinion, just because it has already a history of lack of freedom of speech. It should never have given in to this requirement.

Does FiFa need this to protect it’s rights? My suspicion is FiFa’s actions just get the opposite of what they tried to achieve, because of the outcry their action creates in social media.

What is your take?

Update
On June 22, 2010 the prosecutor dropped all charges in the South African court after a delay of 3 hours. Reportedly so instructed by the South African Government and also reportedly because Bavaria and Fifa had reached an undisclosed agreement.

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4 Responses to Dutch Design (57): The Dutch Dress Guerrilla Marketing Babes leave FiFa with Egg on its Face

  1. I think it’s a beautiful campaign :) I don’t think it should be banned if it’s not disrupting the game – and they definitely shouldn’t be arrested over it.

  2. Instead of relying on a huge marketing budget and the “standard” avenues of marketing, i.e. commercials, newspapers, websites, guerilla marketers use tactics that truly stand out from the competition.

  3. It is brilliant marketing. It has more impact than the FIFA official beer sponsor was hoped for. Beside, what if all the guests wore their own orange dress and show up at the stadium; could FiFa kick everyone out? I think not.

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