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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF... Bavaria

24 June 2006

Just before last Friday's Holland Ivory Coast World Cup soccer bout kicked off, hundreds of Dutch fans were forced by FIFA officials to take off their lederhosen and watch the bout in their sweaty keks. It wasn't a sex thing however. It was a money thing. Specifically, a marketing thing. As you may have noticed if you've watched any of the soccer, Budweiser is one of the main sponsors of the tournament. This means that they've paid FIFA upwards of $40 million to have their wretched brand shoved down the throats of more than a billion thirsty consumers. Naturally, they don't want rival brewers ramming their own wretched brands home on their time, especially if they haven't paid. However, with such a phenomenal audience, you come to expect a little subterfuge. This is why Budweiser's FIFA officials were on the lookout for 'ambush marketing'. This is why, when hundreds of fans turned up wearing orange lederhosen emblazoned with Bavaria Beer logos, they were forced to strip off their garish publicipants.

Overjoyed at the attention his brand is now receiving, Peer Swinkels of the Bavaria brewery says, 'I understand that FIFA has sponsors but you cannot tell people to strip off their lederhosen and force them to watch a game in their underpants. That is going too far.' And if he thought of adding that that was exactly how Nazi Germany started, he did extremely well not to give it utterance. He did however, deny that the lederhosen were a marketing ambush, arguing instead that it was just 'a little nod to German culture'. A little nod that just happens to have netted him more free publicity than he would have ever dared pay for. And whether we like it or not, it works. Oh yes. Next time you're trailing through the foreign beer section of your local Lidl and espy that little six-pack of Bavaria's Hollandia Beer, something in your brain will nose out the appropriate echoes in your mental stew and you'll find yourself filling your trolley with Bavaria's Hollandia Beer, The Real Taste of Holland.

Basically, anything but Budweiser. Budweiser gives you cancer.*

* This is not a fact.

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