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Kulula is outwitting FIFA at every turn

This extremely amusing bit of how's-your-father between FIFA and Kulula is demonstrating all sorts of wonderful marketing things. The first being that FIFA is playing right into Kulula's hands by so anally applying its draconian rules and, secondly, that there are definitely two sides to the ambush marketing issue.
The second Kulula ad. Pic via
click to enlarge
The original Kulula ad that was withdrawn after FIFA complained. Pic via
click to enlarge
The right side and the wrong side in which FIFA is taking no sides, no prisoners and no notice of what is really happening.

Hey, look at that!

But, that's not all. There's something else, too. For the first time in years, the South African public is seeing what happens when the law is actually enforced.

Let's face it, we have lived so long with the law not really being applied in this country and then when it is, the wealthier and more influential you are, the greater the chance you have of getting away Scot-free.

FIFA is giving Mr Zuma and his cabinet an object lesson in how to apply the law.

Having said that, however, there are two sides to the ambush marketing issue. The first is the right side in which big sponsors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup such as Sony, Visa and the like are being protected from competitors trying to climb on their bandwagon free of charge. I don't think anyone with any sort of functional brain has any problem with that. After all, why should Sony cough up a billion rand or more in sponsorship if someone such as Panasonic can just waltz in and fill the stadium with their banners and clutter broadcasts of the game with their ads?

In your face innuendo

But, the other side of ambush marketing is what Kulula and its ad agency King James are doing. In my opinion, FIFA was crazy to have come down so harshly on Kulula's first ad which, admittedly, was filled with soccer innuendo, and would be even crazier to have a go at the second Kulula ad that appeared this weekend because the innuendo was very much in the eye of the beholder.

Whether or not Kulula is breaking the law depends entirely on what magistrates, judges and lawyers think, not mere mortals like you and me.

What General Blatter and his Swiss Guards just don't seem to get is that the more they huff and puff and blow the Kulula ads out of the sky, the more Kulula will like every minute of it.

Right now, Kulula has won the first prize of advertising. It has gotten everyone's attention. It is also, I'm told, selling airline seats as a result.

And, I would guess that every time Herr General Blatter wields his big stick, Kulula will, as it did in the first place, utter innocent astonishment that their ads should be perceived to have something to do with the Wo*ld C*p or 20*0 or foo*ba*l or even Sou*h Af*i*a and very graciously agree to withdraw it.

And a few days later come up with another and maybe even one more.

But as it is, Kulula advertising has done its job, gotten the results, achieved the return on investment.

More to come

I am pretty sure that Kulula is not going to be the only thorn in FIFA's side. We can expect more. Just as what happened in Korea, during the world cup there, where a cellphone company - that had been sidelined because it didn't happen to be the cellphone company that was an official sponsor - launched a "fan club" that had millions joining in and wearing perfectly legal T-shirts that didn't carry any logos but everyone knew exactly which company they were promoting.

FIFA really needs to sit down and determine what ambush marketing should be taken seriously and what shouldn't.

The Kulula campaign shouldn't have been taken seriously at all. All FIFA did was make the Kulula campaign even more of a success. So much so that if the campaign won an award based on results, it would only be fair that both client and agency stand back at the awards ceremony and let the Herr General go up on stage to pick up the trophy.

Actually, on second thoughts, I hope FIFA continues to apply the law to the letter because it is generating a tremendous amount of fun and games. What with electricity price increases, food price increases, Malema trying to turn us into a vrot banana republic and the president's family using up more taxpayers money than a flotilla of frigates, we are pretty darn short of something to laugh about.

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About Chris Moerdyk

Apart from being a corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator, Chris Moerdyk is a former chairman of Bizcommunity. He was head of strategic planning and public affairs for BMW South Africa and spent 16 years in the creative and client service departments of ad agencies, ending up as resident director of Lindsay Smithers-FCB in KwaZulu-Natal. Email Chris on moc.liamg@ckydreom and follow him on Twitter at @chrismoerdyk.
Warren Bell vs FIFA-
I thought Kulula would get away with it 1 Time, but they're extremely clever, they must have a BA degree.
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 14:31
Winston My Man!!-
AS Winston Churchill might have said on such an occasion: “Even though large tracts of South Africa and many old and famous countries have fallen or may fall into the grip of FIFA and all the odious apparatus of FIFA rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in South Africa, we shall fight on the seas (near Clifton) and during the 2oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air with our friends from Kulula, we shall defend our land, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on Clifton and Camps Bay beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds at the airports, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets round the Stadiums and Fan Parks, we shall fight in the bars and clubs; we shall never surrender, and even if, (which I do not for a moment believe), this land or a large part of it were subjugated and starved by FIFA of great Brands and their public communication, then our Allies beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the “Who Gives a F**k! Creative Brigades”, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to rescue us from General Blatter and that dark power which is FIFA!”
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 15:22
Kululeka (be free) FIFA-
heya, I saw the print after having read that FIFA was tryna be smart on the previous print ad. Well done to the agency, who has the Kulula Account. Its about time the big corporates stop limiting creativity.
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 15:28
Big upz to kulula!!!-
Totally-totally, smart, kick-ass advertising. It's about time somebody stood up to "you-know-who" Great work guys:-)
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 15:53
love Kulua - their seats may be hard but they play hard ball..hahahah to the big bullies
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 15:57
Is there really an expression, "how's-your-father?" Perhaps you meant to use "who's your daddy?"
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 16:34
Its an old English saying. Look it up.
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 16:42
James Blond
How's your muttha?-
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 17:10
Simone Puterman
King James-
It's King James Simone Managing Editor
Posted on 23 Mar 2010 18:19



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