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Jun. 17 2010 - 6:04 pm | 719 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Battle for the beer drinker – All dressed in orange

Sylvie van der Vaart in Bavaria's Dutch Dress

Dutch brewer Bavaria immediately quit its latest campaign, after running into big trouble with the South African authorities. The campaign featured an orange dress that women were supposed to wear to support the Dutch soccer team.

During the first Dutch World Cup match against Denmark, Bavaria arranged for a group of pretty orange girls to cheer for the Dutch team in the Johannesburg soccer stadium. The international soccer federation FIFA – heavily sponsored by Budweiser – wasn’t pleased though. It convinced the local authorities to arrest 36 Dutch Dress-girls, two of whom will be brought to court next Tuesday.

Bavaria got what it wanted, especially after the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially complained about the arrests to the South African government. Of course Bavaria CEO Peer Swinkels has appologized to the girls, but at the same time he will be thrilled by all the attention his brand is getting out of this cheap little Dutch dress. His World Cup merchandise not only turned out to be the best in the field. What’s more important is that with it he has beaten all his other Dutch competitors in the fierce World Cup battle for the beer drinker. Moreover, the campaign has gotten so much attention abroad, (from Indonesia to Kansas City, from Sydney to Milan, even in Germany and everywhere else) that the world is right at Swinkels’s feet.

Football is war, as an old Dutch saying goes. But marketing is one big ambush, we know now. And the Bavaria Babes – in the cheapest campaign ever – have beaten the world.


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    Managing editor Hyperlocal Online Media for Telegraaf Media Netherlands. Building an online network of connected local platforms for news and other information in the Netherlands. Convinced to find a combination of sustainable business models. Former editor-in-chief Sp!ts, 3rd largest national newspaper in the Netherlands and of Dagblad De Limburger, one of the largest regional daily's. Member of the Dutch Press Complaints Commission. Boardmember of Kim, forum for reflection on (the ethics of) journalism. Member of the committee for contact with professionals at the Tilburg based Fontys School of Journalism (FHJ). Between january-june 2009 member of the temporary commission "Innovation and Future of the Press" of the minister of Media. Master in Eastern European History and the author of books on Journalism and Cycling. Living in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Cycling addict. Married, two kids. Find me on twitter: @brewbart

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