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What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is a unique and low-cost promotional strategy to advertise a brand.

Guerrilla marketing methods are often unconventional. They stretch beyond traditional media forms, such as video ads or flyers.

If you’re someone new to learning about marketing strategies, getting familiar with guerrilla marketing can be eye-opening. It might also be a valuable opportunity for your business.

In this article, we’re going to learn what guerrilla marketing is, and share some of the best examples out there.

Why should you consider using guerrilla marketing?

Guerrilla marketing proves that an effective strategy doesn’t need a huge budget to make a lasting impact.

It focuses on using unconventional and low-cost marketing tools to achieve results and attract large audiences. Hence why the term guerrilla is used, as it is performed in an almost improvised way.

No matter your product or service, there are examples of how simple ideas can have a massive effect on an overall business.

For instance, one of Coca-Cola’s marketing stunts launched in 2011, was the “Share a Coke” campaign.

Instead of a Coca-Cola logo, bottle labels included the line “Share a Coke with…” alongside different names or nicknames.

guerrilla marketing about sharing a coke

It became a very successful marketing ploy, significantly increasing Coca-Cola bottle sales.

Other variations of this marketing campaign were launched later on. It proved to be one of the best examples of guerrilla marketing strategies, conceived by one of the largest brands in the world.

Guerrilla marketing is a great way to advertise your business or product since it’s inexpensive and can be very effective. Small businesses can particularly benefit from this method of marketing.

Guerrilla campaigns are strengthened by social media platforms. Related content can be shared by millions of viewers from across the world.

There are few different subgroups guerrilla marketing can be categorized into:

  • Outdoor guerrilla marketing. If you’re living in a city, sidewalks and bus stops are usually the most crowded locations with a lot of passing traffic.

Placing a unique advertisement in an ordinary location like this is one of guerrilla marketing’s key strategies.

  • Indoor guerrilla marketing. It includes malls, stores or other indoor locations where there are large groups of people or public gatherings.

Same as with outdoor marketing, this is aimed to attract as many people as possible.

  • Digital guerrilla marketing. Social media platforms or dedicated websites fall into this category.

Examples include advertising your business through a staged conversation on Instagram’s comment section, just like Burger King did.

  • Event-related guerrilla marketing. Taking place in an event, such as conferences or expositions.

This is usually in the form of a flash mob, or without announcing the attendees what’s about to happen.

  • Interactive guerrilla marketing. A form of advertisement one can interact with directly. One example would be creating a questionnaire or an interactive video.

Benefits of guerrilla marketing

There are many reasons why you should try guerrilla marketing. Here are a few key benefits:

  • Low cost. Primarily, guerrilla marketing ideas favor cost-effective methods and aim to make a lasting impact, rather than spending the budget on expensive resources.
  • It reaches a bigger audience. Traditional marketing tactics aim for attracting a specific audience, whereas guerrilla marketing attention is focused on larger groups.
  • Unique. Unconventional and innovative advertising ideas, meant to attract new customers both with its message and the methods used to communicate it.
  • Interactive. Allow user interaction, making people part of the ad itself. This element adds a close relationship to the brand and the product advertised.
  • Increases brand awareness. Awareness of the ad draws more attention to the makers behind the stunt.
  • Memorable. Viral ideas that stay in people’s minds for years to come.

Great examples of guerrilla marketing strategies

Through the years there have been many great examples of effective guerrilla marketing campaigns. Here are some of the best out there:

1. UNICEF dirty water campaign

unicef marketing campaign about clean drinking water

UNICEF created a guerrilla marketing campaign in 2010 to bring awareness of clean drinking water shortages in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Special vending machines were placed around the streets of New York where people could insert one-dollar bills and receive a bottle of water.

Unfortunately, all of the bottled “flavors” were colored to look identical to disease-infested water.

People were noticeably shocked, but also interested. UNICEF didn’t expect such a campaign to be so successful. It received a ton of social media coverage. All of the money collected was donated to provide clean water to the affected countries.

UNICEF proved that effective advertising is possible even when it doesn’t have to sell any product or service.

2. Frontline spray advertisement

One of the more unique marketing tactics was conceived for Frontline spray. The product is a spray against fleas and ticks for pets.

A giant ad of a dog scratching himself was placed on the floor in one of Indonesia’s multi-level malls.

While it didn’t look as much from the first floor, mall visitors watching from higher levels were amused. From above, it appeared as if the dog had fleas, which were in fact, other shoppers.

It quickly received attention from all around the globe and was labeled as a brilliant guerrilla advertising stunt.

3. Kit Kat bench

Nestle had the great idea of using park benches for advertising the Kit Kat chocolate candy. Painting one-half brown, they drew the recognizable wrapping paper on the other side.

Nestle used the slogan “Have a Break. Have a Kit Kat.” slogan for quite some time to promote the product. Placing this ad on a sitting bench seemed like a perfect embodiment of this slogan.

It’s one of the better examples of how a simple idea can be implemented somewhere publicly. It requires a minimal budget, especially if you know your own product well.

4. King Kong 360 3-D

guerrilla marketing with king kong foot prints in the sand

Universal Studios Hollywood is an amusement park based in California. For a long time, King Kong Encounter had been one of their main attractions.

Unfortunately, due to a fire accident, the majority of the infrastructure was damaged. It had to be replaced by King Kong 360 3-D, based on Peter Jackson’s 2005 adaptation of the franchise.

To promote the new attraction, Universal Studios came up with a brilliant idea – giant footsteps were dug up on Santa Monica’s beach with a crushed lifeguard automobile nearby.

It quickly brought media attention and became an excellent example of viral marketing feat.

Guerrilla marketing recap

No matter what type of product or service your business offers, creating an effective marketing strategy for it is essential.

A lot of companies spend thousands of dollars thinking up strategies. The term guerrilla marketing is used for those, who come up with brilliant ideas without overspending.

There are lots of great examples of how creating a guerrilla marketing campaign can greatly benefit your business.

Bring attention to your products or services through the use of attention-grabbing viral marketing ideas. All it needs is a little bit of your imagination.

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