Looking for new promotion ideas? Try guerrilla marketing, the techniques to make your audience appreciate how creative and bold you are. Guerrilla marketing refers to the practice of implementing an unconventional advertising strategy to promote goods or services. Sure, it can get you in trouble, or it can get you immediate exposure and a curious crowd of potential customers.
Place a giant vending machine on the beach, create a street art piece that makes people think they are falling, or just spread posters and stickers around the city. Guerrilla marketing has an infinite scoop of ideas to offer, although being a relatively new approach.
To showcase how you can surprise strangers with this unusual promotion route, we’ve made a list of 7 unconventional and effective guerrilla marketing ideas.
What is guerrilla marketing?
The term ‘guerrilla marketing’ (do not confuse it with ‘gorilla marketing’ which is just a folklore twist) got popular in 1984 after Jay Conrad Levinson described it in his book “Guerrilla Marketing”. Brands have immediately picked up the guerrilla marketing approach, as it can be low-cost but still effective. One of its main benefits you can get from it is an opportunity to communicate with an audience in a bold, creative, engaging, and extremely cost-effective way. Let’s have a look at the most spread guerrilla marketing types:
- Ambient guerrilla marketing is, perhaps, the easiest type, as you can use any surface to promote your product or service.
- Stealth or buzz marketing is widely used by large brands. It is an indirect promotion tool based on an unobtrusive presentation of a product, service, or brand.
- Ambush guerrilla marketing is one of the most controversial marketing types that implies a chain of associative links that leads to a brand.
- Viral guerrilla marketing defines a kind of interaction with the target audience that relies on the quick widespread based on popular reactions.
- Grassroots marketing fosters spreading the word about your product or service through sampling or social media buzz.
- Astroturfing is the use of software or hired paid users to artificially shape and control public opinion about your product, service, or brand in general.
- Street guerrilla marketing is simply any kind of an unconventional outdoor promotion.
So what is guerrilla marketing exactly? Although all this may sound complicated, guerrilla marketing can be implemented by any brand. Here are several guerrilla marketing examples from famous companies that can easily be reinvented by you.
Chalk art is one of the easiest and most engaging guerrilla marketing approaches to appeal to your audience. Create a beautiful, bold, or provocative message or illustration that would motivate people to share and buzz about your brand. Just look at how witty McDonald’s has decorated zebras.
© Emanuele Mazzoni / Behance
Tech company Nvidia made people pretend they are balancing on the edge of a rock. This guerrilla marketing campaign blows the mind, doesn’t it?
Jeep’s outdoor parking campaign is also an easy way to draw attention and make your marketing campaign go viral.
— This is stunning! (@thisisstunning) June 22, 2015
Posters and stickers
You can always tie this guerrilla marketing idea to a bigger campaign. On May 17 Depositphotos hosted a conference for creatives Creative Loop: Kyiv-Berlin. To make people talk about the upcoming event, we’ve spread hundreds of posters and stickers around the city. All the prints included QR-codes so that those interested in the event could scan it and find out more information about it.
Others were placed on walls, fences, and windows around the city.
So many things have already been done with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel mural, but one of the best guerrilla marketing ideas came up to Dr Kim’s Platic Surgeon.
via My Modern Met
Tired of traditional advertising? You can use billboards to create something that demands attention based on your message or design. As you have already understood, McDonald’s is a leader in guerrilla marketing. You don’t even need words to get what they are saying. So inspiring!
And one more guerrilla marketing example of this type:
Capsico Sauce is burning hot for real.
The most costly but most effective guerrilla marketing idea is placing a vending machine in a popular location. Provide people with some freebies or just with basic things every person needs, and these costs will definitely pay off by boosting sales, raising brand awareness, and your overall image. Sprite has played this game well. One can’t but take a shower under a huge soda machine. This is the most perfect example of offline guerrilla marketing.
Non-profit organizations can also benefit from guerrilla marketing. UNICEF, for instance, has placed a machine with dirty water shift attention to the importance of the issue.
If you’re wondering how to draw the audience’s attention. Here are some fresh guerrilla marketing ideas! Design the shop window or the shop itself in a creative way. For example, Apple has imitated a broken storefront to boost iPod sales.
Une idée marketing efficace pour symboliser la puissance d’un accessoire Hi-Fi ! pic.twitter.com/sB1MyaJFGU
— Creapills ? (@creapills) January 12, 2017
What if we draw a logo on the back of the bench and remove the bench bottoms, thought Nike’s marketing team. And it worked, as there’s no better way to make people share your guerrilla marketing campaign than provocation.
I am going to remove all the seats in my house! Creative communication! #marketing #business #entrepreneur #seo #marketingdigital #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #digitalmarketing #branding #entrepreneurship #art #startup #advertising #contentmarketing #onlinemarketing pic.twitter.com/r2a65piMC0
— VALU Consultants (@VALUconsultants) February 19, 2019
Holiday guerrilla marketing by McDonald’s is also a striking and inspiring idea too.
— Emerald Isle EP (@EmeraldIsleSpec) March 16, 2019
Online guerrilla marketing approach
The definition of guerrilla marketing is not limited to offline promotional campaigns. Dove Real Beauty Sketches was a project dedicated to women. An FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora was also involved there. According to the concept, an artist had to paint 2 portraits for every woman. For the first one, a person described herself. For the second, a stranger described her. A campaign proved that ‘We’re more beautiful than we think’ and became viral on YouTube.
Audi used a buzz around #WantAnR8 hashtag to promote one of their models. It all started with Joanne McCoy, a Twitter user, who punished a tweet with the hashtag #WantAnR8, to declare her love for the brand. Surprisingly, Audi responded to her tweet and provided her with that car for a day. When the story hit the internet, thousands of social media users started publishing with the #WantAnR8 hashtag. Thus, the hashtag became the slogan of the R8 advertising campaign.
— Audi USA (@Audi) April 25, 2020
These guerrilla marketing ideas are exactly what your brand needs if your audience is tired of typical advertising. Free your imagination and make something worth sharing to create buzz around your brand or business.
Have you already tried guerrilla marketing? Share your results in the comments below. We’re looking forward to discovering new and creative guerrilla marketing ideas!
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