Chances are, when you first hear the words guerrilla marketing ,one of two things come to mind:
– A large King Kongish primate who has made himself available to hire for promotional purposes (nope, not gorilla marketing) or…
– A communist military activist armed with automated weapons and camouflage bandannas, but only on the weekends. During the week maybe he too, offers marketing services.
Fortunately however, guerrilla marketing is far more likely than either of those things to bring a great benefit to your life and business. It’s also possibly less dangerous.
What is guerrilla marketing?
The concept of guerrilla marketing is interesting because its definition and context seems to change dramatically from one resource to another. For example, Entrepreneur.com’s definition focuses on the low cost, practical sense of the term and further explains that telephone and email marketing are the most effective forms. In looking deeper into the subject, I discovered that these are examples but they are not comprehensive in the sense of maximizing brand exposure.
You will find in the ideas shown below that maximum exposure is more likely to be obtained with a little creativity and thinking outside of the box. This is not to say that email marketing, digital marketing and good old fashioned phone calls are not effective and necessary, because they definitely are – likely more-so than some of the examples shown below. The most comprehensive definition I have found actually comes from Google:
innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product.
How are the most effective guerrilla marketing ideas created?
In order to create the most effective guerrilla marketing ideas, pay close attention to your immediate resources as well as the various objectives of the products or services you are promoting. There is no ‘set in stone’ method of creating highly effective guerrilla marketing ideas, and that is what makes the concept special.
Whether you are a business owner or a marketing professional, take some time to evaluate each of the concepts presented. From vape shop marketing concepts to bar marketing ideas, the guerrilla marketing ideas mentioned here can definitely be useful as a guide to creating your own. Pay attention to the actual thought process which took place in the creation of the ideas – from the standpoint of the person who created the campaign. You will begin to recognize the overall thought process involved in creating these campaigns has some consistency in each different application. Once you have become familiar with that thought process, it will be easier for you to identify real world opportunities in which these concepts can help you grow your business.
As you will see below, there are many ways of going about maximizing a brand’s exposure. The common theme among most of them however, is that of staying outside of the box (literally, in many cases) to provide a new perspective on something which is found in every day life. The most effective guerrilla marketing techniques are those which blur the lines between advertising and reality for the audience and transform advertising efforts which are typically seen as an annoyance to the public, into humorous, enjoyable experiences .
In making your target market feel as if they have entered an alternate dimension, you are creating an unforgettable experience which will naturally be shared across social media outlets and with the friends and family of those who get to experience the advertising first hand. For marketing professionals, this viral effect is the goal of all marketing efforts and guerrilla marketing can be the answer. I have compiled the examples below as a means of giving you some idea and inspiration in creating your next big guerrilla marketing campaign. Be sure to pay close attention to the thought processes behind these ideas as they may help you formulate concepts for your business.
The flyers below are awesome examples of low cost (relatively speaking), highly effective guerilla marketing. It is nice to get some inspiration from these examples which remind us that standard flyers do not have to annoy people in the process of seeing or finding them. Creating humor and originality are essential aspects of the guerilla’s flyer creation strategy.
Sticker bombs are likely one of the most common, cost effective guerrilla marketing ideas out there but as Golden Ale and Lay’s show us below, sticker bombing does not always have to come across as trashy or annoying. The humor and surprise factor bring a new dimension to sticker bombing which is much more effective than putting a logo on sticky paper and littering the city.
Street & Sidewalk Brilliance
Finding ways to create new meanings and purpose to every day fixtures on the sidewalk or even in the road can be an excellent place to start in creating a guerrilla marketing campaign. Some of these concepts are still even a little easier on the budget than some of the ideas included further below.
As you can see, a guerrilla’s primary objective in creating a highly effective guerrilla marketing tactic should be to blur the lines of reality for the targeted audience. Any time you can alter the audience’s life experience or give them a new perspective as a result of them seeing your campaign, you know you are on the right track and have created something which has potential to be highly effective. The campaigns are not only effective because of the people who will directly see them but also because of how many people will voluntarily share the images on their social media pages, Reddit, etc…
Display and Billboard Advertising
Some of the ideas below overlap with the surrealism category but continue to provide more examples of highly effective guerrilla marketing strategies which surely achieved the goals they were created to achieve. The key again here is changing the audience’s reality or their perspective on an item in order to create something amazing (and in many cases hilarious, like the free air guitars).
‘Mapvertisements’ and Wide Area Ground Displays
This is where the expense and resource availability may start to become a hurdle for many guerrillas looking to create new ideas for their businesses or their client’s. Creating advertisements which can only be seen from airplanes are cool to look at pictures of and possible for the rare occasion you catch a glimpse of one from an airplane or on Google earth, but other than that, I assume there is not a significant amount of visibility compared to the other forms of guerrilla marketing mentioned. Not to say that you shouldn’t pursue this type of advertising, but I can only imagine that they are actually viewed by significantly less people and require a fairly significant marketing budget.
On the other hand, the Frontline display shown below, which makes people seem to be the fleas on the dog, is purely genius.
When in Doubt, Prank Somebody and Make a Commercial Out of It
Not everybody will have the resources to create a retractable floor or a faux news station to broadcast in the airport but these ideas are still valid for entertainment’s sake, if nothing else. In diving into the hilarious world of practical joke guerrilla marketing campaigns, you will notice a non-US trend involved, especially in the more effective campaigns such as the examples shown below. One can assume this is likely because of the tendency for everybody in the US to feel the need to immediately file lawsuits because of the permanent emotional distress which was violently inflicted upon them as a result of the practical jokes involved. Then again, I’m sure the examples shown below are easier to watch than they would be as the target.
North Face Korea – ‘Never Stop Exploring’ Campaign
In this guerilla marketing campaign, a retractable floor was built into the new North Face building and set up to retract into the walls as customers were shopping. The results are hilarious and the budget was obviously not much of an issue for this. Then again, it does help when you just happen to be building a rock climbing facility inside of your newly constructed building.
Nivea Airport Prank – Stress Test Commercial
For the new Nivea Stress Protect Deodorant brand, the company went through some pretty amazing hoops to take over the airport news broadcast and to produce fake newspaper articles in an effort to stress out the victims of the prank.
LG TV 84 – Asteroid Prank
This one is pretty awesome and definitely clarifies the concept of why these companies go through the great lengths that they do in executing these guerilla marketing tactics on non-US soil. “LOL.”
Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration to create guerrilla marketing tactics which can be used to grow your own business, or at least gave you some laughter. If you are looking for marketing ideas for your own business be sure to contact me, request a free digital marketing report and/or learn more about me. The digital marketing report provides me with the opportunity to evaluate your business and situation, allowing me to create and ultimately propose solutions to maximize your business exposure, streamline your workflow and/or simplify your life. Whether you are looking for a web designer, digital marketing solutions specialist or email marketing services, I can help create powerful campaigns to grow your business and online visibility.