With so much going on today in digital marketing, standing out and surprising your targeted audience can do wonders for increasing brand awareness.
This is where guerrilla marketing tactics can come into play.
Coined back in the early 1980s, guerrilla marketing conjures up images of a large presence barreling its way into people’s lives unexpectedly.
True, it does arrive unexpectedly and grabs your targeted audience’s attention, but these tactics are more of a playful mechanism for promoting your brand instead of an attack on their senses.
Using smart guerrilla marketing tactics is an exciting way to catch your targeted audience right where they are, inserting your brand into their lives in unexpected and surprising ways and making an impression.
All you need is creativity, ingenuity, and the willingness to try something different while still staying true to your brand identity.
Keep reading to learn more from the best guerrilla marketing examples!
First of All, What is Guerrilla Marketing?
Guerrilla Marketing involves innovative tactics a brand can use to interact and surprise targeted audiences with the ultimate goal of promoting brand awareness.
How it differs from traditional marketing strategies is that it depends on interaction and focuses on a small local audience that it hopes will spread the word locally and beyond.
The key is the element of surprise. In other words, unconventional guerrilla marketing tactics are designed to catch audiences in unexpected ways during their regular daily routines.
The term itself came into existence in a book written by Jay Conrad Levinson, an advertising agency exec and business writer who would go on to write several more books around the same premise.
While guerrilla marketing may appear to be a throwback to a near-distant past, it is still being used but in an evolving way, even complementing various content marketing strategies today.
Requiring more time and thought than expense, guerrilla marketing tactics can make a huge impact if done correctly.
Crucial factors for a successful guerrilla marketing campaign include:
- Location — campaigns need to be highly targeted to a specific location.
- Target Audience — requires you to know your buyer persona and target audience well.
- An element of surprise or mystery.
- Alignment with brand identity.
- Interaction with the audience.
In addition, your campaign needs to speak to the emotions of your audience and can play an important role in your empathetic marketing efforts.
You can also find ways to promote your guerrilla marketing efforts online or let the audience do it for you.
Types of Guerrilla Marketing
Along with an understanding of the overall concept of Guerrilla Marketing, it also helps to break it down into the different types as well. These include the following.
Ambient Guerrilla Marketing
The defining feature of ambient guerrilla marketing is to interrupt the flow of the normal, and more specifically within a targeted audience’s public surroundings, such as crosswalks, with a promotion of some kind.
This type of marketing includes both indoor and outdoor tactics.
- Indoor Tactics: add something within interior locales such as college buildings or train stations.
- Outdoor Tactics: add to already established outdoor environments, such as temporary artwork on a sidewalk.
Ambush Guerrilla Marketing
Ambush marketing involves leveraging an already planned event and its participating audience with a promotional action or messaging. These may include a sporting event, concert, or festival.
Experiential Guerrilla Marketing
Experiential or interactive guerrilla marketing elicits required participation of an audience with a brand. These include pop-up experiences, immersing your audience, and leading them to talk about your brand.
Should You Invest in Guerrilla Marketing?
You may be wondering whether your brand should invest in guerrilla marketing. If so, consider the following reasons for why you should.
A guerrilla marketing campaign:
- Captures your targeted audience’s attention in a new and unique way.
- Identifies you as innovative and creative.
- Makes you stand out in today’s crowded marketplace.
- Creates a long-standing impression, not only on those who see it first-hand but on those they share it with, such as on social media.
- Makes your brand more recognizable, leading to a higher chance of being chosen for the products or services you offer by existing customers as well as first-time buyers.
- Inspires word-of-mouth marketing.
- May lead to publicity.
A guerrilla marketing campaign can create a buzz and even go viral with the help of social media sharing, developing conversations around your product or service, and your unique approach.
7 Guerrilla Marketing Examples
Perhaps the best way to gain an understanding of this strategy is to look at successful guerrilla marketing examples, such as the seven below.
1. Fiji Water’s Fiji Girls
Fiji Water took its marketing efforts all the way to the 2019 Golden Globes in an unexpected way, showcasing an ambush guerrilla marketing success.
Models dressed in Fiji Water’s signature blue, representing the brand, strategically located themselves along the red carpet. In their hands, they held trays of the branded water for any attendee who might be thirsty.
While this may have been enough to get noticed, one model, in particular, Kelleth Cuthbert, got creative, finding ways to include herself in the background of celebrity photos.
These photos swarmed across social media, and soon it became apparent that Cuthbert was grabbing the attention of viewers. Soon she became #FigiGirl, providing the brand with higher brand exposure and free publicity.
The features that made this marketing tactic successful were subtle yet surprising and unexpected. The brand itself was not the center of attention at the event, yet stood out anyway.
2. KitKat’s Benches
KitKat, the candy bar brand, resorted to an ambient outdoor guerrilla marketing tactic to gain attention.
The brand turned ordinary public benches into ones shaped like their candy bars.
This action is an ideal example of how to use guerrilla marketing in public spaces and bring a product in closer proximity to your targeted audiences.
People passing by took a double look at the customized bench, surprised at what they were seeing. In turn, the brand created a memorable impression.
3. Colgate’s Wooden Sticks in Ice-Cream Bars
During certain events, the Colgate brand is known for giving out product samples. However, during a particular Oral Health Month, they decided to go in a slightly different direction.
As a way to promote its oral hygiene products, wooden sticks resembling toothbrushes were created for insertion into ice cream bars.
These sticks also had the words “Don’t Forget” along with the Colgate logo, reminding those that finished the ice cream the importance of not forgetting to brush their teeth.
This tactic was an unexpected and surprising way to remind adults and children alike how important it is to brush regularly.
4. Barbie’s Exclusive Bus Stop
Popular outdoor guerrilla marketing locations are the various bus stops you find in public areas throughout a city.
These stops aren’t just seen by those who ride the buses but by anyone who passes by on foot or in a vehicle.
To attract attention to its brand, Mattel, maker of the famous Barbie doll, decided to decorate a bus stop to grab attention, filling it with the Barbie theme.
Not only did they use the signature pink color, but also included interior seating and messaging on the sides, all representing the Barbie brand.
This tactic not only captured the attention of those in the local area but it was shared online, making an impression on those near and far.
5. Raising The Roof’s Street Posters
Raising The Roof, a Canadian charity focusing on homelessness, sought to create a beneficial marketing campaign without spending a lot of money.
So, they got creative, utilizing a guerrilla marketing tactic with the goal of reminding rushing residents and visitors of the plight of the homeless youth in the city.
To garner the most effect, the team created posters to put up at various spots around the city, spots where it was common for homeless young people to sit and be ignored by those passing by.
The content on the posters was hard-hitting, with the potential for making viewers uncomfortable.
The poster stated, “If this poster were a homeless youth, most people wouldn’t even bother to look down.”
For this campaign, the distinguishing feature making it successful was its chosen locations.
The charity found a way to engage the community, alerting them to the problem right in front of them and bringing awareness to a demographic all but forgotten in the day-to-day operations of the city.
6. Mr. Clean’s Crosswalk
A perfect example of catching people right where they are and including your brand in some unique way is Mr. Clean’s Crosswalk initiative.
Crosswalks, those zebra lines painted in specific areas, can be a fun way to show creativity and make an impression on targeted audiences on a somewhat smaller scale.
For the Mr. Clean campaign, people walk through the crosswalk and notice one stripe as shiny clean while the others remain drab in appearance.
At the end of the cleanest strip is the Mr. Clean logo, identifying the brand without the need for words or catchy slogans or phrases.
This effect relates to the superior cleaning power of the product itself, Mr. Clean, and makes the brand memorable in the minds of all those who see it.
If all goes well, they will even take a photograph and share it with friends and family, and maybe even post it on social media to gain even wider attention.
7. Circles.Life’s Pay $3, Get $50
The guerrilla marketing tactic used in Singapore by Circles.Life, a teleco/data provider, stands out in a different way.
Their chosen tactic involved a vending machine programmed to dispense $50 to anyone who put in $3 first. These vending machines were placed at various locations around the island.
Along with this monetary exchange, the participant received a flyer with a distinct QR code and also the hashtag #3dollarballer.
The overall goal of this marketing campaign was to promote the company’s on-demand, unlimited data plan.
The tactic resulted in widespread social media posting, requiring the local police to monitor the areas around the vending machines and disperse the crowds once the promotion ended.
Wrap Up: Guerrilla Marketing Examples Show You Ways to Succeed
Finding ways to stand out today and make a favorable impression is imperative for brands.
One unique way to accomplish this is through the use of guerrilla marketing techniques, ones that can be adapted to the digital world and be effective in reaching audiences in an unexpected manner.
To get started, however, you’ll first need to fully understand your buyer personas and create clear objectives for your campaigns.
Guerrilla marketing can empower your brand to benefit from external events as well as strategic online marketing efforts. And, surprisingly, incorporating guerrilla marketing tactics into your strategy won’t bust your budget as these are usually low-cost with the potential for high gain.
To identify more ways to make the best use of your marketing budget, check out our free marketing budget control kit.