Guerrilla marketing, a marketing strategy that’s different to your traditional methods. Alternative strategies hope to cut through the noise of promotion in the media and therefore grab attention. The essential quality of a guerrilla marketing campaign is to apply creative thinking – maximising unique and surreal means of seeing the world.
This marketing strategy has been most often used by small companies who have a limited budget. They try to get a bang for their book by inspiring our curiosity and encouraging the organic spread of the message. However, the biggest names in business are now turning to similar disruptive modes of marketing – from flash mobs to some spray paint.
Here is our guide to some of the best ideas for guerrilla marketing campaigns – to help spark inspiration for your future campaign.
Banksy in Bristol showed the power of random acts of graffiti art. The social problem messages that popped up incited so much chatter that could never have been achieved in traditional circumstance. Big businesses in cities around the world are inspired to create advertising in the form of street art. Netflix, Burberry, Absolut are all companies who have been promoted with the use of graffiti.
Like street art on walls, stencils on the floor are incredibly cheap but also visually striking. The strange markings on the pavement capture the attention of pedestrians, who tend to spend much of their time walking with their eyes to the floor.
3. Reverse stencils.
This stencil is a little odd – it takes a dirty surface and removes some of the grime to reveal a brand’s message. Puma has used this strategy in Manchester to significant effect.
4. Flash mobs.
T-mobile used this famously in Liverpool – Beyonce also had a go at a flash mob in London. It is captivating for the people around at the time – and people will create the video for you – and then spread this around social media. People post a time and location, and lots of people turn up to sing or to dance.
5. Treasure hunts.
The best thing about social media is that you can drop hints that are picked up by millions. People who follow you and show loyalty to your company will be rewarded because they pick up the clues first. It also energises the customer to go out and seek a reward and then share the experience. The higher the value the prize at the end of the hunt, the more buzz that will be created. Samsung managed this brilliantly in London and enjoyed viral attention of Twitter.
6. Viral videos.
One of the critical factors to successful guerrilla marketing is the word “viral”. Unfortunately, there is no magic ingredient to ensuring a video goes viral – sometimes the simplest thing in the world explodes. Basic and inexpensive can sometimes gain a lot more traction than those with high production values.
7. Undercover marketing.
Stealth marketing can cross the line in black hat strategies. This phrase represents a stretching of the ethical and moral standards in advertising – as it encourages hired actors to merge with a crowd of peers and to pass the message. Sony did this once – hiring actors to walk around with the phone with a camera commenting on the fantastic pictures they could take with the excellent tech.
Stickers might seem like a small fry attempt at promotion. You may also think that poster printing is no longer relevant. With the media and the online world, this sort of marketing seems grossly outdated. However, stickers are beginning to be used creatively to grab attention and spark curiosity. For instance, Lynx created a campaign of stickers for exit signs, which showed men escaping from a crowd of women.
9. Publicity stunts.
Red Bull is probably the king of the publicity stunt. They fund adventurous projects that link to the idea that the drink “gives you wings” – there was the balloon that went into space from which a man chose to skydive to Earth. This sort of stunt has the effect of creating news stories – and the coverage by journalists results in extensive advertising – without the audience feel like they are having a marketing campaign thrust down their throat.
10. Subtle touches.
Adding small touches to the environment, which could easily be missed, encourage people to buy the products by offering constant subliminal messaging again and again. An example of this used successfully by Guinness, who added wraps to pool cues in the UK and the US – so each time you played, you were pushed towards this drink from the bar.