The term ‘Guerrilla’ doesn’t have the best connotations as most people would link it to the phrase ‘Guerrilla warfare’- tactics that effective for the Vietcong during the Vietnam War. The tactics included using smaller groups of troops to ambush the enemy in an unconventional method of warfare. It allowed them to wage war with what seemed like only a small force. This is actually where the term ‘Guerrilla marketing’ was coined from as it is an unconventional way in which brands are advertised. The budget tends to be smaller and a lot of the time it is a great way for smaller companies to make an impression on their target consumers. The phrase was first used by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book that was titled ‘Guerrilla Advertising’.
Rather than spending vast amounts of money on the distribution of an advert, a lot of time is focused on the creative and tactical side of marketing. If an advert looks good and captures the audience then they do the circulation for you. Examples of the advertisements used are interactive billboards or sculptures, street art, well placed posters and sometimes brands ambush pre-existing events (a lot of the time they don’t even have permission from the event organisers). Another example is an advertisement that sparks controversy or slightly riskier campaigns as they get a lot of circulation via social media or in the news.
Some successful examples of Guerrilla marketing are listed below:
This was an interactive poster advertising their marker pens that encourage passing citizens to draw/write on the picture of a cast, cleverly using the fact that everyone loves a bit of graffiti to their advantage (whether some small initials on a park bench or some rather graphic profanities on the walls of a public bathroom). It also gives the passers-by nostalgia of being younger and wanting to scribble on the cast of the unfortunate soul who had broken a bone.
They cunningly placed stickers on buses so it looked as though their long-life batteries where powering the headlights of the vehicle. Even if in reality they are used for TV remoted and children’s toys, still though… a clever campaign.
Alberta Canada Skiing
This smartly placed poster made it appear as though anyone sat on the bench is on a chair lift yet without needing to worry about fears of heights. All they needed was the poster, a pair of ski stickers and a pre-existing bench for it work and it was an effective campaign.
By using the fact that the lift doors split down the middle to their advantage, the designers of this advertisement made it very clear what to expect from the film. Blood, gore and Uma Thurman dressed in yellow.
A slightly more controversial approach to guerrilla marketing. Vodafone took a risk by crashing a rugby match and sending two men onto the pitch in nothing but a painted Vodafone logo. After the famous streak, the company did have to apologise and they gave donations to charities in the area that supported the reduction of sports injuries. It could be argued that it was an inappropriate move but it definitely gave the company a lot of publicity.