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Top 5 Guerilla Marketing Strategies

June 22, 2009Sparxoo


Consumers see at least 1,600 messages a typical day (Nielson). Think about it: between our morning TV show or newspaper, to the ad wraps on bus’ or billboards on the way to work, to the webertisements on the office computer, it’s almost impossible to unplug from the grid and escape the constant bombardment of the daily brand shouting match.

Brands are finding their loud, flashy messages are falling upon deaf ears—particularly with younger generations.  Bigger, louder, flashier is simplistic, narrow-minded and an ineffective way of delivering your message. Smart, intelligent, different, catchy and honest are adjectives to describe campaigns that grab consumers’ attention. How many used car advertisements do you remember versus GE, Apple or Volkswagen campaigns?

One way to deliver a message in a smart, impactful way is through guerilla marketing. Guerilla marketing catches the consumer off-guard. Effective campaigns are intelligent, unexpected, different, and makes the consumer smile in its brilliance. Guerilla marketing makes use of the everyday environment to convey an unexpected, intelligent message that resonates more profoundly than traditional media impressions.

To get you thinking about how your brand can incorporate guerilla marketing into the everyday environment, here are key elements to guerilla marketing:

1. Creativity
In guerilla marketing, the world is your billboard / 30-second TV spot / lower-third. Guerilla marketing begins with out-of-the-box ideation. To develop on-target, unexpected, effective guerilla campaigns, throw convention to the wind and get your creative juices boiling. The heart of every successful guerilla campaign is creativity. Without it, you’re conventional… or worse yet, annoying.

2. Unexpected
A billboard is expected. On your way to work, there are always the same billboards—with bright colors, maybe a catchy line that makes you smile. It’s expected. The German housewares manufacturer, Miele created a campaign that transformed a typically static flat billboard surface into so much more. To satirically demonstrate the power of their vacuum’s suction, they draped an actual hot air balloon over a billboard with their vacuum cleaner sucking the balloon into the the billboard.

3. More with Less
When brainstorming guerilla initiatives, it’s easy to become fantastical and impractical. If you’re a smaller company with budgetary constraints, pasting a 20-foot soccer ball to the side of a building might not be the best consideration. Being reasonable, intelligent and unexpected stretches your creativity to develop a very effective guerilla campaign without an exorbitant budget. You don’t need to be Superman to have a Superman idea. To advertise the Superman brand, small posters were pasted to lampposts to give the impression they were tied in a knot. Or, something as simple as a straw can be valuable ad real estate for a yoga company.

4. Maximize Your Surroundings
Lining the street with coffee cups does no one good. It’s not intelligent, too abstract, not relatable and a pedestrian inconvenience. But if you utilize your environment in an unexpected, intelligent way–like Folgers, when they used the steam from manhole covers to show the steam from their coffee–you’re making more meaningful impressions.

5. Interactive
Though interactivity is not a staple in all guerilla campaigns, it brings the consumer / company relationship to a more meaningful space. Take example from Swedish innovator and furniture phenomenon, Ikea . To demonstrate the appeal of an “Ikea living room,” they transformed a bus stop into a place you wouldn’t mind relaxing to enjoy a couple Swedish meatballs. They beautified a bus stop with their furniture—making it not only a interactive display, but a cozy interactive display.