Guerilla Marketing Campaigns that Will Make You Rethink Your Strategies

By Marianne Chrisos - Last Updated on September 10, 2019
Guerilla Marketing Campaigns that Will Make You Rethink Your Strategies

The landscape of marketing continues to change. From traditional advertising methods – like a TV commercial, billboards, and radio spots – to digital marketing that includes social media ads and banner ads to content marketing and inbound marketing like email campaigns, blogs, and more, marketers are constantly tweaking their strategies. As there are so many businesses and industries, the constant change makes sense – customers and business need change and new communication methods develop over time as technology grows.

Guerilla marketing isn’t for every business, but it does have real appeal and some definite advantages. Here’s what to know about using guerilla marketing in your campaigns.

What is guerilla marketing?

According to Moosend, an email marketing, and automation platform, guerrilla marketing is, “a set of marketing actions employed to launch a marketing campaign at a fraction of the cost it normally would cost, with multiple times the impact of the money spent on that… Strongly preferred by NGOs and start-ups thanks to the low budget requirements, guerilla marketing ideas are the go-to choice for their low budget and their promising impact. However, very well-known companies engage in guerilla marketing ideas as a way to show their resourcefulness and demonstrate their creative, playful side. Also, it is an interesting way to challenge their customers’ perception of the brand, as well as have a lasting impact by creating a memorable campaign.”

Guerilla marketing, then, can have an impact on almost any business, from financial savings to brand awareness – and hopefully both. One of the best ways of understanding if guerilla marketing has a place in your strategy and can serve your business is to take inspiration from other brands’ campaigns and ideas.

Top guerilla marketing ideas to get inspiration from

Here are some of the best guerilla marketing campaigns to take your 2019 strategy to the next level.

1. Jeep

Jeep is an older campaign, but marketers are still talking about it – it was that effective and creative. This campaign used white outlines to simulate a parking spot in unusual places, like halfway up a set of stairs or overlapping with a curb. Paired with a Jeep logo, this marketing tactic got a lot of awareness. Plus, the concept it was trying to convey was clear – Jeeps can go anywhere. This was a guerilla warfare execution of marketing that got a point across in a very interesting and public way, which is some of the foundations of guerilla marketing.

2. Rick and Morty

The popular American adult cartoon series referenced a special-edition product that McDonald’s used in the late 1990s – Szechuan sauce. The original plan was for this marketing tie-in to only last for one day, but the reaction was huge. It resonated with fans of the show as well as fans of special-edition marketing. The crossover marketed the show to people who wanted to know what the stir was, while it marketed McDonald’s on social media to fans of the show. It was so successful that McDonald’s brought the sauce back for a longer period of time, likely contributing to increased sales and even greater brand awareness.

3. Microsoft Surface Pro

Aesthetics are extremely important to tech-savvy consumers. In a bid to compete against Apple from a design and aesthetic perspective, Microsoft developed a matte black Surface laptop/tablet. To advertise, they used traditional outdoor marketing in a different way. Referred to as “Shadow Posters”, these outdoor art installations, according to Digital Agency Network, “mimic the format and layout of regular outdoor ads, but are an innovative twist on the medium, avoiding the loud, bright colors of normal out-of-home advertising in favor of darkness, in line with the new color and finish of the device itself.” This unusual style and public display helped bring a lot of attention to the new product.

4. Nike

Nike has never shied away from guerilla marketing. As a fitness and lifestyle brand, they are an industry leader but have never slacked off in their customer outreach or taken customer interest in their brand for granted. One guerilla marketing technique involved using a Nike Swoosh imprinted “caution tape” and installing it over escalator entrances, effectively blocking the easier way up. This not only was an eye-catching display of the Nike emblem, but it also communicated their place in people’s lives as a fitness brand – using the stairs is a physical activity and using Nike in your life, but it also seems to suggest, can make a big impact on your exercise routine, from inspiration to execution.

Guerilla marketing gets a lot of eyes on your brand with truly impactful impressions. Whether it’s event marketing (think flash mob) to outdoor art advertising, it’s a unique and bold way to showcase your brand. It’s important to plan your guerilla marketing campaign carefully to ensure that you’re not breaking any laws, trespassing, or otherwise causing a disturbance. Having fun with your viral and guerilla marketing is one of the things that makes it so engaging – but it’s important to prioritize safety while being creative.

Using other brands as inspiration can help you see ways to creatively advertise for your own product, service, or brand. It’s all about finding ways to make your message heard.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, digital marketing, and content strategy.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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