Guerilla marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on creative, high-impact tactics to promote a product, service, or brand. It involves using non-traditional methods of advertising to:
- Generate attention
- Develop a memorable experience for the intended target audience
- Create word-of-mouth buzz
This type of marketing strategy can take many forms. Let’s explore some of the best, so you can get ideas for your own guerilla marketing campaign:
- Street art: A unique and eye-catching mural in a highly populated area can make people curious about your product or service.
- Pop-up events: You can host a pop-up event in a high-traffic area to promote your product or service.
- Public stunts: Perform a public stunt that is memorable to generate buzz and media attention.
- Branded merchandise: Create branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or stickers, and distribute them in unexpected places.
- Flash mobs: Many companies have created a viral sensation by organizing flash mobs in public areas.
- Interactive installations: An interactive installation that an audience can engage with can help you expose your product to people that may not have interacted with it otherwise.
- Social media campaigns: A creative social media campaign can encourage users to generate and share content related to your company, product, or service.
Guerilla Marketing Examples
Guerilla marketing can sometimes be risky. It’s a high-risk, high-reward strategy, because it usually deviates from typical marketing fundamentals. This helps the marketing campaign stand out, but it often means that companies have to tread through uncharted territory. If they make a mistake, the campaign could alienate their audience or create controversy.
So, let’s take a look at examples of successful guerilla marketing campaigns that managed to captivate and attract an audience. These should give you a few ideas for your own marketing campaign.
Red Bull: Stratos Jump
In 2012, Red Bull sponsored a record-breaking skydiving event in which a skydiver named Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space. The event was streamed live online and generated massive media coverage, with millions of people tuning in to watch the jump.
Why it worked
This campaign worked well for Red Bull because of their slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings”. They advertise their product as an energy drink that gives you so much courage, energy, and vigor that it feels as if you have wings when you drink it. There’s no better stunt to capture the kind of energy Red Bull provides than a man jumping from over 120,000 feet (about 36.58 km) in the air.
Volkswagen: The Fun Theory Initiative
In 2009, Volkswagen set up three social experiments in Sweden to promote their BlueMotion Technology cars, their most eco-friendly cars at the time. The social experiments encouraged people to act responsibly or in an eco-conscious manner by making mundane activities fun. For example, their viral subway piano stairs experiment played musical notes when people walked on them, incentivizing people to use the stairs instead of the subway escalator.
Why it worked
This campaign worked well because it had multiple social experiments that promoted a more unified society. The best part was that the campaign didn’t even feel like it was tied to a line of eco-friendly Volkswagen cars, so the people who viewed it did not feel like a company was simply advertising to them. It also helped promote the company’s fun image.
Coca-Cola: Share a Coke Campaign
In 2011, Coca-Cola launched a campaign in which they printed people’s names on the labels of their bottles and cans. The campaign was a huge success, with people sharing photos of themselves with their named bottles on social media or buying them for others.
Why it worked
This campaign worked because it made the process of buying a Coca-Cola bottle or can fun. Customers became excited when they found their name on a bottle or can and it made the purchase feel a lot more personal. It also encouraged people to buy Coca-Cola products for others as a gift if they found one with that person’s name on it.
Spotify: Year in Music
Spotify releases a “Year in Music” feature every December that allows users to see their top songs and artists from the past year. The campaign generates huge amounts of social media buzz, as people share their playlists and favorite songs with friends.
Why it worked
This campaign works because it allows people to look back at the music they listened to throughout the year. Very rarely do people track what music they listen to at any given time, so giving clients the ability to see the new music they discovered, the artists they listened to the most, and the genres they enjoyed creates a positive experience. Plus, the campaign encourages people to share their statistics and promote the platform.