What is Guerrilla Marketing? Top 10 Guerrilla Marketing Examples to Inspire your Brand

 24 Oct, 2018


The word "Guerrilla," is not common in marketing and it has an intense meaning too. You must be wondering what is Guerrilla marketing exactly? This is not a combative form of communication but an unconventional form of the inbound marketing. It is used to increase brand awareness among people without causing any interruption.

As you know, this is a highly unconventional technique so it is hard to explain and can be best understood when observed practically. Here, we will discuss the best practices, marketing strategies or approaches to make your brand a great success.

Let us start with the basics first what is guerrilla marketing, its pros, cons, different types of guerrilla marketing, and finally, we will discuss the top 10 Guerrilla Marketing strategies or examples to inspire your brand.

Topics to be covered in the Blog:

  1. What is Guerrilla Marketing?
  2. Guerrilla Marketing – What are the pros and cons?
  3. Different Types of Guerrilla Marketing
  4. Top 10 Guerrilla Marketing Examples to Inspire your Brand

Let us dig deep and discuss each of the topics in detail one by one.

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What is Guerrilla Marketing?

When it comes to discussing Guerrilla Marketing, the first term that strikes to our mind is Guerrilla Warfare where this style of marketing got its name. In the context of Warfare, the Guerrilla Marketing strategies majorly depend on elements of surprise. You have to be a little bit creative to make maximum benefits from Guerrilla Marketing.

But how should we translate our daily activities into work? With Guerrilla Marketing, you could plan unconventional campaigns that will catch people unexpectedly in the course of their routine activities. This term is not new but it was discovered in the early 1980s by one business writer Jay Conrad Levinson who wrote several books related to Guerrilla Marketing tactics.

During that period, marketing techniques were looked differently. As Guerrilla Marketing is still used in the modern technical marketplace too but its landscape has been changed completely when compared to traditional tactics.

So, what makes Guerrilla Marketing so popular among marketers?

The primary thing to focus on Guerrilla Marketing is its budget-friendly structure. The real investment is done in the implementation part, still, it should not be that much expensive like other marketing strategies.

The Guerrilla Marketing style is very much similar to the reconstructing the existent content where a small portion of the report is taken as converted to interactive blogs. Obviously, this demand for investment of time and efforts but not that much money. So, Guerrilla Marketing works by re-purposing the current environment of audiences. You should evaluate it and figure out the segments that need rework to inspire your brand.

Guerrilla Marketing – What are the Pros and Cons?

Guerrilla Marketing has both sides – positive and negative. You should take both into consideration before you finally start working on the marketing campaign based on the Guerrilla marketing.

Guerrilla Marketing – Pros and Cons?

What are the Pros of Guerrilla Marketing?

  • Affordable – As discussed earlier, the main highlight of the Guerrilla marketing is its budget-friendly structure. It is taken much cheaper when compared to classical advertising.
  • Creativity – When you are approaching the Guerrilla marketing, imagination or creative thinking is always given more importance than budget.
  • Word-of-mouth – The Guerrilla marketing largely depends on word-of-mouth which is taken as one of the most powerful weapons to give a new strength to your brand. There is nothing better than seeing people talking about your campaign and brand.
  • Publicity is incredible – With unique Guerrilla marketing campaigns, you can always earn huge popularity and your campaigns are even picked news sources and followed by other marketers too by taking inspiration from your brand.

What are the Cons of Guerrilla Marketing?

  • The message could be misunderstood – As marketing campaigns are not direct, so they could be misunderstood sometimes and the final result is not so good as expected.
  • Authority Intervention – Sometimes, in special cases of Guerrilla Marketing, the extra intervention of authority may result in unwanted tension.
  • Unknown Obstacles – Sometimes, you have to face unpredictable circumstances that you are not sure of earlier. These unknown obstacles are surely threatening for your entire campaign.
  • Potential Backlash – in certain cases, savvy audiences could call out businesses who are not approved for running a campaign. It could be actually harmful to potential businesses looking to promote their brands.

From this discussion, this is clear that Guerrilla Marketing always provides the fantastic results when campaigns are hosted with utmost creativity in a most unique way but make sure that all challenges as discussed should be handled carefully.

Different Types of Guerrilla Marketing

There are a few subcategories of Guerrilla Marketing that are used based on your business niche and requirements. These are Indoor Marketing, Outdoor Marketing, Event Ambush Guerrilla Marketing, Experiential Guerrilla Marketing etc.

Types of Guerrilla Marketing

Let us discuss on each of them in brief one by one.

  • Indoor Guerrilla Marketing – Add something to the pre-existing urban environment at indoor locations like shops, universities, train stations, campus, or buildings etc.
  • Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing – This marketing category is very much similar to the indoor Guerrilla Marketing but it takes place at outdoor locations like on to a statue, put temporary artwork on streets or sidewalks and more similar interesting ideas.
  • Event Ambush Guerrilla Marketing – Try to leverage the audience of some progressive event with your campaign to promote a product in a more noticeable way. Usually, it is done without taking permissions from the sponsor.
  • Experiential Guerrilla Marketing – Here, you can mix more categories together in such a way that requires the public to interact with the brand.

We know that without awareness of the concept in deep, this could be difficult implementing Guerrilla Marketing strategies successfully. Let us see top 10 example how it was executed by a few other successful brands.

Top 10 Guerrilla Marketing Examples to Inspire your Brand

1). Toothbrush-Shaped Popsicle Sticks By Colgate 

Colgate recently launched Toothbrush-shaped Popsicle sticks and they were added inside ice-creams reminding children how much the brushing is important. Here, the message is given with taste and it is actually inspiring the kids for the right stuff.

2). Bounty – A Paper Towel Company

Take an interesting idea from a popular blog. I spill everything olive oil, coffee, tea and more. So, I need paper towels with me all the times. Obviously, everyone got impressed by this amazing Guerrilla marketing trick installed by famous Paper Towel Company Bounty.

The Company installed giant-sized messes around the streets of New York and it was considered as one of the most unique ideas for promoting their brand. Here, everything was explained in a creative manner without using many words. The message wanted to convey an interesting idea that mess of any size can be handled gracefully with right stuff around and people also liked this message a lot.

Bonus Tip: Identify the major problem that can be solved by your product and find an unconventional technique to convey the message to the public preferably without using words.

3). Drawstring Bags By Company Selling Weight Loss Products 

Let us see one more creative example of Guerrilla Marketing where the use of drawstring bags was beyond our imagination. Instead of making bog talks and promises, this is always good expressing your thoughts through creative ideas or design sets that will attract people automatically without saying anything. So, think of similar ideas for your brand too and implement in a unique manner like never before.

4). IKEA Staircase Marketing Strategy

There is no limit of staircases around the world. Think for a while If they are used for marketing tactics? Yes, you can use them. IKEA, A furniture designing Company did the same where The Company shows how can you save space at your how with interesting furniture ideas.

These pieces can always be installed in small spaces as you actually need. So, you must be sure now how effective Guerrilla marketing tactics can be used for your own benefits without spending much. The only condition is that you should be a creative thinker and quick implementer.

5). Frontline - Flea & Tick Prevention Products Manufacturing Company 

First time I saw this photograph, I actually felt for it. I just want that someone gets away these flies from this amazing dog. Later, I realized that this was just an image and black dots are not fleas but the humans. So, what image actually conveying the message to people.

See the image carefully again. The concept was designed by Frontline Company who is the manufacture of flea and tick prevention products for dogs. The brand wanted to convey the message that people walk around the space every day and they could see dogs around having deadly fleas over then but they are completely ignoring the fact and just passed away.

So, this is the right time to protect the dogs and make the right choice with Frontline. Isn’t it sound interesting. Obviously, the concept is highly interesting and everyone wanted to look it again and again how dogs are actually getting affected with unpleasant fleas. Also, it will give a clear idea of the product as well why it is useful for dogs.

Bonus Tip – You should check how people can be involved with your brand involuntarily and how are they interacting with your marketing messages. Here, the campaign is not addressing the issues but it will keep people engaged with your brand somehow.

6). The Grammys – Video Creation Was A Part Of Marketing Strategy Here

This strategy might not be fair here to include because it was not pulled off in the real-life. But you should at least explore how cool was this marketing strategy at all. Here, nominees were promoted under the category “Album of the Year”. Further, Grammys showed the video in the singing award to represent what could happen if posted for nominated starts began singing eventually.

Obviously, this Is not a possible event because how could some posters start singing but imagine how should you create interactive posters for your brand? Also, they are different from poster ads too that are not expected to move. Here, we must add that this tactic of Guerrilla Marketing is not budget-friendly because video creation takes time and efforts both. It needs technical competencies to add some fruitful effects. Even if you could add one or two moving images among hundreds then it would be displayed as a surprise and getting more attention by audiences.

Bonus Tip – As we know that audiences might pass by every day and this is the right time to do something new that is both interactive and unexpected.

7). Burger King – Drama Tale on Instagram

Breaking up is hard for anyone but what will happen when the emotions being played or shared online. The same thing happened with Burger King where one man added a comment on his post by sharing a tale his girl procuring food from the Burger King. The only problem is that man doesn’t have any girlfriend but he must be nearby the Burger King now. So, what he was trying to refer actually here? The drama started with Instagram posts and millions of people got connected with the thought. It was a planned marketing activity or just a coincidence not sure of it but the same technique was tried by many marketers later.

Because of this activity, the followers increased to one million on Instagram for Burger King after Mac Donald whose followers are almost double. We cannot say how many followers were there before this breakup post but surely it helped in drawing more attention by users for the brand. People started observing that brand is doing good on Instagram and at least they started discussing for Burger King and its food items.

Bonus Tip – Today, Guerrilla Marketing has gone digital as well. Now you have to think where your audiences exist digitally and how can you catch them with utmost creativity. And don’t be afraid of adding comments that could attract users to engage in the conversation.

8). GoldToe Guerrilla Marketing Campaign 

If you are an undergarments manufacturing Company looking for some unconventional style to promote your product then you should give a try to GoldToe idea. Here, you have put your enormous belief on a statue of a charged bull.

It is simple in theory that you wanted to show the quality of fabric how it fits even the massive sized people without any damage. This is especially a unique idea of promoting your budget without spending much money and efforts. Don’t think much here because even the silliest idea could be just the best sometimes. The only thing is to make your marketing strategy affordable and a huge success and it was done by this undergarment manufacturing Company too.

9). UNICEF – A Campaign To Prevent Spending Money On Bottled Water 

We all are spending money on bottled water but is it actually worth or needs to think over it again? I have the reusable bottle that I can fill from anywhere like a water cooler, from a machine or more sources. Buying a new bottle every time is a bad habit.

To prevent this wastage, UNICEF started a campaign where they tried to provide clean water at maximum places so that people can just refill their bottles instead of buying new ones. It makes us remind that when water is available in such quantity for free then why to waste money to buy the same.

Bonus Tip – Guerrilla Marketing strategies are actually designed for non-for-profit sectors that could not spend much on marketing activities. They are always in the need of finding innovative ideas that could help them to succeed anyhow. Image creation is the most powerful idea always bit it should be added with substances and clear messages instead of adding a mysterious story inside. Your objective should be creating something highly interactive from the public point of view.

10). Greene King

When you are planning for a get together with family and friends then what are the two things you could always focus? These are Food and Drinks. Greene King initiated a campaign to show how important are these small businesses selling quality food and drinks to people. Anyone who understands the taste of customers and able to deliver quality will conquer the food & drink market.

They need to add interactive ideas too along like music, dance or more based on their budget. Today, food and drinks are served at every occasion from wedding to funeral occasion, receptions, birthday parties etc. Without these places, how would you hang out with friends and family? And most importantly where will you share the happy moments with your loved ones?

Bonus Tip - This is sometimes okay getting little sentimental with Guerrilla Marketing. Add emotions to what you offer but don’t overdo of anything. You can hire creative writer too that can add life to your brand with their ideas and creativity levels.

Final Words

So, Guerrilla Marketing must-have made little more sense now!

As of now, the only disappointing fact is that B2B Companies are not that much involved in Guerrilla Marketing. The reason could be less of creativity but it will definitely take the shape in near future. These ten examples are actually good if you start promoting a small brand. This is your creativity only that could make Guerrilla Marketing more budget-friendly and successful in the modern space. Catch people from their space and insert your brand there only. Don’t disturb them but invite them politely to participate.

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Marketing AgencyMD

Really useful article.Thank you.