While some marketing tactics can feel routine or mundane, guerilla marketing breaks that mold. Guerilla marketing is exciting, attention-grabbing, and creates a memorable interaction between your brand and the audience.
You’ve likely witnessed guerilla marketing campaigns in your daily life without even meaning to engage with them.
However, that’s the beauty of guerilla marketing campaigns. They involve an ambush that interrupts the audience in their everyday life, drawing their attention to the brand.
In this article we will define guerilla marketing, discuss the effectiveness of guerilla marketing, and explore 7 guerilla marketing examples that will shock you.
Guerilla marketing tactics are designed to create maximum brand exposure and impact while also being low-cost, out of the ordinary, and innovative.
This marketing technique gets its name from guerilla warfare because they both involve an ambush of sorts and the element of surprise.
Guerilla marketing is low-cost by design.
It can be an effective marketing technique because it can take a smaller budget and still achieve maximum results. Guerilla marketing campaigns that are done properly will create buzz around the brand, are memorable to the audience, and are also low-cost.
Guerilla marketing can be an effective marketing technique for creating an impression on your audience. A properly executed campaign will not only create a lasting impact on the people who experienced it firsthand, but also create an impression on the people who hear about it and see it on social media.
The best guerilla marketing campaigns attract media attention, gain coverage on media outlets, and inspire people to share pictures on social media.
This memory in your audience’s mind will hopefully cause them to notice your brand more, choose you over a competitor, or become a first time buyer.
Word of mouth is definitely important with guerilla marketing campaigns, both in person and social media. If your campaign is truly shocking, unique, and innovative, the faster it will spread. The coverage can compound on itself and hopefully spread quickly to a large audience.
Guerilla marketing ideas don’t have to be done on a large scale to still create a big impact. For instance, take a look at our first example from Mr. Clean.
A crosswalk in a busy city is technically a small piece of real estate, but it still creates a memorable experience for all of the people walking through that crosswalk that day.
One of the crosswalk stripes has been cleaned off to be a bright white compared to the remaining dingey stripes. This campaign by Mr. Clean is effective in clearly illustrating the cleaning power of their product.
It’s also clearly noticeable and stands out to pedestrians. It can be easily photographed and shared.
This clever guerilla marketing campaign by Axe took something ordinary and made it fun and exciting. Axe placed stickers of women chasing the man in the exit signs on subways and other common areas. It stops people on some of the most tedious and frustrating parts of their day and grabs their attention.
This campaign is effective because it gives the audience something to find interesting, share with their friends, and laugh about during their day. This campaign also drives home the brand’s messaging of using Axe products to smell good and attract women.
Similar to Mr. Clean’s use of the sidewalk, McDonald’s also applies their creative guerilla marketing ideas to the streets. In this guerilla marketing example McDonald’s painted their famous fries on a busy city street.
Not only is this noticeable from ground-level, it’s also eye-catching and photographable from the buildings above.
This guerilla marketing example shows that the sky's the limit when brainstorming ideas for your next campaign.
Frontline is advertising their flea and tick medicine for dogs by putting a large-scale picture of an itching dog on the lobby floor and allowing people walking through the building to represent the bugs.
This campaign is clever in the fact that it’s interactive without people realizing it or even making an effort. They’re simply walking into the lobby of a building that they were already going into.
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The magic is in going up to a higher floor, looking down, and noticing the scene below. It takes the mundane act of moving through a building and makes it exciting and interesting.
This eye-catching and tall example from the San Francisco Zoo is creative and memorable. By painting a tall street lamp the same markings as a giraffe, they are able to provide a visual reminder to the local community of these strikingly beautiful animals they can come see right at their local zoo.
Sometimes with guerilla marketing campaigns, you have to go big or go home. Lego is one brand that’s known for going big with their guerilla marketing ideas.
This building blocks toy brand takes their marketing to new heights with this campaign idea to strap a giant Lego to a construction crane.
This campaign delights children and adults the same. It’s equally noticeable and enjoyable for all ages.
It takes the creativity and excitement that kids feel when they’re building with Legos and puts it on a grand scale to help parents remember their fun times with the infamous toys as well.
This example shows that guerilla marketing can promote all types of products, including new movies. In order to promote the upcoming movie adaptation of Stephen King’s clown thriller, It, red balloons were placed all over storm sewers across large cities.
The red balloon caused fright and attracted attention, while the spray-painted writing clued pedestrians in on what the promotion was for.
The clever campaign created a memorable feeling of fear and an appreciation for the innovativeness, while the writing informed the audience what the promotion was for. This campaign was very desirable and easy to share with your friends because it was unique, memorable, and clever.
After reviewing our 7 guerilla marketing examples that will shock you, are you remembering other guerilla marketing campaigns that have masterfully interrupted your daily life? Whether on a small or large scale, we hope these examples inspire you to come up with your own innovative ideas for creating a memory around your brand.