Guerrilla marketing didn’t get its name from eponymous guerilla warfare but from their hit-and-run tactics. Predominantly used by small and medium-sized companies, guerilla tactics are ideal when your competitors have cartloads of money and you’ve only got the ingenuity of your staff.
There are countless guerilla marketing strategies and new ones are being conjured up at this very moment but here are the top 8 examples of original strategies to inspire your marketing department.
Hit the streets
If you’ve ever heard of the secretive street artist named Banksy, then you know how guerilla street art functions. Outdoor guerilla marketing operates in much the same way, using the streets as an oversized billboard for your brand.
Using the street as a canvas isn’t a walk in the park, though. Firstly, you need the element of surprise which will be lost if you try to obtain a permit for your ad. This doesn’t automatically mean that street art is illegal, just that you’re not going to play by the book.
Apart from painting murals, you could hire an artist to decorate a zebra crossing with your logo. Of course, the image needs to fit in well with the stripes, so it remains safe for pedestrians. If performed well, you’ll end up in the local papers, as an example of bold marketing.
Viral might not be the word of the year 2020 but if your content goes viral online, it’s considered a great success. The guerilla marketing campaign should focus on creating engaging content that will spread both online through sharing on social media platforms as well as word of mouth.
For example, the Dollar Shave Club had a great idea for a video ad and a catchy (and foul language) slogan that spread across the Internet as wildfire back in 2012. The only problem with a viral strategy is that you have no way of telling if it will catch on.
Not even the best marketers in the world can guarantee that an image, video, or a slogan will catch on; that’s the prerogative of the audience.
Murals and slogans are nice and all but there are marketing strategies out there that take a more hands-on approach. The more senses an ad campaign engages, the better. In traditional marketing, this means hiring promoters or setting up stands, as well as providing free samples.
Guerilla marketing is a lot less demanding, as you can leave a singing sculpture in the park or paint a public staircase to make your point. The installation you leave for folks to explore should be fun, so they experience a pleasurable feeling the next time they hear about your brand.
Companies pay millions to advertise at sporting events but not even the biggest world competitions are out of reach of guerrilla marketing. You don’t have to sponsor a franchise to have your name featured at a roll up media wall that TV stations use as a backdrop for interviews.
Sports fans like to watch interviews with their favorite players and commentators’ analyses, so getting in touch with local, yet aspiring media outlets can get you an excellent promotion for next to nothing.
Ambushing other brands
Another bold idea for guerilla ad campaigns to use ambush marketing strategies. These involve “overtaking” another brand’s ad space and turning it into your own. You can use an unrelated event to distribute flyers if you deem that guests are your target audience.
Further on, alternating ad panels and billboards of other brands to make them convey a different message is another great example of ambush marketing. Needless to say, there are countless legal issues but you get to save a lot of money on large promo campaigns.
Light the Bat-Signal
You know how residents of Gotham City light the Bat-Signal every time they need help from Batman? This story is more than fiction when it comes to guerilla marketing, as guerilla projections are net on our list. You can generate a lot of buzz by projecting a similar signal onto a large urban space, like the side of a building overlooking a pedestrian zone.
Such a tactic is often used by retail stores to attract foot traffic and increase the brand’s visibility, quite literally. Of course, if the light from the projector bothers the neighbors, then they might call the police but the potential outreach is definitely worth the risk.
The angle of perspective
Optical illusions aren’t the sole property of magicians; marketers too can create an illusion with the goal of mesmerizing potential shoppers. The most common guerilla marketing strategy is to lease ad space on the side of a bus and add imaginary bodies to real passengers. This strategy creates hilarious images that get shared online, skyrocketing the outreach of a seemingly simple ad campaign.
Unconventional ad spaces
Have you ever seen a billboard that protrudes outside the designated area most images occupy? This strategy is partially guerilla marketing, as you can use pretty much any space to get the message across, including spaces where no one would expect to see a commercial.
Ambient marketing involves strange moves such as placing a giant inflatable mascot in the middle of a cornfield by the side of the road, for example. Gillette had a campaign in which they referred to cutting hair as cutting a lawn, opening a whole new avenue for metaphors.
There are more awesome guerrilla marketing examples, as human imagination is limitless. However, you can use the examples listed above to get the ball rolling and see how many people you can reach with the least amount of money spent.