Guerrilla Marketing

by PMA


Guerrilla Marketing. You’ve heard of it, but what is it exactly?

Guerrilla marketing is a creative advertising strategy that focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics to yield exceptional results. It’s often deceptive and subtle, but can also be very in-your-face. The idea of guerrilla marketing is centred around being clever, surprising and engaging, and what it does best is build brand awareness, establish brand loyalty and position consumers to feel more favourably towards the brand.

Here are five examples of guerrilla marketing we think are really clever.

Guerrilla Marketing 1: Red Bull

Guerrilla Marketing

Red Bull are known for their unconventional marketing strategies and stunts, but none were as unconventional as the one performed by Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner on October 14 2012. With the Red Bull logo printed on his parachute, space suit, and capsule, Baumgartner jumped from 39km above the earth to fall at a speed that broke the sound barrier, greatly conforming to Red Bull’s slogan “Gives You Wings.” He deployed his parachute at 5000ft, landing safely on the ground in Mexico.

From a marketing perspective, the sponsorship of this project was invaluable. They reached 8 million people live, and millions more afterwards through replays of the jump on the news and on various social media. Red Bull’s exposure was like nothing ever done before, and as it was such a global event it was impossible not to know who was involved.

The project was called the Red Bull Stratos and it would be remembered and talked about socially for a very long time, as it broke all records of highest skydive, and the first time a human had jumped from the edge of space. Sales of Red Bull cans increased 13% the next year and the stunt was used in various Red Bull campaigns afterwards.

To see the video, click here:

Guerrilla Marketing 2: Coca-Cola

Guerrilla Marketing

In January 2010 Coke invented a “Happiness Machine.” The Happiness Machine was a Coca-Cola vending machine that was placed in St. John’s University in Queens, New York. From the outside it looked like any other Coke vending machine, but after people started using it, it became clear it definitely wasn’t your standard drink dispenser. A person would pay for one coke and it would give six. After students began to share the free cokes around, the dispenser continued to pump out bottles of coke. It then started to release other products as well, such as a big three-litre bottle of coke, a pizza, flowers, and then hands began handing out coke through the bottom flap.

They even opened and poured coke into a glass for some people. A huge salami sandwich was also passed through the coke machine. The students’ reactions were filmed from a number of angles, and their reactions to the phenomenon said it all. Coke made a YouTube video out of their genuine responses of big smiles and laughs and used it as a promotional campaign to continue a theme that has been theirs for a long time, that Coca-Cola sells happiness.

To see the video, follow this link:

Guerrilla Marketing 3: Nationwide Insurance

Guerrilla Marketing

Using a fictitious paint company “Coop’s Paint”, Nationwide Insurance created a billboard advertisement with an unconventional twist to it to communicate their slogan “Life comes at you fast.”

This was done by having a giant billboard on the side of a building in Columbus, Ohio in the US, which sat above a parking lot. The billboard showed a tipped over paint tin spilling bright green paint. Where the billboard ended, the paint continued down the side of the building and covering the floor of the parking lot below, coating some cars and the parking attendant’s shelter as well.

In conjunction with the slogan “Life comes at you fast” the campaign was communicating the idea that people need insurance because the unexpected has a way of coming at you left of field.

To know more or see other creative marketing campaigns, click here:

Guerrilla Marketing 4: Pepsi

Guerrilla Marketing

Another Creative Circle Winner, this time Silver, was Pepsi with their “Unbelievable” campaign for Pepsi Max, communicating the idea that the product has “Max taste” but “no sugar.” The campaign comprised of an “Unbelievable bus shelter” which was a standard UK bus shelter in London but with one of its walls replaced with an augmented screen.

The screen showed an ad for Pepsi Max on the outside, but on the inside of the bus shelter, where waiting commuters sat, the screen showed various unbelievable things happening to the world beyond the bus stop. This included a meteor falling from the sky and burning a hole in the screen, aliens attacking some people further down the street, and a tiger slowly pacing towards the stop.

Soon people were interacting with the bus shelter, using it to get pictures and content for their social media. This bus shelter wasn’t the only component of their “Unbelievable” campaign but it was the most creative and was effective in promoting a likeable brand in Pepsi Max.

To see the reactions of commuters, click here:

Guerrilla Marketing 5: Kit Kat

Guerrilla Marketing

A few years ago, Kit Kat targeted large cities with a guerrilla marketing campaign that was tied closely to their slogan “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat.”

This took the form of park benches being painted chocolate brown with the Kit Kat name carved onto them throughout the cities to resemble Kit Kat bars –. Some even had half a Kit Kat wrapper on them.

The message was clear – have a break from walking, which kept in line with their overall brand message of “have a break.” This also had the double meaning of having to break a Kit Kat in half before eating it. This type of campaign was bound to be effective as it brought Kit Kat to top of mind awareness, and the next time someone who had seen the sign felt like chocolate, Kit Kat would easily come to mind. That is, if they weren’t already craving chocolate after walking past that…