Guerrilla marketing is a style of ‘alternative marketing’, focusing on creativity and energy to create unconventional low cost marketing tactics that catches the audience’s eyes and attention. Guerrilla marketing gets its name from guerrilla warfare as many of the tactics are considered interchangeable, such as ambushes and the element of surprise.
Guerrilla marketing is all about surprising the consumer and aiming to communicate at a more personal and memorable level. Since they’re traditionally considered to be lower cost it can be ideal for small businesses to get a great return on investment, it can also be used by bigger businesses and enterprises to compliment mass media campaigns.
Here are some of the best examples we’ve seen from across the range. These make for some amazing promotional video material!
3M’s Guerrilla Marketing Puts Free Money Behind Security Glass at Public Bus Stop.
3M were so sure that their glass could not be broken that for their guerrilla marketing campaign they put 3 million dollars (because their name is 3M, get it?) into an advertising space at a bus stop and allowed people to try and get the money out. Give it your best shot!
In actuality, most of the money was fake with only $500 in the case, and people were only allowed to use their feet to get the money, alongside a security guard to make sure people didn’t try any other methods.
This was a successful marketing campaign however, the cost altogether would have been minimal considering they weren’t using real money for most of it – just needing a space at a bus stop and a security guard.
Acclaim Entertainment Offers to Pay For Every Speeding Ticket to Promote Game
If you’re really creative you may not have to pay any money for your guerrilla campaign, and this was true for Acclaim. A relatively small publisher in the gaming world at the time, pushing a new release called Burnout 2, where you drive super fast down the wrong side of the motor way while avoiding traffic. Acclaim thought it would be a good idea to pay for any speeding tickets in the UK that occurred on the day of the game’s release.
Naturally the UK Government did not like this idea, and following the negative reaction to this guerrilla marketing Acclaim did not go through with their plan, but not until their name was all over newspapers and gaming magazines as well as the name of the product their were promoting.
Médecins du Monde Give Tents to Homeless For Their Guerrilla Marketing Campaign
To raise awareness of the homeless problem in Paris, Médecins du Monde, a local charity, gave out around 300 tents to homeless people. The tents were easy to set up (only taking a few seconds and requiring no previous know how) and were designed for maximum visibility, showing the people of Paris just how widespread the homeless problem was in their city.
Not only was this guerrilla marketing used to promote the organisation it also helped out people in need and helped a cause. It was such an effective campaign that many people even bought their own pop-up tents to give out to homeless people to help the cause.
Proving to be such a success, the French government increased funding to permanent shelters reducing the amount of homeless people on the street and in the cold.
Blair Witch Project Uses an Unconventional Tool to Promote Their Movie, The Internet
Possibly one of the most well known guerrilla marketing campaigns, The Blair Witch Project utilised something that was somewhat unexplored in 1999, the Internet. The focus of the guerrilla marketing was the main webpage of the movie, which was unique and novel. The website stuck with the film’s found footage showing some of the footage of the film, treating it like it was real.
Planting seeds, they used popular chat rooms posing as regular users and asked questions about the Blair Witch, linking back to their site. They even went onto IMDB and listed the actors of the film as dead. The whole point of the marketing campaign was to confuse people rather than try and sell them something. They were generating fans before the film even came out – a total success, in fact they took out a full page ad in Varity, a well known and reputable magazine to show off how successful their marketing campaign was with the message “blairwitch.com: 21,222,589 hits to date.”
Battersea Dogs Home Guerrilla Marketing is Looking For You
London has some great marketing campaigns, here’s one from Battersea Dogs Home.
Using a combination of multiple marketing strategies and emerging technologies, Battersea Dogs Home managed to create a very unique Guerrilla marketing campaign.
The start of this campaign’s process involved handing out leaflets to people near Westfield shopping centre. The leaflets allowed Battersea to identify who was a dog lover and who wasn’t (meaning easy campaign targeting!)
The leaflets contained RFID chips that can be picked up by sensors hidden around Westfield, when someone with a leaflet came near one of the sensors a video of a dog played on the closest screen to the chip. With so many screens around Westfield the dog would be able to follow no matter what direction people took.
The guerrilla marketing campaign worked spectacularly for Battersea Dogs Home with 33% more traffic to Battersea’s site and a 79% click through rate from their new microsite was fresh to Battersea.
Bonus Guerrilla Marketing Examples
We enjoyed finding examples of great guerrilla marketing so much that we couldn’t just leave it at five. So here are two more examples of great guerrilla marketing campaigns.
Half.com Pays a Town to Change their Name to Half.com
To help draw attention to their brand, Half.com decided that they needed to think outside the box and created a great guerrilla marketing campaign. They persuaded a town with a similar name to their website to rename it ‘Half.com’.
To accomplish this, they negotiated with the town and offered to build the town a website as well as give their school 20 new computers, and $100,000.
After just five months – eBay bought half.com for $300 million. Success!
WWF Created and Displayed 1600 Papier Mâché pandas around Paris
In an effort to increase public awareness of the limited number of pandas in the world, WWF (the charity, not the wrestlers) started a guerrilla marketing campaign where they placed 1600 papier mâché pandas around Paris, the same amount of pandas that are left in the wild.
This campaign was a massive success for WWF as it raised awareness at the limited amount of pandas in the wild. The next step? WWF are now taking it worldwide in many other countries because of their successes in Paris.