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Guerilla Marketing: Getting Your Brand Noticed

Big brand players such as Spotify, Tesla, and UNICEF use guerilla marketing to get noticed and boost awareness.

Guerilla marketing has been around for a long time and continues to grow in popularity due to its ability to be creative and inexpensive.

The key to having an effective guerilla marketing campaign is creativity, clarity and emotion-focused.

This blog article will explain what guerilla marketing is and how you can use it to turn heads and get your brand noticed.

What Is Guerilla Marketing?

notepad on table
Guerilla Marketing By Jack Willoughby

In short, guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics.

Marketing today uses many different methods to promote a product or service. Guerrilla marketing is one way to make sure that your marketing message gets noticed.

The aim of the game involves creating marketing messages that evoke a sense of surprise, wonder, or shock.

Often, guerilla marketing campaigns include advertising at an unexpected location or showing an ad in a media outlet that is not widely known.

The term "guerrilla marketing" was created by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book Guerrilla Advertising.

Types of Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing can be used anywhere and for any reason.

Brands use four common types.

1) Outdoor

Outdoor guerrilla marketing adds to preexisting urban environments, like putting something on a statue or writing a message on a sidewalk.

2) Indoor

Indoor Guerilla Marketing is the same as outdoor guerrilla marketing, but it happens in indoor locations like train stations, shops, and universities.

3) Experiential

Experience-based guerrilla marketing invites the audience to be part of the business. The marketing messages are carried out through interactive activities, including items such as hands-on branding material or exercises.

4) Events

Using events to leverage the audience to promote the brand. Often seen in sports games or music concerts.

Before we dive into the examples, here are some advantages and disadvantages to including guerrilla marketing in your next campaign.

Advantages of Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing campaigns are memorable and unusual by nature, and they can leave a lasting impression on consumers.

But that's not the only advantage!

1) Budget-Friendly

Another main advantage of guerilla marketing is its budget-friendliness.

This marketing method is much cheaper than traditional or digital advertising, so businesses love to do it.

Brands can create guerilla marketing campaigns without a budget at all!


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2) Creates Interest & Builds awareness

Properly executed guerilla marketing campaigns can generate a broad level of exposure for your brand because of the marketing strategies unconventional uniqueness. Thanks to the widespread active social media users, it's even more possible to go viral with guerilla marketing.

3) Push Creative Boundaries

When brands plan and execute guerilla marketing campaigns correctly, they focus on producing creative ideas that allow their marketing strategies to turn heads. There are no boundaries, which makes it an exciting tactic to ploy in your marketing plan.

4) Word-of-mouth

A successful guerilla marketing campaign spreads like wildfire amongst the community. In general, people love to share things that shock, excite or surprise them.

5) Unbeatable Return on Investment

Referring to point one, guerilla marketing can be very inexpensive. By spending very little to promote your brand or product, you can generate a considerable ROI.

Disadvantages of Guerilla Marketing

Ok, we've gone over the advantages, and they all sound amazing. I bet you're already thinking of how you can add this form of marketing to your overall plan.

Well, before you get carried away, let's list out some of the disadvantages.

1) Time-Consuming

An annoying aspect of guerrilla marketing can be that it takes a lot of time to carry out research, targeting, execution, and measurement of results.

Note: This disadvantage is something to weigh up against the amount of investment or budget you'll save using this form of marketing.

2) Misinterpretation

Some campaigns may result in confusion or misunderstandings. People interpret things in different ways that mean something to them.

Therefore, the audience could misunderstand your guerilla marketing campaign by not understanding what is happening.

3) Authority Intervention

Ok, now you need to make sure you have a permit or authority before commencing guerilla marketing activities that involve public spaces.

If not, you could be dealt with a hefty fine, which could impact your business more than continuing the campaign.

Examples of Guerilla Marketing Campaigns

1) King Kong Skull Island

giant footprints in sand

In 2017, giant 25-foot gorilla footprints mysteriously appeared across LA to promote the upcoming new King Kong film.

They showed up on the beach near LAX, outside Capitol Records and LA Live, and Runyon Canyon Park.

This is a perfect combination of creativity, manpower and unconventional marketing.

2) Upwork

billboard with messaging on

Upwork's campaign is a clever way of grabbing attention using humour.

They called out world leaders, literary figures, businesses and celebrities by announcing solutions for their targets busy lives.

The freelancing site playful 'Hey World' campaign was very well received and showed that you could be cheeky with your marketing.

3) Dominoes

map of US states

Domino ran a campaign where they fixed pavements if you brought their pizza.

I know what you are thinking...why would Dominoes fix pavements?

Domino's says it's filling potholes to ensure its pizzas make it to customers' homes safely. The initiative is also cleverly boosting brand awareness.

4) The Nun

picture of nun from horror movie

The Nun used creative video ad marketing to scare and entice audiences. Their film promotion campaign was aided by YouTube in 2018, causing the film to earn over $380 million in U.S. box office revenue.

The original plan was to have an unskippable ad playing on YouTube.

However, it soon became too frightening for viewers and was later banned for violating violent and shocking content policies.

In other words, it was just too scary for people.

5) Lidl

supermarket billboard ad

Major UK retailer Lidl used rivalry to boost their marketing efforts in a clever billboard ad campaign.

They took a swipe at its rivals while positioning itself as the low-cost alternative in its sector.

The company used billboards full of imagery from other grocery stores with overlaying ads for the Lidl supermarket chain that showed the same product at a lower price.

To increase the campaign's effectiveness, Lidl placed ads near rival supermarkets.

Over To You

Guerilla Marketing is an effective marketing strategy that requires blending multiple tactics and critical elements to reach the most people.

It is not an expensive marketing strategy, but it can be time-consuming.

When using guerilla marketing campaigns, aim to surprise, delight and shock audiences with highly creative ideas in spaces no one expects.

As unconventional as it seems, it gets it right, and you can reap the rewards from it.

What're your thoughts on guerilla marketing? Would you use it?

Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading,

Jack Willoughby

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