After you’ve spent countless hours on designing and refining your stunning website and it’s been unleashed unto the world, it’s time to market it. Marketing comes in several different forms, from basic print ads to Google Ads, to the more creative methods on TV. One of the most interesting of the latter methods would be guerrilla marketing. While the technique may seemingly be designated for larger companies, it certainly didn’t start that way, nor does it need to be as grand as some of the examples you’ll find below.
Defined as, “innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product”(Oxford dictionary), this type of marketing deliver a “wow-factor” and as mentioned above, it is supposed to be cost-effective. It’s in-your-face, larger-than life, and anything but subtle. It’s also an easy way for small businesses to get the word out without spending an arm and a leg. For your inspiration, we’ve compiled some of our favorite guerrilla marketing campaigns that you can learn a thing or two from.
The pet flea medication, Frontline made people walking across the floor advertisement look like the pest it is designed to eradicate. The method is clever due to the fact that the impact of the ad can really be effective only from certain angles. The ad successfully creates a form of accidental human interaction that reminds onlookers exactly what the product does.
To promote the popular TV show Stranger Things during Halloween, Netflix cleverly crafted its own DIY doorbell that allows homeowners to continuing “treating” themselves to their scary movie night, while costumed trick-or-treaters can collect their candy outside. It’s a win-win for the parties on both sides of the door. The fact that this is a legitimate project you can build yourself is a bit hilarious, with all the appropriate files found at makeit.netflix.com. To continue the spookfest, the project files also include theme songs and scream sounds from both Black Mirror and American Horror Story alongside Stranger Things. You can watch the entire video right here:
Watchmaker IWC utilized ambient marketing, another type of guerrilla marketing that cleverly uses elements of the environment for advertisements. IWC used bus handle straps on airport shuttle buses to push their timekeepers. While not everyone is going to hold the strap like this, it’s a clever and effective way to make a statement.
KitKat utilized street benches to advertise their chocolate bar in the very place people would rest, echoing their tagline, “Have a break…Have a Kit Kat!” It’s simple, cost effective and impactful – all while staying on brand.
Guerrilla Marketing is all about maximum impact without having to “spell it out” to the onlooker. The point should get across easily with minimal words. As such, it doesn’t take much to “wrap your head” around the next example. The Copenhagen Zoo’s bus advertisement depicting a giant snake crushing a bus is both effective and telling. The message gets across with no additional explanation.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a giant animal bus takeover, as National Geographic did the same thing for Shark Week, hilariously placing the mouth of a great white across the bus doors:
In the same realm, Pepsi focused on actual bus stops for its ad campaign. Utilizing augmented reality, practically in its quintessence, the rigged bus stop featured what looked like a regular glass pane offering a view onto the street. In reality, though, the screen was outfitted with cameras to project intricate animations, like running tigers, descending UFOs, and invading giant robots, onto the surrounding city block. Watch how waiting bus passengers reacted to the sight:
To promote King Kong 360 3D movie, colossal footprints were left in the sand on Santa Monica beach, with a crushed lifeguard SUV alongside them. While hardly a small gesture, it was the onlookers who made it go viral on social media, because… obviously.
Want to make a lasting impression? How about scaring an unsuspecting potential customer? Sure, this is a very risky method, but the best of these campaigns end in laughs, not tears.
While gearing up for the 2017’s remake of clown horror movie It, select locations in Sydney, Australia were “victims” to some creepy and clever marketing around its sewer drains. A single, red, helium-filled balloon tied to the drains was enough to send most onlookers who have seen the trailer or are familiar with the “Georgie and the sailboat” scene running in the other direction. Or, if you’re like me, running towards it.
Have a case of coulrophobia? In case clowns aren’t your thing, perhaps the prank advertisement for 2013’s Carrie remake is more up your alley. An elaborate set-up built within a coffee shop plus several actors portraying patrons show what happens when a telekinetic girl goes berserk when someone spills coffee on her computer. We guarantee you’ll be cracking up at your desk.
Guerrilla marketing’s high-impact effects aren’t always meant to be positive. Take UNICEF’s dirty water vending machine for example. In order to spread awareness about clean water (or lack thereof in certain areas of the world) UNICEF placed a water bottle vending machine in Manhattan. Said machine offered up discolored, “dirty” water, each of which with an afficting illness that can be contracted through contaminated water. Of course, the vending machine also served as a place that you could donate to provide clean water to children.
Sometimes seeing isn’t enough to believe. Sometimes it takes an immersive experience to make believers out of potential customers. It’s for this reason that pop-up shops and live demonstrations can be so very effective. Sure the idea of a pop-up shop may sound expensive and intimidating but think of the people standing in front of their restaurant with free samples at a mall’s food court. It’s the same thing. Providing an experience by showing people how your products work can woo your business customers, especially if you throw around the word “free” a couple of times.
A good example of “giving an experience” was orchestrated around the 20-year follow up season of Showtime’s popular mystery TV show Twin Peaks. The studio created a pop-up diner in multiple locations, including LA and SXSW in Austin, TX, resembling the Double R Diner from the series. Inside, the expected staples, coffee and cherry pie were served in a nostalgic setup with memorabilia throughout.
Ready to unleash your inner guerrilla marketer? Create your stunning website today!
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