What Is Guerrilla Marketing? 11 Examples to Inspire Your Brand

The phrase “guerrilla,” in its written type, seems to be fairly intense. It conjures photos of rebel and battle. Put it subsequent to the time period “advertising and marketing,” which makes many individuals ask, “Huh?”

However guerrilla advertising and marketing isn‘t some kind of combative type of communication. In reality, it’s really a really unconventional type of advertising and marketing in that it raises model consciousness amongst giant audiences with out interrupting them.

What’s guerrilla advertising and marketing?

Guerrilla Advertising Examples to Encourage Your Model

Guerrilla Advertising Ideas From Specialists

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What’s guerrilla advertising and marketing?

The time period itself was created within the early Nineteen Eighties by the late enterprise author Jay Conrad Levinson, who wrote a number of books about guerrilla ways in a number of skilled areas.

After all, advertising and marketing at the moment regarded very totally different. Whereas guerrilla advertising and marketing continues to be used right this moment, the ever-growing digital panorama is altering what it seems to be like.

Roots of Fight

After we hear the time period “guerrilla advertising and marketing,” it’s onerous not to consider guerrilla warfare — which is smart since that’s the place this advertising and marketing fashion bought its identify.

Within the context of battle, guerrilla ways rely primarily on the component of shock. Assume: “Ambushes, sabotage, raids,” based on Artistic Guerrilla Advertising.

However how does that translate into the work we do each day? In advertising and marketing, guerrilla methods principally play on the component of shock.

It units out to create extremely unconventional campaigns that catch folks unexpectedly throughout their day-to-day routines.


What entrepreneurs take pleasure in about guerrilla advertising and marketing is its comparatively low-cost nature. The precise funding here’s a inventive, mental one. Its implementation, nonetheless, doesn’t should be costly.

Michael Brenner summarizes it properly in his article on “guerrilla content material,” he frames this advertising and marketing fashion in the identical context as repurposing your present content material, like taking particular report segments and increasing every right into a weblog put up.

It is an funding of time however not cash, per se.

In a method, guerrilla advertising and marketing works by repurposing your viewers’s present surroundings. Consider it and decide which segments will be repurposed to incorporate your model.

Varieties of Guerrilla Advertising

As area of interest because it may appear, there are just a few sub-categories of guerrilla advertising and marketing, as outlined by the agency ALT TERRAIN:

  • Out of doors guerrilla advertising and marketing adds one thing to preexisting city environments, like placing one thing detachable onto a statue or placing momentary paintings on sidewalks and streets.
  • Indoor guerilla advertising and marketing. Like outside guerrilla advertising and marketing, it happens in indoor areas like practice stations, retailers, and college campus buildings.
  • Occasion ambush guerilla advertising and marketing. This tactic engages the viewers of an in-person occasion — like a live performance or a sporting sport — to advertise a services or products noticeably, normally with out permission from the occasion sponsors.
  • Experiential guerilla advertising and marketing. This contains all the above however is executed in a method that requires the general public to work together with the model.

With out context, guerrilla advertising and marketing could be a little complicated, so let’s see the way it’s been executed by just a few different manufacturers.

Guerrilla Advertising Examples to Encourage Your Model

1. UNICEF’s Soiled Water Merchandising Machines

I am as responsible as anybody of losing cash on bottled water. I’ve no excuse. I’ve a reusable one. My office provides filtered water from a machine, not a conventional cooler, but it stays a foul behavior.

This guerrilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign from the aid group UNICEF resonated with me. It posed the query, “What if these bottles of water you waste cash on have been crammed with soiled water?”

It reminded the privileged lots that in too many components of the world, total populations haven’t any entry to scrub ingesting water.

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So, as an alternative of frivolously spending that cash on bottled water, UNICEF instructed placing it towards efforts to deliver clear ingesting water to those areas.

It created makeshift merchandising machines that bought soiled bottled water, with every button labeled as a illness attributable to an absence of fresh ingesting water.

The massive takeaway: Guerrilla advertising and marketing works within the not-for-profit sector, too. And whereas scary, saddening photos are sometimes an impactful method of speaking your mission.

There is a approach to convey it by creating one thing much less in-your-face and interactive for the general public.

2. BBC’s Dracula Billboard

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After I consider Rely Dracula, I conjure the penultimate villain synonymous with every little thing that goes bump at evening. The BBC wished to capitalize on this sense to advertise their present Dracula.

By day, their billboard was designed to be minimalistic, with crimson textual content on a white background with just a few bloody stakes. Nonetheless, like its topic, the billboard modified fully each time evening fell.

The stakes have been strategically positioned to forged a shadow of Dracula himself.

The set up was featured in Adweek and had some viral success for its creativity and skillful implementation.

The massive takeaway: Assume exterior the field on your promoting supplies. On this case, mild and shadow have been sufficient to convey the message and seize consideration.

3. Burger King’s Moldy Whopper

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Within the historical past of quick meals, who’d have thought {that a} rotten burger can be the face of a widespread advert?

Not many individuals — which might be why Burger King thought it would be a good suggestion to launch a time-lapse video of their Whopper burger decaying for 35 days.

Many individuals complain about how near-perfect burgers and cereal look in adverts, so Burger King did the precise reverse to indicate how profitable they have been at eradicating synthetic preservatives from the Whopper sandwich in European international locations and america.

The photographs present the mould rising over the burger, from the buns to the freshly sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and onions to the juicy beef patty.

Within the advert, there’s a reference to the variety of days which have handed for the reason that burger was made. And beneath, an announcement learn, “The great thing about no synthetic preservatives.”

Whereas it could appear very gross, the audience did admire the advert’s message, and a few even admitted that they’d select the Whopper burger over others.

The massive takeaway: Do not be afraid to go to the intense when advertising and marketing your merchandise. It simply may need the impact you need. Be cautious — however don’t be afraid.

4. Airbnb’s ‘Night time At’ Marketing campaign

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If you happen to have been jealous of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s capturing their “Apesh*t” music video within the Louvre and need to expertise it, get in right here. Shortly.

To show its appreciation for artwork and its dedication to offering optimistic, unmatched experiences, Airbnb supplied clients an opportunity to expertise an evening on the Musee du Louvre (sure, you learn that proper. Free.).

For its experiential advertising and marketing marketing campaign titled “Night time At,” Airbnb reworked the glass pyramid within the Louvre Museum into an enthralling bed room the place company can spend the evening surrounded by the world’s most cherished (and costly) artworks, together with the famed Mona Lisa.

In doing this, Airbnb bridged the hole between artwork and hospitality, creating lifelong clients of artwork aficionados who skilled this.

However Airbnb didn’t cease on the Louvre. It reworked different iconic areas into properties for an evening, together with the Shark Aquarium, the Paris catacombs (for Halloween Night time), Dracula’s Fort in Transylvania, and the Nice Barrier Reef.

The aim is to supply folks the possibility to immerse themselves in locations with cultural, emotional, or historic significance — one thing Airbnb has achieved to the max.

The massive takeaway: Join together with your viewers emotionally by providing experiences that capitalize on their needs and pursuits.

5. Paper Tree x Rock Paper Actuality Marketing campaign

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Rock Paper Actuality (RPR), an immersive content material and design agency, collaborated with Adobe Aero and Google’s Geospatial Creator to create an augmented actuality (AR) expertise for the Paper Tree origami retailer in Japantown, San Francisco.

Guests within the space would scan a QR code, permitting them to view giant, 3D origami sculptures built-in into the world round them by their gadget screens.

Beside every sculpture was an inventory of supplies folks might buy within the Paper Tree retailer to recreate the mannequin.

This elevated enterprise for the origami retailer and confirmed how firms can use Adobe and Google tech to make 3D experiences extra accessible to their clients.

The massive takeaway: If you happen to can’t create an elaborate advertising and marketing marketing campaign in the true world as a consequence of funds points (or some other inconvenience), you can also make it right into a 3D digital expertise that your audience will love.

6. Budweiser’s Reunited With Buds Marketing campaign

The unfold of COVID-19 made 2020 a difficult 12 months for everybody, together with manufacturers like Budweiser that intention to deliver folks collectively for an excellent time.

So, to rejoice the reopening of bars, Budweiser launched their Reunited with Buds marketing campaign, which targeted on uniting folks after a difficult 12 months.

Within the advert, Budweiser’s lovely Labrador retriever pet and its well-known Clydesdale horses every make lengthy journeys to fulfill up, presumably after spending the previous a number of weeks social distancing.

With the spirited tune “Do not Cease Me Now” by Queen taking part in within the background, the Reunited with Buds advert celebrated the joy that comes with household, pals, and colleagues having the ability to seize a drink on the closest bar once more.

Along with precisely portraying the joy of reopening, Budweiser displayed its product positively by balanced storytelling and nostalgic music.

The massive takeaway: It is okay to get somewhat sentimental and fill your marketing campaign with components that invoke highly effective (and feel-good) feelings in your viewers.

7. KFC Crocs

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I’ve bought two questions: Do you like KFC’s world-famous fried rooster? Now, do you want Crocs?

Suppose your reply is sure to each questions. In that case, you’ll perceive the genius behind KFC’s determination to associate with Crocs, the pioneers of arguably essentially the most comfy footwear that exist proper now (that is simply my opinion, although).

In 2020, KFC and Crocs launched restricted version Clogs that includes a sensible Kentucky Fried Rooster sample and the recognizable red-striped bucket.

The 2 Clog variations — the heeled and the common — got here with removable drumstick-shaped Jibbitz charms connected to the highest.

Magnificence icon Me Love Me A Lot (MLMA) debuted the heeled model of those KFC x Crocs clogs at New York Style Week, one of many world’s most vital vogue occasions.

This garnered numerous consideration, which led to the restricted version Clogs promoting out in lower than an hour after the official launch.

For each pair bought, KFC donated $3 to the KFC Basis’s Attain Instructional Grant Program, which helps KFC workers get faculty scholarships.

The massive takeaway: To get as many eyes as potential in your marketing campaign, launch it at an enormous occasion. You may also incentivize folks to purchase your product by making donations or performing some charity work that you simply love.

Or you are able to do each, like KFC and Crocs.

8. McDonald’s Quarter Pounder Fan Membership

For almost 5 a long time, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder burger has been a fan favourite. In 2020, McDonald’s determined to capitalize on the Quarter Pounder’s recognition in Sweden to generate extra buzz for it.

And it did so by organising a Quarter Pounder Fan Membership — a secret membership for Quarter Pounder fans.

Not solely did this membership have restricted membership slots, however the individuals who have been accepted got a particular membership card and entry to Quarter Pounder-related perks, similar to a candle pack, mittens, calendars, T-shirts, stickers, and pins.

This marketing campaign motivated members of the fan membership to share their experiences and love for the Quarter Pounder on social media platforms.

This piqued the curiosity of those that haven’t tried the enduring burger (or any McDonald’s menu merchandise), and the large fast-food chain bought extra clients by the marketing campaign.

The massive takeaway: Create a way of exclusivity and make your buyer really feel particular by making a fan membership or group of some form. Then, provide them incentives to attract extra consideration to your marketing campaign.

9. Samsung’s Seize The Night time Marketing campaign

To advertise the launch of the brand new Galaxy S23, Samsung launched its Seize The Night time marketing campaign, which served to bridge the hole between creativity and know-how.

Initially titled “Captura la noche” for its Argentine customers, Samsung confirmed how a lot love and appreciation its customers had for music as a lifestyle, as an intimate language, and as a coping mechanism.

Samsung created an internet platform the place its customers can add their evening pictures taken with Samsung Galaxy S23’s unparalleled evening digicam. This platform analyzes the pictures and makes use of AI algorithms to outline the fashion of music for every picture.

Not solely can Samsung customers work out the form of music they’d prefer to take heed to, however they’ll use the platform’s solutions to create unique songs of their very own, identical to Agusto Schuster did.

The massive takeaway: Determine one thing your audience loves and discover a approach to give it to them by your marketing campaign.

10. Google Pixel Fold marketing campaign

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Foldable gadgets have been all the craze for almost a decade, so when Google Pixel launched the Pixel Fold, it knew it needed to go above and past to spotlight its wonderful options.

Working with Anomaly, an modern advertising and marketing company, Google Pixel launched a marketing campaign with 3D anamorphic DOOH.

Anomaly used larger-than-life 3D phantasm billboards and animation to showcase the foldable telephone’s modern design and spotlight its immersive show options, amongst different issues.

There may be additionally footage of the shows that’ll be shared throughout social media to garner extra consideration.

The massive takeaway: Determine some modern, novel methods to make use of common advertising and marketing channels, similar to billboards, video commercials, and social media.

11. SPAR Costume To Impress the AI Marketing campaign

Relating to guerrilla advertising and marketing, nothing beats interactivity. SPAR Slovenia knew this when it partnered with promoting company AV Studio to arrange an interactive metropolis mild proper on the entrance of Interspar shops.

When a buyer stands in entrance of town mild, the machine studying algorithm will scan their clothes fashion and use that to find out the client’s musical tastes.

The method takes lower than ten seconds and is protected because the system doesn’t retailer customers’ pictures. It solely scans a buyer’s clothes and performs music that matches their fashion, together with rock, pop, and hipster music. Town mild additionally recommends songs that clients would possibly take pleasure in.

The massive takeaway: Take into consideration the issues your viewers would possibly simply move by each day — and make these issues do one thing surprising and interactive.

Guerrilla Advertising Ideas From Specialists

Listed here are some suggestions that will help you run a profitable guerilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign:

1. Know your audience.

Since you recognize the product you‘re selling, you doubtless have a good suggestion of the form of folks you need to goal together with your guerilla advertising and marketing ways.

Nonetheless, due to the spontaneity, creativity, and typically interactive nature of guerilla advertising and marketing campaigns, you’ll must develop a deeper understanding of your audience.

Guerilla advertising and marketing isn‘t nearly reaching folks however about forming a reference to a section of your goal market that has the identical pursuits, wants, and values because the model you’re selling.

To do that, research your viewers and work out:

  • The place they hang around (on-line and offline).
  • What they like and dislike.
  • What they care about.
  • How they impart.
  • What their routine seems to be like.
  • What can shock them?
  • How they spend their leisure time.

Figuring out this data may also help you select an acceptable location, craft a message that resonates, and pick the correct on-line promotion channels on your marketing campaign.

“The key sauce is basically attending to know your viewers just like the again of your hand,” says Sudwir Khatwani, the director of The Cash Mongers.

Khatwani explains, “It’s about chatting with them, understanding their quirks, and determining what actually will get them excited. Once you nail this, you may whip up a marketing campaign that seems like a heart-to-heart chat reasonably than a gross sales pitch.”

That‘s what Crimson Bull did with their Stratos Bounce marketing campaign. It was an enormous success as a result of the model understood and tapped into its viewers’s curiosity in journey and excessive sports activities.

That is why they sponsored Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s groundbreaking freefall from Earth’s stratosphere, producing worldwide consideration and growing model consciousness.

2. Be inventive and unique.

The great thing about guerilla advertising and marketing is in its idiosyncrasy. It is a advertising and marketing tactic that requires you to suppose exterior the field for a approach to embrace the component of shock and create one thing related but surprising.

With guerilla advertising and marketing, the very last thing you need to be is a copycat.

So the onus is on you to both provide you with one thing that is by no means been accomplished earlier than or put a singular spin on an present idea — whereas guaranteeing that your thought aligns completely together with your model id and values.

Adebayo Samson, the founder, and CEO of Academicful, believes that ambient advertising and marketing is the way in which to specific your authenticity and creativity.

Ambient advertising and marketing entails integrating your messaging seamlessly into the surroundings wherein your audience interacts.

“It is about be­coming part of their world, whether or not by strategically positioned visuals, memorable experiences, or interactive eleme­nts,” Samson explains.

Samson says, “This method guarantee­s that your advertising and marketing efforts charge­l pure and unobtrusive, capturing potential clients’ consideration with out being intrusive or disruptive.”

Location does make all of the distinction with guerilla advertising and marketing. Jon Morgan, the CEO of Enterprise Smarter, is aware of this all too nicely.

“One memorable guerrilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign concerned a journey company inserting life-sized cardboard cutouts of unique animals in surprising city areas. This sparked intriguing conversations, in the end driving extra folks to their journey packages,” Morgan says.

This marketing campaign’s aim was to encourage folks to discover new locations and expertise wildlife of their pure habitats. It labored.

As Morgan says,The secret is to evoke feelings and make folks cease and suppose.”

3. Take a look at your thought earlier than executing it.

The primary aim of a guerilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign is to wow your audience. However should you execute your unconventional marketing campaign with out testing it first, you would possibly find yourself doing the precise reverse.

Irrespective of how genius your guerilla advertising and marketing thought feels, Tom Golubovich, the pinnacle of selling at Ninja Transfers, advises that you simply take a look at it on a spotlight group first.

“Guerilla advertising and marketing is exclusive and superior, however it’s at all times a good suggestion to grasp and respect the boundaries of your goal market in order to not trigger an reverse impact,” Golubovich says.

“Decide a small group of individuals to check your concepts beforehand, ask them for his or her ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and make your selections accordingly,” he explains.

Testing your thought on a small group of individuals helps you expect how your bigger viewers will react to your marketing campaign and the outcomes you may get from it.

4. Promote your guerilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign on-line.

After executing your guerilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign, what occurs subsequent?

Some entrepreneurs select to take a seat again and watch outcomes pour in.

However a way more productive method to take is the one which Jas Banwait Gill, the expansion supervisor at SwagMagic, advises — which is to amplify the affect of your marketing campaign by on-line advertising and marketing.

“As soon as the present is over, sustaining momentum is essential. Preserve the thrill going by hyping the success of your guerilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign throughout your model’s on-line channels. This extends the lifetime of your marketing campaign and retains your viewers engaged and enthusiastic about your model,” Gill says.

Gill’s proper. The presence of an offline guerilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign shouldn’t imply the absence of a web based marketing campaign.

As a substitute, each your on-line and offline campaigns ought to work in tandem to extend consciousness and generate certified leads on your model.

You should use totally different on-line channels, similar to social media, e-mail, blogs, podcasts, and PR, to advertise your marketing campaign, amplify user-generated content material, and share testimonials and behind-the-scenes content material.

You’ll be able to even create a hashtag on your marketing campaign and use it throughout all of your advertising and marketing methods, together with content material advertising and marketing, influencer advertising and marketing, and paid promoting.

5. Do not deal with going viral.

Who would not love their advertising and marketing marketing campaign to go viral? I certain would!

Nonetheless, do not let the prospect of virality make you are taking your eyes off the aim you need to obtain — offering worth and getting extra clients on your model.

Going viral merely implies that your marketing campaign will attain many individuals; it would not assure that it’ll attain the proper folks. So, whereas the guerilla advertising and marketing campaigns outlined above went viral, this should not be what you pursue.

Focus first on including worth to your audience. If you happen to go viral within the course of, that‘s nice. However should you do not, you‘ll nonetheless get good outcomes since you’re concentrating on the those that matter.

6. Analyze and study from the outcomes of your marketing campaign.

When your guerilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign is over, it is advisable analyze your outcomes and see what you probably did proper (and what you did not).

Jon Morgan, the CEO of Enterprise Smarter, proposes that you simply measure the success of your guerrilla advertising and marketing marketing campaign utilizing each quantitative and qualitative metrics.

“Observe engagement, web site visitors, social media mentions, and gross sales, but in addition take note of the conversations and model sentiment it generates. These insights will assist you to fine-tune your technique for future campaigns,” Morgan says.

You may also gather suggestions out of your audience, companions, and stakeholders. Via this suggestions, determine what labored nicely and what might be improved.

Doc all the course of and observe some finest practices to stick to for future reference. This ensures that you do not wrestle an excessive amount of while you run one other marketing campaign sooner or later.

Guerrillas within the Wild

Beginning to make somewhat extra sense?

Hopefully, you may be impressed by these examples, particularly should you’re selling a smaller model. Don‘t be afraid to crowdsource the content material for these campaigns.

In spite of everything, inventive approaches to your work assist keep guerrilla advertising and marketing’s budget-friendly, inbound nature.

Bear in mind: Catch folks the place they’re, and insert your model there. Do not interrupt, however invite them to take part.

Editor’s observe: This put up was initially revealed in July 2018 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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