Are you tired of watching YouTube Ads? We generally run away from them, don’t we? When an ad starts to play right before a video on YouTube, we smash the skip button as soon as it’s available! So, what strategy can you use to grab people’s attention and create a positive impression? The answer is obvious; Guerilla Marketing!
This marketing strategy is all about creative methods of advertising and getting attention from people when they are least expecting it. Therefore, guerilla marketing is considered an objective method of advertising which shouldn’t look like advertising! Sounds confusing? Don’t worry! We’re here to put your mind at ease.
Since many people prefer online shopping instead of going to the store, guerilla marketing can increase your brand awareness and create more leads for your website. And with the help of a CRO tool, you can get them to convert. But, You need to learn about your audience before planning any marketing strategy.
In today’s digital world, where people’s tastes constantly change, you need to be creative to satisfy your customers. If you’re looking for a way to meet their expectations, WatchThemLive helps you find out what they need without asking them. Stay tuned to realize how!
What Is Guerilla Marketing
As a modern marketing approach, guerilla marketing is an interesting, funny, interactive, and innovative method of marketing that doesn’t sound like one. This marketing strategy takes people off guard and creates a remembering expression with an unconventional approach. Therefore, It makes people accept it with open arms and even appreciate it. Interesting, right?
Let us show you an old (but gold) guerilla marketing example:
As much as this ad hurts my feelings, it persuades me to hit the gym!
This marketing strategy is perfect for startup businesses because it can be incredibly inexpensive. Don’t let its low-cost fool you for its incapability. You just need to dedicate more time and a lot of creativity to reach your desired results.
Guerilla marketing ideas are based on creative thinking. Therefore, you usually don’t see guerilla advertisements on TV, radio, or in newspapers. These platforms are too typical and expensive. Instead, they are placed in noticeable locations to make direct interaction with viewers and create a dramatic impact.
Therefore, as you can see, guerilla marketing chooses the harder path. But the good news is that this strategy can be used to sell everything from food, dress, and movie tickets to estates and cars. And by being clever, you can minimize the risks.
Different Types of Guerilla Marketing
Different approaches are utilized in this marketing strategy to attract the customers. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most common types of guerilla marketing.
1. Astroturfing Marketing
This marketing tactic is among the most dangerous guerilla marketing strategies and it has a high risk of backfiring. Astroturfing focuses on generating hype around a brand or product through targeted reviews, surveys, and discussions on forums and online platforms. This can have a negative effect if the readers realize the review isn’t honest and written by the marketers for commercial purposes.
Since it can easily damage the company’s credibility, astroturfing is among the most controversial guerilla marketing strategies. But, thanks to the low price and high outcome, it’s getting more popular these days. After all ‘Bigger the risk, bigger the reward. But the higher the climb the harder the fall’.
2. Street Marketing
Since guerilla marketing tactics go back to guerilla warfare, there is no surprise that streets are the main arena for this marketing strategy. Street marketing is a subdivision of guerilla marketing and its advertisements can be seen in the streets, parks, sides of cars or public transport, etc.
Most of the street marketing elements are displayed in random locations to be eye-catching and create memorable effects on the audience. Street marketing is also known as outdoor guerilla marketing.
3. Indoor Marketing
Indoor guerilla marketing focuses on public places with enclosed structures such as shopping malls, university campuses, football stadiums, etc. The marketing strategy follows the same tactics as outdoor marketing. However, the areas that are going to be displayed are different.
4. Viral Marketing
Viral marketing or buzz marketing is the main approach of guerilla marketing. In this strategy, marketers encourage the audience to pass on the message to others through different channels (usually social media). Therefore, with viral marketing, marketers expose their brand to thousands or even millions of individuals by approaching a small number of people. In this sense, viral marketing is also referred to as word-of-mouth marketing.
How to Execute a Guerilla Marketing Campaign
Just like guerilla fighters, you should gather information about the target and learn the situation before making a move. This way, you can create more successful campaigns. So it is vital to:
1. Know Your Audience and Understand What Impresses Them
You are marketing to grab the customer’s attention. So, it’s vital to know what they need and what creates engagement for them. The best thing about guerilla marketing is that you are considering all the customers, but advertising for a small number of them. Therefore, it’s much easier to find their taste and design something impressive.
2. Choose Guerilla Marketing Ideas that Work for Your Brand
There are many guerilla marketing tactics, such as ambient marketing, ambush marketing, network marketing, street marketing, buzz marketing, etc. The tactics should be chosen based on the results you desire, your resources, your brand’s features, and the data driven from the previous stage.
3. Think out of the Box
Literally! Innovation is the key. You don’t want to be a cheap copy of a masterpiece when it comes to guerilla marketing. Don’t be afraid to be unconventional. Use your imagination. Be bold and make a grand gesture to win the customers’ hearts!
Why You Should Invest in Guerilla Marketing
Because traditional methods have a very low conversion rate and are out of date. But, by utilizing clever guerilla marketing tactics, your marketing campaign will be treated as an invited guest rather than an annoying intruder!
There are many different methods to find customers. Many people think paid advertisements, such as advertising on TV, YouTube, and in magazines, are the only options. This method not only costs a fortune but also has no satisfactory results. This kind of marketing is categorized as traditional marketing, which is the counterpoint of guerilla marketing.
What Are Guerilla Marketing Advantages
Even though we have already mentioned some of the benefits of using guerilla marketing ideas in a marketing campaign, it is still worth mentioning them all once more:
- Being budget-friendly,
- Creating a memorable image of your brand,
- Giving you a chance to go viral,
- Creating an opportunity to interact with the audience directly,
- Helping you to choose the target audience.
Now, we’re going to discuss 25 mind-blowing guerilla marketing examples to give you some inspiration. Let’s get started! Shall we?
Best 25 Guerilla Marketing Examples
Companies use different strategies to promote their brand. If you want to know what strategy is best for you, consider these 25 examples and get the attention your business deserves.
#1 BBC’s Dracula Billboard
When the night falls, vampires start to feast. That’s exactly what BBC had been trying to imply with this famous billboard for advertising the Dracula TV series. This billboard was located in London and Birmingham. Still, the news about it spread worldwide.
At first glance, it’s just a billboard with some spikes and a few drops of blood on it. But when the sun goes down, this masterpiece reveals its horror.
This design was so effective that after two years, people still talked about it. Only if the series was as good as this billboard!
#2 Mc Donalds Heat Sensitive Panel
Mc Donald’s always comes up with the best guerilla marketing ideas. On July 4, 2015, Mc Donalds decided to challenge the sun and cool down everybody with 100 free cops of Mc Flurry.
It was one of the hottest days of the year in Amsterdam, Netherlands. And the panel was designed to be opened at 38.6 degrees Celsius.
Everybody was gathered around the panel and hoping it would get hotter! Finally, at noon the wait was over, and everybody got what they wanted.
Mc Donalds could simply give free ice cream and save the day. However, that would be like any other free sample advertisement. And nobody would remember it the day after. But, with a little creativity, Mc Donalds made a memorable impression. And got everybody to wish for a hotter day in the middle of the summer! I would wish for the same thing if I could get free ice cream!
#3 Dentistry Group, 2019
This one is one of the best guerilla marketing examples ever. And just by looking at the banner, you’ll understand why.
I noticed the missing eyebrow only after reading the title. This marketing campaign gives you a heads-up to pay more attention to your teeth. And it gives you a pretty solid reason why.
#4 Domino’s Paving for Pizza
The worst thing in the world is to get your pizza and see that the ingredients are all over the box! Most of the time, people blame the delivery for destroying their favorite pizza.
However, Domino’s Pizza decided not to point its finger at the poor delivery guy. Instead, they put the blame on the potholes in the street. And that was the starting point for one of the best guerilla marketing campaigns.
At first, Domino planned to pave the potholes in only 20 cities. But after receiving 130,000 submissions in a short amount of time, they expanded the campaign to all 50 states, which resulted in gaining everybody’s respect at the national and international levels.
#5 Caribou Coffee Giant Oven
To launch their new “hot ‘n wholesome” menu, Caribou Coffee decided to transform a bus shelter into a giant oven with actual heat!
Nobody would mind a little heat during the freezing wintertime. Many passengers might choose this station to wait for the bus. And during that time, they are definitely going to take a look at whatever you are advertising.
This creative guerilla marketing design gives you enough reason to walk towards it. Moreover, the campaign is definitely treated as an invited guest rather than an annoying intruder!
#6 IWC Hanging Straps
If you can’t take the customers to your shop, bring the shop to them! IWC marketers surely had that sentence in their minds when they decided to change the form of the hanging straps to the watches IWC produced.
Every time one of the riders grabs these straps, they are actually trying one of those products of this company on their hands.
Just imagine how magnificent the outcome is going to be when you apply this guerilla marketing tactic in a city like New York, with approximately 3.6 million public transport ridership.
#7 AXE Body Spray
Axe body spray advertisement is one of the coolest guerilla marketing campaigns. It’s simple, interesting, and innovative all at the same time. And, of course, it promises something special about the brand!
The advertisers decided to add a sticker of some ladies chasing the guy in the exit sign to imply he had used an appealing body spray!
The exit sign can be seen in almost every building on this planet (and probably on other planets). So, it’s a good start for you if your brand’s products are similar to AXE’s.
#8 Kill Bill Advertisement
One of the best examples of guerilla marketing is Kill Bill ads. Tarantino’s movie had a talented marketing team with brilliant ideas.
The picture speaks for itself. Everything on their banners is related to the movie. Even if you haven’t watched the movie, you can have a pretty accurate guess of what it’s going to be about. With this kind of marketing, you can excite the audience ahead of time.
#9 Volkswagen Slide
One of the notable examples of guerilla marketing is Volkswagen’s promotion of its Polo GTI model. The company decided to promote the car by highlighting its notable features: being fun and speedy.
Therefore, they created a slide next to the stairs of a subway and gave everybody a chance to take the fastest and the funniest direction.
In the end, everybody had a smile on their face, and none of them would ever forget how fun, fast, and comfortable Volkswagen could be. And they did it just by creating a slide.
# 10 GoldToe Underwear on New York City Bull
Imagine you are on your way to go to work just like any other day. And suddenly, you notice something unusual about the huge statue on the sidewalk. It is wearing underwear!!! Who wouldn’t notice that?
That’s exactly why GoldToe decided to put underwear on a huge bull in the middle of NYC. It took people off guard and surprised everybody. Some of them even took pictures of it.
GoldToe’s advertisement can be categorized as one of the best Guerilla marketing examples.
#11 Warm Wishes from Drybar
Nothing is lovelier than a warm breeze on your face when you are freezing on a cold winter day. Since it’s impossible to happen naturally, Drybar saw this as an opportunity and took it in its favor.
You can’t miss an upside-down yellow drier with a big box next to it when you are passing by. And when you stay in front of it, a warm breeze is going to caress your face. I bet it must feel amazing.
Brands that interact with their audience at this level can create a memorable experience and leave their mark for a long time. This is exactly what guerilla marketing is all about.
#12 Spider-Man 2 Commercial
Spider-man 2 advertisement in 2004 is another example with one of the best guerilla marketing ideas to inspire your brand.
Grabbing people’s attention is one of the biggest challenges in marketing which was perfectly dealt with in this example. Who wouldn’t notice a urinal on the wall and of course, the poster next to it?
You should be either a spider man or 12 meters tall to use that.
#13 Kit Kat Campaign
Kit Kat’s famous slogan, “have a break, have a Kit Kat”, is all over their 2021 outdoor marketing campaign. Their famous tagline is printed on the banner, and there is a break on it instead of the word “break”.
To emphasize their slogan, even more, they decided to tie a hammock in the empty space. Therefore, they create a place for people actually to have a ‘break’.
#14 Pepsi and Coca Cola Campaigns
These two giant drinking brands have a long history of roasting each other through guerilla marketing advertisements. And most of their ads are actually funny, creative, and engaging. Here you can see Pepsi’s marketing campaign for Halloween:
Pepsi landed a beautiful punch on Coca-Cola. However, Coca-Cola managed to dodge it perfectly. And they did it by using the same photo and just changing the sentence. Who do you think did it better?
#15 Barbie and Oppenheimer Movies
The best moves of 2023 are expected to have the best marketing ideas too. As these movies were released on the same day, their fans passionately rallied behind their favorites. So, the marketers saw the potential and increased the hype through guerilla marketing.
They used trash cans in the streets to attract more viewers. These types of trash cans are not something you would see every day. So, the guerilla marketing campaign sticks to people’s minds just like the movies. This marketing idea has an environmental effect too. Why would someone want to dump the trash on the sidewalk when they can use it to support their favorite movie? Here you can see Barbie is ahead of Oppenheimer, and it’s not even close!
The aforementioned cases are some of the most famous examples of guerilla marketing. Now, let’s introduce you to 10 more budget-friendly marketing examples.
Top 10 Guerilla Marketing Examples for Small Businesses
A true guerilla fighter fights with whatever they got, and so does a guerilla marketer! You can not bring excuses about your limited budget. Make it up with creative ideas. The next 10 examples can be a lifesaver for small brands.
#1 Folgers Coffee
Using landmarks in your favor is one of the key strategies for guerilla marketing campaigns. Folgers Coffee advertisement in New York is a perfect example of it.
They saw a steaming manhole and turned it into a hot cup of coffee. How? Just by covering the manhole with a sticker. The sticker is the image of a coffee mug. And the steam gives the impression that the coffee itself is steaming. Simple and clever right?
This type of outdoor marketing is engaging and memorable. And costs almost nothing. So, if you have a coffee shop, waste no time and check the streets for a steaming manhole!
#2 Windex Cleaner
Windex cleaner presented what its products offer in a brilliant way.
They used semi-transparent glasses in a bus station to imply glasses are covered with steam. And stick their product on it to show their cleaner made the steam go away.
See! There is no need to spend a bag of money. Just a little creativity.
#3 Mr. Clean Crosswalk
By using your imagination, even crosswalks can turn into an element for your guerilla marketing advertising.
The color contrast between the bright strip and other strips is something hard to miss. Everything about this campaign is perfect. There is no unnecessary explanation. The advertisement speaks for itself and directly points to what the product is capable of.
Why is there a shining strip among all these muddy stripes? Because of that bold man! Mr. Clean!
#4 Durex Father’s Day Campaign
Funny guerilla marketing advertisements are the best ones. And Durex is a pioneer in this matter.
In 2010, Durex pointed out what would happen if you don’t use their product and go for other competitors’. So, if you don’t want to receive congratulations on father’s or mother’s day, it’s better to stick with Durex.
#5. SmileAtTheWorld Billboard
Your guerilla marketing ideas should always be based on the environment around you to leave a memorable impression and attract customers.
SmileAtTheWorld is a team of orthodontists that decided to run a unique advertising campaign in 2020. They saw Covid-19 as an opportunity for their business and encouraged everyone to get braces while the whole world needs to wear masks. This way, nobody would notice you are aligning your bite and straightening your teeth.
I would definitely get braces during that time if I hadn’t gotten them 8 years prior 🙂!
# 6 Nike Innovative AD Commercial
I know! This Nike advertisement in 2018 was an annoying one! But, as long as people notice the brand, the guerilla marketing campaign has served its purpose.
It’s almost guaranteed that everybody that sits on the other bench would notice something is wrong with the opposite bench. They’ll probably ask themselves ‘why on earth this bench is missing its seat?’ But the moment they see the Nike logo, everything would be clear to them. And if there is no place to sit, you have no choice but to keep running.
#7 Porsche Commercial Banner
Even mega companies like Porsche might also go for simple creative advertisements once in a while. This shows how important innovation can be in marketing. And sometimes, it covers up your budget limitation.
However, this one is not much of a guerilla-standard commercial. Still, it’s a funny, interesting, engaging, and very clever advertisement banner.
Speaking of which, if someone asks you the same question, what color would you want your Porsche to be? 🙂
#8 Ford Ranger Extreme
Porsche is not the only car company with an eye on creative marketing ideas such as guerilla marketing. Ford also uses this method to surprise customers and increase sales. They saw the potential in a matchbox. Can you believe that?
A company as big as Ford can afford any type of advertisement. But they would never skip such a simple effective method to get customers attention. With this guerilla advertisement idea, every time people want to turn on the fire, they will notice that Ford is selling one of its limited edition trucks.
#9 Oral-B Electronic Toothbrush
You can see another budget-friendly method of street marketing in Oral-B’s electronic toothbrush campaign. They used garbage trucks to advertise their toothbrushes. It’s very unconventional to use a truck that collects trash to promote something for cleaning. But they did it, and it worked.
Oral B is not a small brand, but they took their chances with guerilla advertisement. Their campaign shows how much potential this type of marketing has. Your brand can be the next one advertising its products on a trash truck, if you are creative enough.
#10 Pantene Ad on Escalator
Escalators are one of the best places for guerilla marketing advertisements. And you can see one of the best examples here.
Pantene is a hair and beauty products brand and used the space between two escalators to show by using its products how smooth and shiny your hair would get. Everybody that sets foot on these moving stairways will notice something unusual about it and that’s exactly what guerilla marketers wish for.
If anybody wishes for straight hair, they would definitely Google Pantene. And that’s a huge step for a successful marketing camaign.
Guerilla Marketing History
Although guerilla marketing might sound new, it has been around for a while now. Jay Conrad Levinson, an American business writer and marketer, was the first person to define guerilla marketing in his 1984 book of the same name.
The term has diverged from guerilla warfare and follows the same strategies! But, since wartime is long gone, its strategies have been modified to hunt more customers 😉!
Guerilla marketing is the result of shifting from traditional media into digital media and viral marketing. Therefore, this type of marketing is very cost-effective.
Using Online Tools for Guerilla Marketing
It’s terrible when you print a huge billboard, but nobody looks at it because it’s not engaging. That’s exactly why using online tools for guerilla marketing is a thing.
As it’s clear, online trial and error are more budget-friendly and less time-consuming than in real life. So, when you post a pop-up banner or create a design on your website, and nobody pays attention to them, it means you didn’t create enough engagement for the customers.
Therefore, there is a good chance real-world users also pay no attention to the design.
But how can you be sure a landing design or an online banner is engaging for your customers? You don’t know how? We’re going to tell you.
When it comes to data collection for guerilla marketing, your eyes alone can’t do much. Therefore, you need a behavior tracking tool to analyze your customers. And the good news is, we have the best for you!
WatchThemLive: The Best User Behavior Tracking Tool
WatchThemLive is a behavior analytics tool that helps you track your users’ journeys to ensure they have the best user experience. This tool provides many helpful features that enable you to improve your customer experience and make them satisfied. So, you can easily increase your conversion rate and boost sales.
According to the guerilla marketing definition, collecting data about your target is the key. That’s exactly where WatchThemLive features come in handy.
A heatmap is a graphical data analyzing tool using different colors on a scale from red to blue to present you with the data. WatchThemLive’s heatmap tools aid you in improving CTR and CTA, avoiding distraction, and creating a better user experience for your websites.
#2 Session Replay
Session replay tools generate video playbacks of your visitors’ sessions. This useful tool lets you record and watch how the visitors interact with your websites, such as mouse movement, clicks, turns, and rage clicks.
#3 Goal Tracking
Every website follows a goal. And it is essential to measure the performance of your website against the desired objective. The goal-tracking feature of WatchThemLive enables you to set different goals and find out how many visitors have responded to them.
َAnalytic dashboard, visual live chat, and video testimonials are other features of WatchThemLive.
All of these are only a small part of WatchThemlive’s features. If you like to know more about this amazing tool, sign up for FREE and see for yourself!
Guerilla Marketing FAQs
Now, let us answer some of your most frequently asked questions regarding guerilla marketing!
Q1. What Brands Use Guerilla Marketing?
This strategy is applicable to all brands. Even big names such as Coca Cola, Wendy’s, Frontline, and Nestle use guerilla marketing strategies in their advertisement. But it is perfect for smaller brands with short budgets. With the perfect strategy and a little creativity, they can even challenge the biggest companies.
Q2. What Is the Best Guerilla Marketing Book?
Jay Conrad Levinson is a famous business writer and the father of guerilla marketing. He has written the best books about guerilla marketing strategy such as:
- Guerilla Marketing (1984),
- Guerrilla Marketing for Writers (2010),
- Guerrilla Social Media Marketing (2010),
- Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters (2011).
Q3. How Did Guerilla Mrketing Get Its Name?
Due to the unconventional and creative marketing techniques of guerilla marketing, its term is generated from guerilla warfare which relies on suprising elements and is full of unusual strategies.
Q4. Why Is Guerilla Marketing Underused?
Because it is really hard to design! Running a guerilla marketing campaign can be challenging! You need to dedicate a lot of time and energy and come up with creative ideas that have never occurred to anyone before.
The innovative part of guerrilla marketing makes it challenging to predict the results. On very few occasions, the marketing actually backfired and caused a bad reputation for the brand. A good example is the 2007 guerilla marketing campaign incident. That’s the main reason why so many big companies avoid guerilla marketing.
However, the good news for small businesses is that even if the campaign doesn’t go according to the plan, it’s just a bad advertisement. But, to minimize failure and maximize effectiveness, you should know how to applicate this marketing strategy.
No matter how brilliant your products are, you need to improve your brand awareness. Marketing can cost a pretty penny. And mass media belongs to big companies. In this situation, guerilla marketing is the best option on the table.
In this article, we mentioned 25 successful guerilla marketing examples to help you with planning for your advertising campaign. And if you are planning for online advertisements, don’t forget to check the WatchThemLive tool out for a better marketing strategy.