Guerrilla Marketing is not a new concept but with the advent of social media, the art has truly come of age. In this article, we will look at what guerrilla marketing is, what its benefits are and look at a few examples, both successes and failures.
Guerrilla Marketing originates from the idea of Guerrilla Warfare, which is unconventional warfare that has the ability to take by surprise. Thus, marketing campaigns and strategies that rely on the element of surprise and use highly unconventional means to draw attention to something fall under the concept of guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla marketing seeks to increase brand awareness amongst a large audience without interrupting them.
Guerrilla marketing campaigns also have the potential to go viral in a big way. A great example of this was Rexona’s social experiment using Yureni Noshika. The concept was brilliantly simple. They filmed a 38 second clip of what appeared to be footage from a security camera in a lift. Yureni walks into the lift and it’s soon clear that her BO is putting everyone in the lift off. She then gets off and we see those who remain in the lift openly expressing their displeasure.This video was then put up as apparently leaked security cam footage through tier 1 gossip websites and the video soon went viral on social media. Rexona did not attach itself to it at all until the story was well established. The results were brilliant. 1 million views in 3 days (fastest to 1 million in SL) and over 5 million earned media impressions. A simple idea that cost little to execute managed to vastly increase the brand’s visibility.
Just like guerrilla warfare, guerrilla marketing can be executed with minimal budgets. Experiences are interactive and non-traditional and can occur in unexpected places, all providing for cost effective ways to build awareness.
As we have seen with the Rexona video and others like Iraj getting married (more info on that later), the potential for virality is enormous, almost limitless. This potential for massive user driven distribution delivers great value for money and keeps budgets low.
Because these marketing campaigns rely on everyday situations, through guerrilla marketing, brands have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with local businesses, organizations and charities to produce a campaign. These partnerships will further help brands target their ideal audience more effectively.
Successful campaigns stir strong emotions among consumers by using experiential advertising techniques. Some may even frighten and shock – if only temporarily – to have the desired impact.
The main aim of guerrilla marketing campaigns is to attract new customers, encourage old customers to buy again and to upsell, but to do it in a way that surprises them all. The process ends with the customer being convinced enough to buy the product or service that is being marketed.
The Rexona campaign is a fabulous example of guerrilla marketing, as previously described. Another brilliant example was the rumour surrounding Iraj’s wedding. This was an ingeniously executed guerrilla marketing campaign that saw pictures and video of the famous Iraj purportedly getting married to popular fashion model Maria Al Casa.
Fans and social media were taken by complete surprise and the news elicited highly emotional responses with some fans even feeling that Iraj had ‘let them down’ by not telling them. However, as the furore on social media reached fever pitch, it was soon revealed that the footage and pictures were indeed not from Iraj’s wedding but from his new, soon-to-be-released music video at the time, titled Manamaali (Bride). The success of the guerrilla campaign meant that fans simply couldn’t wait to get their hands on the music video and it was, unsurprisingly, an absolute hit.
In this day and age, it’s quite difficult for us to imagine life without our mobile phones in hand. For most of us one major problem faced when it comes to frequent usage of our mobiles – is battery capacity. Not all of us carry power banks when we go about our daily routines, nor do we always remember to fully charge our mobiles before we set forth on wherever we may be venturing to. This is the issue that Kevilton (a leading electrical appliance supplier in Sri Lanka) identified – quite brilliantly if I may add. Kevilton targeted the one time of the year where most people tend to gather at train stations – the week before Christmas(2017). They set up a number of free charging stations (that were compatible with any device), and allowed any and all to access them. This campaign was carried out without any prior advertising and immediately blew up. It garnered a large amount of positive feedback and was deemed to be a very useful and thoughtful action on Kevilton’s part.
Guerrilla marketing campaigns are unlimited in their ability to think out of the box and create a impression, as did American paper towel Manufacturer, Bounty. These guys left literal life-sized messes throughout the streets of New York City such as a giant, knocked over coffee cup and a giant melting ice lolly. They identified the biggest problem that their product solved and made a statement using it, leaving boards but the side of the messes that read ‘Make small work of big spills’ along with their logo, making the message plenty clear.
A more ambiguous campaign was of course the controversial barrel campaign by OSMO Fitness, wherein they placed a barrel on a billboard and declared that it was no shape for a woman to be in. Now, whether this campaign was successful or not is up for debate. Clearly more people knew of OSMO after the campaign than did before, but did their failure to consider the sensitivities of people put them in a precarious situation? If nothing else, the example of OSMO is one that teaches the need for reflection on any campaign, guerrilla or otherwise, before execution.
Understand where they exist digitally and socially, give them a show and be unafraid to use the comments section to your advantage.
Always try to go for the idea that will be most likely to go viral.
Especially important if your campaign is event based. Always see how to make people as curious as possible.
See how you can get the audience involved, without them even knowing they’re involved. A great example is that of Frontline, a brand of flea and tick sprays for dogs. Instead of putting up a message they put the message down on the floor of a mall atrium, a huge area visible from above, featuring an image of a dog scratching itself and the message ‘Get them off your dog.’ When viewed from above, foot traffic in the atrium below looked like ticks on the dog.
Sometimes the silliest ideas are the best ones!
Guerrilla Marketing is fun, for both marketers and consumers and keeps everyone on their toes. Its
potential to change perspectives and draw attention to causes is very powerful and therefore it’s a
potent tool in the arsenal of any respectable marketer.