Guerrilla marketing is defined as different things by different people. But at its core, it is about embracing unconventional ways of promoting a product or service. It is about generating publicity to get a brand noticed.
But what forms does guerrilla marketing take? And what opportunities are available to brands looking to take advantage of guerilla marketing in 2019? Read on to discover it all.
Guerrilla marketing is just one way of staying ahead in retail. Discover ➤ 4 more ways of staying ahead in 2019 by incorporating online and offline.
Take it to the streets with outdoor street marketing
One of the easiest and most well-known guerrilla marketing opportunities is through street marketing. As the name suggests, this involves getting out into the street and engaging with customers in person.
A good example of this can be found in paper towel brand Bounty. In 2009, the company created two larger-than-life models of a split coffee cup and a melting popsicle. Placing them on the hot New York pavement, Bounty accompanied these models with their slogan: makes small work of BIG spills.
It’s a bold marketing move that far outstrips the power any billboard could do. Bounty’s models are big, humorous, and perfect for social media sharing too.
But what sets it apart is its simplicity and unconventionality. No overwrought metaphors here — just a simple, obvious message that speaks to customers needs and positions Bounty as the solution.
If you want to incorporate street marketing into your guerrilla strategy, start with your USP, and work from there. What is the unique thing that draws customers to your product? Try to visually represent this, using as few written words as possible. People should be able to extrapolate meaning from your stunt without needing explicit cues.
In short: strive for simplicity. A concise but clever stunt speaks more than any expensive or complicated campaign ever could.
Go social for some digital guerilla marketing
Social media is a vast and diverse place. From everyday conversations and photos to hashtag trends and viral content, it offers plenty of guerrilla marketing opportunities for savvy brands to jump on.
Social guerrilla marketing means injecting a little brand personality into what is already happening on social. Newsjacking is a good example of this.
Newsjacking involves piggybacking off of news stories in real-time to draw attention to your brand or product. There are plenty of newsjacking examples out there, and they can be big and bold or low-key and understated.
The key to this is first having a strong grasp of what the news story is about. You can’t just tack your brand onto a story and hope for the best. Knowing the nuance of a news story lets you intelligently and thoughtfully introduce your brand into the narrative.
Of course, newsjacking is just one facet of guerrilla marketing on social media. Trending hashtags or viral content also provide ample opportunities for guerrilla marketing.
Enjoy the power of real-world experiential marketing
Experiential guerrilla marketing is, as the name suggests, about engaging customers through experience. This technique can be applied to virtually all of the above, but with an emphasis on the general public interacting and engaging with it.
As an example, in 2007, 20th Century Fox collaborated with convenience store chain 7-Eleven to promote the release of The Simpsons Movie. A select number of stores were converted to look like the Kwik-E-Mart that features in the television show, featuring authentic Simpsons products and characters.
Of course, such extravagant experiences are often too expensive for smaller brands to enjoy, but pop-up shops are an affordable guerrilla alternative that is well worth exploring.
Create a real-world event incorporating guest speakers, meet-and-greets, product samples, and more. The key to its success is to make it social media-friendly — eye-catching decor, impressive displays, and other Instagrammable elements increase your event’s engagement and social shareability.
Thinking about popups? Check out ➤ How To Measure Your Summer Popup’s Success
Pop-up shops also play an important role in omnichannel marketing, creating a unified experience that bridges the gap between the online and the offline. This is facilitated by offline POS sales that can integrate into your online store.
Adopt a soft approach with ambient marketing that surprises
While street marketing involves disrupting the norm in a loud and noticeable way, ambient marketing simply takes advantage of existing places and situations with a more understated yet unconventional approach.
A fine example of ambient marketing in play is this Frontline advert
This ad is a masterclass in ambient marketing. The poster itself is simple and, from the ground floor at least, virtually unnoticeable. But by disrupting the usual mall environment, it evokes humor and sticks in the mind of the viewers.
The key to nailing ambient guerrilla marketing is to look at the everyday in a different light. Buildings, walls, parks, bus stops — there is a wealth of possibility open to you.
Ask yourself: why do we perceive this in this way? And how can we change or subvert this in a way that puts your brand at the center?
Of course, this is easier said than done. But don’t fall into the trap of overcomplicating things — the best ideas, like the Frontline ad above, are the most simple. Click here for a useful guide to get you started.
Guerilla marketing is an intrepid approach to advertising that subverts the usual expectations of brands from customers. Follow the tips above and spot your next guerilla marketing opportunity that will get your brand noticed in 2019.