Guerrilla marketing is a unique and effective way to promote your business. While other forms of advertising can be expensive, guerrilla marketing is a more affordable option that can deliver big results. Utilizing creative tactics such as street promotions, social media campaigns, or even Product Sampling, guerrilla marketing gives your business the exposure it needs to stand out from the competition. With a little planning and ingenuity, you can create a guerrilla marketing strategy that will help you achieve your goals. So what are you waiting for? Start brainstorming some ideas today!
Ever noticed a random object situated in the middle of a mall, a flash mob erupting during an event, or a random poster on a wall with a message on it? If yes, you have witnessed guerrilla marketing examples. If you feel that you have never seen such examples, think carefully you might have noticed it knowingly or unknowingly.
Guerrilla marketing is one of the most cost-effective techniques that brands use for marketing. This method is aimed to catch the audience or citizens by surprise during their daily chores and routines. Creators use unconventional and creative approaches to expose their brand and spread awareness. Guerrilla marketing is now used to promote or sell anything. Right from pizzas to movies.
This blog will take you through a few successful and crazy guerrilla marketing examples by top brands to understand this model
Top 30 Successful Guerrilla Marketing Examples from Top Brands
In 2010, Volkswagen launched a campaign called – “Fast Lane: Driven by Fun.” It was launched to promote their new car, VW Polo GTI. The campaign was conceptualized around the features of the new model. The vehicle has a 2.0L turbocharged engine that reaches up to 197 horsepower. The model was designed in a manner that consumes less fuel along with a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.
This transmission does not need a driver’s input to change the gears. According to these features, the brand initiated its campaign by creating 3 fast lanes in different locations. They placed these lanes in Berlin, Germany, where there was more foot traffic.
Fast lane 1 – An elevator where passengers experience the elevator going at high speed. They wanted the passengers to have an experience which is similar to a rocket launch
Fast lane 2 – Shopping carts with a skateboard attached to them. People could use the carts on the fast lane and go shopping while skateboarding. The idea was to give the customers a fun and quick shopping experience
Fast lane 3 – A slide was installed in one of the subway stations parallel to a stairway. It encouraged people to use the slide as it is quick and fun.
A music app loved and used by all. Spotify catches everyone by surprise with its customized marketing ideas. When we talk about guerrilla marketing examples, Spotify is a must as their thinking revolves around connecting with the audience with music.
The wrapped campaign by Spotify revolved around the idea of letting their users revisit and relive all the songs that they discovered in the past year before a new year begins. It allows the subscribers to check all different songs, artists, and genres they listened to, along with the total time they spend listening to a few particular songs.
This campaign created a buzz as the brand noticed new subscribers and more downloads for their app. Nonsubscribers wanted to be a part of the experience as subscribers put up stories regarding this campaign.
In 2019, Spotify created playlists based on horoscopes. The brand teamed up with an astrologer and created playlists representing each sign’s theme.
Netflix promotes its new releases in the most innovative manner. They know how to get the audience involved even before the release. One such campaign that created a buzz on social media was during the release of the film Bird Box. The aim of guerrilla marketing is to create a buzz cost-effectively, and Netflix succeeded.
Memes, videos, and posts regarding the film were flooding on social media platforms. Initially, Netflix sponsored Twitch gamers to be a part of a challenge called ‘Bird Box Challenge. This challenge later spread like wildfire, and people from different platforms started taking part in this challenge.
It is important to note that these guerrilla marketing strategies should not bring risk to someone’s life.
Everyone wants their pizza to look appealing and in proper shape. When it looks like a smushed cake or with ingredients falling all over the place, customers are ready to blame the delivery person’s driving skills. Dominos brought this issue into the limelight and launched a campaign regarding the same. The drive surprised everyone when they blamed the Americas infrastructure department for their pizzas not being delivered properly.
It pinpointed the number of potholes present on the streets. The campaign spoke about potholes and started repairing the potholes on their own in all the states of America. This campaign brought a lot of attention to Dominos. It solved the problems of the citizens and gained a lot more publicity than the investment they made to cover the potholes.
Source: Paving for Pizza Website
5. Frontline Flea and Tick Spray
Ever noticed how people look while you are standing on the 25th floor? Don’t they all look like dots moving around? A similar concept was used by the brand front line, and people involuntarily were part of the campaign. They placed a gigantic floor poster on the ground floor of a mall. The poster was a dog scratching its head.
The brand knew that people would walk across the poster, and when they did so, they looked like fleas moving on the dog for people looking down from the higher floors.
Imagine drinking bottled water that was dirty. No one would want to drink water that is impure or that had a color to it. UNICEF took this idea and wanted to bring awareness to privileged citizens that many places in the world do not have clean drinking water. In 2009, they created a ‘Dirty water vending machine’ and placed it in New York’s union square.
The machine had different flavors of water, such as malaria, dengue, and typhoid. The flavors were named after diseases that plague communities face due to not having clean or pure drinking water. The aim was to wake the citizens regarding this crisis and make them realize how much they spend on bottled water.
They priced the bottles for 1$ and mentioned that their donation of a dollar could provide kids with pure drinking water for 40 days. UNICEF even provided statistics and information to the people regarding the crisis. The campaign gained a lot of coverage through media and a lot of donations.
Guerrilla marketing can be used by non-profit organizations as well.
7. Red Bull
‘Red bull gives you wings,’ that is precisely what Red Bull did. In 2012, the brand sent Felix Baumgartner, an Australian athlete Felix 128,100 feet high, to skydive, and he jumped from the edge of space. The campaign gained so much publicity that millions were watching this event take place. People connected Redbull with sporting events, and the brand has gained a lot of recognition in this field ever since.
Winning a Google Nexus 7 tablet by just sitting in one place!. Kit kat used this idea to increase their brand awareness. In 2014, they placed metal benches in the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht. If people sit in the same spot for a certain amount of time, they get to win the Nexus tablet. This campaign was a success as it gained attention from many, and Nexus operating system name was called kit kat.
Another example is when they installed hammocks around Paraguay. These were placed near bus stops, and it highlighted their theme ‘have a break.’
People witnessed a traffic jam outside Ikea on the first day of its launch in Hyderabad. More than 1000 customers visited the place. Ikea had its own way of spreading the word about their launch. Here are a few guerrilla marketing examples that the brand used in Hyderabad.
They placed empty boxes on the conveyor belt at the airport in Hyderabad. The boxes had a message written informing the people that their store was open.
They gave an experience of the products even before people decided to visit the store. They revamped a bus top with their products such as sofas, curtains, and cushions. People visited and clicked pictures.
The aim was to bring awareness to the brand’s new electric vehicles as well as reduce pollution. Hyundai makes cars that are eco-friendly, and their campaign revolved around this theme. The brand started a campaign to raise concerns about the increase of plastic and initiated a method to control this crisis. In 2018, they installed machines at a beach parking space which was in Sanxenxo, Spain.
The idea was called ‘Eco parking.’ It encouraged visitors to pay parking fees by picking up plastic bottles and dropping them in the machine. 1 bottle was equal to 30 minutes of parking time. During the 10 day campaign, the place saw many visitors and more recycling taking place. The campaign featured across all platforms, and the government passed a motion to install more machines in Spain.
A simple idea used by Jeep to show their (4×4)vehicles’ mobility and that they can be driven and parked on any terrain. They painted white parking marks on the streets of Copenhagen, and the markings were on different uneven surfaces such as stairs. They wanted to deliver a simple and positive message that Jeep 4×4 is not only for specific terrain; it can be driven in urban areas and can be parked in compact spaces.
12. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
The Guerrilla marketing strategy was used by Peta to deliver a message right on point. In 2018 they started a campaign urging people to stop purchasing products from a brand named Canada Goose. Their language on the posters grabbed attention, and the message was delivered.
What is better than turning your ads into furniture to grab attention? IBM ran a campaign where the message was the same but executed differently. They turned their ads into convenient and comfortable outdoor furniture.
Coco cola is a brand that has a few of the most memorable ads. Their marketing strategies and are unique and are loved and remembered by most. This brand has a few innovative and successful guerrilla marketing examples. The theme of the brand is sharing, and they have used this theme in different daily life situations.
The friendship machine – On the occasion of friendship day, they installed a tall vending machine. The idea was that people would take the help of each other and reach the top to get the bottle.
Small world machines – They installed a vending machine in Lahore, Pakistan, and in New Delhi, India. The idea was to bring the two cities together and share happiness.
Hug Machine – The idea was to hug the machine, and you get a coke bottle. The machine was placed in the National University of Singapore.
Christmas Balloons – A vending machine was placed in a Romanian town square. It offered two choices, a free coke or share the good. When people clicked on share the good, a red balloon flew from the machine carrying a gift that would land near someone and make them happy.
A charitable element in your campaign helps gain more attention and spread the good word. Google involved the citizens of the San Francisco Bay area. Their idea was to reward NGOs according to what the citizens of that area though. In 2015, during the Google Impact Campaign, they set up interactive posters in that area. The posters contained essential topics, and people could decide which issue is essential for that area and where the funding should go. Watch this video to get a better understanding of their campaign :
16. Nintendo Wii
Nostalgia can be a critical factor in bringing back viewers or customers. When Nintendo was going through a tough time in 2017, they created a campaign called “Wii’ll not forget.” They used post it and created a few of Nintendo’s favorite characters. This was to make people revisit their childhood and play their games again in their new launch.
You can get an attention of a passerby with just a camera flash. Nikon laid down a red carpet along with a billboard of paparazzi. Every time a person passes by, the cameras flash. This made people look at the billboard and see what was going on.
Source: Lion Tree Group
18. Swiss Skydive
Giving an experience of the service you are offering at the right place for a minimal cost can gain a lot of attention if you are just starting out the business. In 2009, when Swiss Skydive was just starting out, they used visual indoor marketing. They placed realistic floor designs in elevators of many multistorey buildings. It gave citizens a small experience of the service the brand was offering which was seeing the city from the sky. This campaign gained digital as well as tv coverage. The brand got awareness at a minimal cost.
19. Snap Chat
When we talk about guerrilla marketing examples, we can not miss out on this brand. This social media platform wanted to create its own name in the market. It wanted to create a buzz and make people wonder what it is. The brand started a campaign where they plastered their logo on billboards leaving out their name. With a white blob on a neon yellow background, people became curious and started searching about this. During this process, Snapchat gained followers and officially stepped into the market.
20. Gold Toe
Wouldn’t a statue wearing knickers or a shirt grab your attention? Gold toe was launching their new underwear and t-shirts line, and to spread the word, they dressed statues in their clothes in New York. Though it grabbed the attention of the citizens in an unusual way, it was a success. People started clicking pictures and posting them on social media platforms which helped the brand spread the word.
21. Burger King
Taking advantage of your competitor’s ads to bring customers to your shop?. Burger kings’ Burn that Ad’ campaign is among the well-planned and successful guerrilla marketing examples. The campaign revolved around the idea of burning competitors’ ads and winning a free whopper at their nearest burger king store.
People had to open the burger king app and point at their rivals’ posters or ads and watch it burn through an AR function added in the app. Once the flames faded, the customers would see a message of a free whopper that they earned. The campaign was started to bring awareness to their new launch called BK express that allowed customers to pre-order food instead of standing in the line.
Target your demographic to bring in more attention. When tinder started out, the company went to colleges and sororities and gave a presentation regarding their service. Their demographic were college students as they are social and would be interested in the concept that tinder was providing. After every presentation, they asked the students to download the app. At first, the company went to girl’s sororities and then the boys.
The campaign was a success, and students spread the word regarding tinder, and more people joined the app. Tinder also hired campus representatives to promote the app through parties. The parties had some entry requirements, such as it was compulsory for guests to download the app before entering or the guests had to bring a date along whom they matched with on tinder.
Ariel made laundry advertisement fun by involving them in it. They started an ‘Ariel Fashion Shoot’ campaign to show the difference between Ariel Actilift and other detergents. They made the campaign an online and offline experience where people could win the clothes they had stained. Clothes were from brands like See by Chloé, Vivienne Westwood, and Hugo Boss.
A robot was placed in Stockholm Central Station that people could control through Facebook or live. People had to aim and stain the dresses. After that, they could win the dress, and ariel would wash the garments live with Ariel Actilift. Ariel Fashion Shoot is one of the most known guerrilla marketing examples as it made laundry detergent advertisement fun and interactive.
24. Forever 21
An engaging billboard catches everyone’s eyes. Forever 21 created an engaging billboard on Times Square to tell people about their new store launch in Times Square. They used AR for the billboards to interact with the crowd. Here is a video to see how they executed the plan :
Tea-mometer, cool down with ice tea. Lipton installed a vending machine in 2013 on the UCT campus. People were given free ice tea based on their body temperature. The machine had touch screen technology that calculated the temperature. If people were not warm enough, the machine would suggest them to dance, exercise, or hula hoop. This gathered a lot of attention, and people started posting it on social media.
As we saw in other guerrilla marketing examples, interactive billboards are effective. McDonald’s installed an interactive billboard where people could get a free sundae. The task was simple; every time a sundae popped up on the screen, people had to save the sundae from melting, and they could redeem a free sundae cone.
Here are a few more examples –
Want to show that your service is applicable almost everywhere? Then target the places that they are applicable. Visa started a campaign to tell people that their card is now accepted everywhere. And this is how they did it –
This brand used this marketing strategy to show people the effectiveness of their product. They added flashlight posters near the backlight of a bus, near poles, or posters of batteries behind autos or buses.
One campaign that stood out was the one in Canada. During winter, the brand installed a bus stop that provided warmth or heat. The bus stop worked around the idea of positive and negative, just like a battery. To turn on the heater, people had to join hands with the person they are next to them and complete the circuit.
Pop-up stores attract many people. The pop-up store by Adidas was no ordinary. It was designed in the form of an Adidas shoebox, and they were selling limited edition shoes in the store. The pop-up store had 3D systems cube printers. This lets the visitors customize their lace locks. Along with that, customers could print their portraits and signs on their shoes.
A clever marketing stunt by Samsung. The brand gave the entire community of Appel in the Netherlands a free Samsung Galaxy S9, their latest device. By doing this, they made a whole community use their smartphone.
These were a few successful guerrilla marketing examples. This marketing strategy can be a massive success if designed and executed correctly. Brands use this type of marketing to bring recognition to their brand. This strategy encourages people to talk about the brand in an organic manner. Any kind of business can use this strategy as this marketing type is budget-friendly. The steps are simple, think out of the box, grab attention and make conversions.