The Creative Advertising Bible: The Value of Great Guerilla Ad Campaigns (With Examples)
The term guerrilla marketing may sound a little aggressive or scary due to the warfare images it tends to conjure up. In reality, though, it is a form of marketing that simply and effectively focuses on the element of surprise. When implemented well, guerrilla ad campaigns can deliver truly stunning results that customers simply cannot forget.
Whether you're copywriting or planning an event, guerrilla marketing can play an integral role in future campaigns. Still unsure about why your brand or marketing agency should embrace it? Here's everything you need to know.
Why Guerilla Ads?
Guerrilla ad campaigns have existed for generations, but the terminology didn't enter the business vocabulary until the 1980s. However, its fundamental focus is to deliver highly unconventional marketing campaigns that catch audiences unaware. The element of surprise subsequently allows the brand message to be expressed with greater power.
While many marketers worry that the brand message will get lost amidst the madness, the truth is that the memorable nature of successful campaigns will increase brand awareness unlike any other strategy. Better still, innovative ideas allow brands and agencies to reach large audiences in a cost-effective way, especially if it gets people talking.
Most guerrilla marketing strategies focus on the brand as a whole rather than individual products. In the best cases, the marketing campaigns are remembered for years.
Six Of The Best Guerrilla Ad Campaigns In Recent Years
The popular paper towel brand used external guerrilla marketing practices to stunning effects by turning the cities of New York and Los Angeles into the sites of large scale spills, including larger than life coffee cup spills and popsicle spills on the sidewalk.
Giant props like the 550lb ice cream were accompanied by marketing materials to promote the message "Bounty makes small work of the big spills" alongside samples of the paper towels. Passersby were subsequently encouraged to take Insta-worthy photos using the sample paper towels to mop up the giant spills, thus promoting a clear message in a fun and memorable manner that got people talking.
Transforming an existing setting into a marketing tool is one of the most impressive features of creative guerrilla ads. The Frontline flea and tick spray achieved this by placing a giant image of a scratching dog on the ground floor of a mall alongside information about the product.
The clever advert worked on two levels. At ground level, consumers were interested to read the giant advert. From higher levels looking down, shoppers looked like fleas that the dog was actively trying to fight. The fact that audiences had to double-take to check what they were seeing made it a memorable advert that ensured that the brand had captured the attention for long enough to build familiarity.
Cost-effective marketing is one of the main intentions of guerrilla ads. Guinness has an ongoing campaign that involves custom wraps for pool cues, accompanied by white tips. This transforms the look of the cue to carry the appearance of a Guinness pint.
The campaign works for several reasons. It costs just a few cents to create the look while the advert, which also depicts the Guinness branding, while the ads are likely to be seen by dozens of users. Crucially it hits them in pool bars, snooker halls, and sports clubs. All of those locations sell alcohol. A nod to Guinness with each shot encourages the player to subsequently order a pint or bottle of it.
Guerrilla ads do not have to be restricted to the physical world, as Spotify showed in 2019. The music streaming platform teamed up with astrologer Chani Nicholas to create music playlists based on the novel idea of using the zodiac signs.
The idea that people's music tastes could be defined by the month of their birth was quite a curious one, which is why thousands of streamers instantly checked out. Some were pleasantly surprised, others were left disappointed and returned to their standard playlists. In either case, interaction with the streaming service, which was still growing. And many users remember the stunt to this day.
Creative advertising experts have the vision to make one item look like something it isn't. Meanwhile, ambient guerrilla marketing also accommodates 3D marketing ideas that will grab the attention. BIC's idea was simple but effective. A huge razor was placed against a billboard.
The giant prop was made to look like it had trimmed a nearby field with the same impact it could have on a user's body or facial hair. The "our razors are sharp enough to mow your lawn" strapline is bizarre yet powerful. In turn, the advert made a huge statement in spite of the fact the accompanying billboard had very little on it other than the company logo. Sometimes less is more.
#6. Kit Kat
Turning everyday public surroundings into living adverts can make consumers remember them for years to come, even after the item is back to its original look. Benches can be used in a number of creative ways, and the Kit Kat bench is a great example.
Transforming the bench into a half-opened chocolate bar allowed Nestle to promote the wrapper and its logos alongside the natural brown wood, which looks like the bar itself. This conjures up thoughts of eating the chocolate bar while simultaneously fitting the "have a break" tagline of the brand. The confectionery giant has used other guerrilla plans, so it's worth checking them out too.
Guerrilla marketing is a very powerful tool that can catapult brands to the next level with increased awareness and unforgettable interactions. To learn more about the winning attributes, or to develop the skills needed to unlock its full potential, get in touch today.