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An Insight Into The World Of Guerrilla Marketing

Updated: Apr 12, 2023


Have you heard of the term ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ before but aren’t completely sure what it is?

Here Emily Horan, Marketing Assistant with Thrive Marketing, introduces you to the world of guerrilla marketing and explains in more detail what it’s all about!


The opposite of traditional marketing…

Guerrilla Marketing is a style of advertising that has been around since the 1980’s. Often described as the opposite of traditional marketing, guerrilla marketing can be controversial and uses ‘guerrilla warfare’ tactics, which focus on the element of surprise.


Typically, a small budget is used as this technique relies mainly on human interaction. You will find guerrilla marketing in public places, it focuses on disrupting spaces with catchy, memorable images that lead to brand association and purchases through word of mouth and social media posts. There are 4 main guerrilla marketing styles, all of which involve creative thinking:


  • Outdoor

  • Indoor

  • Event Ambush

  • Experiential


So, as you can see, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional advertising technique that insights the shock factor in the general public. It has been said, if you can master marketing locally, you can master marketing globally, a successful guerrilla marketing campaign will take place in a local area and will then venture online due to public feedback and reaction.


Some examples of the 4 main styles are…


  • Pop up shops – location is key!

  • Sticker marketing – how many times have you been waiting to cross the road and a sticker on the traffic lights has caught your eye?

  • Free samples – can be linked in with influencer marketing. Everybody loves free stuff! Make sure your brand is printed ALL over your samples.

  • Student marketers – brands popping up on college campuses with free things to promote themselves. When I was in college, I loved to see a branded truck outside my lecture hall!


Guerrilla marketing can leave a lasting and emotional impression. A solid, well thought through plan and a small budget is more or less all you need, after that just let the guerrilla marketing work its magic!


Top Tips For A Successful Guerrilla Marketing Campaign

Now that you know a little bit more about what guerrilla marketing is, here are our top tips for a successful guerrilla marketing campaign!


1. Do your research…

These campaigns typically do not have, or need, a large budget, so therefore require creativity and a great understanding of the public perception and who you want to target. It is also a huge skill to be able create a successful campaign that has been well thought through, but also seems careless and spontaneous. Originality is key!


2. Involve your audience…

Audience interaction = memorable. An interactive campaign is always likely to be successful and reach the internet through social media posts. The dream is that your campaign goes viral! Guerrilla marketing thrives off entertaining consumers. Something as simple as a photo opportunity will leave a lasting impression on the public… Definitely worth it!


3. Use the shock factor…

The element of surprise is arguably the most important factor of guerrilla marketing and is responsible for what makes it such a unique style of advertising. This is why a guerrilla marketing campaign needs to be planned carefully. The shock factor can make or break your advertisement, and once you have surprised your consumer with something different and unique… you’re on to a winner!


4. Avoid being too forward…

A guerrilla marketing campaign that has all the elements mentioned above, should draw the public towards it and they should want to willingly engage themselves in it. Having your select target audience with the proper research regarding how to approach them, intrigue them and draw them in, will ensure you are not being too pushy and in return pushing them away!


Some Guerrilla Marketing Winners…

Lastly, here are a few examples of successful guerrilla marketing campaigns.



IKEAs ‘Everyday Fabulous’ campaign. IKEA products were placed all over Manhattan (New York) and Paris for example, couches and curtains. The items were in plain sight, places that the public see and pass on the daily, on trains or at bus stops. This approach was subtle and extremely effective as IKEAs brand awareness multiplied due to the amount of people who saw it throughout their days.


McDonalds

This campaign was simple yet effective. A pedestrian crossing was transformed into a carton of fries. Once again, demonstrating a well thought through campaign, in a public setting. All you need to see is those golden arches and you will be craving a McDonalds! A genius idea that targeted fast food lovers.


Tyskie's humorous eye-catching branded door handle is another example of great guerrilla marketing. The approach was very clever and executed perfectly. I’m sure there was a rise in beer sales after this one!




An Irish example that I love is An Post and the pride post boxes.

There was an amazing reaction to this guerrilla marketing campaign. It not only decorated the streets of Dublin for the pride parade, but it also showed support for the LGBTQ+ community from An Post and spread happiness. People queued for selfies with the post boxes and it sent out a positive message to the people of Ireland.


There was an amazing reaction to this guerrilla marketing campaign. It not only decorated the streets of Dublin for the pride parade, but it also showed support for the LGBTQ+ community from An Post and spread happiness. People queued for selfies with the post boxes and it sent out a positive message to the people of Ireland.


Hopefully this has helped you learn a bit more about Guerrilla marketing. If you’re interesting in finding out more and considering using guerrilla marketing for your business don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Thrive Marketing. Drop me an email at emily@thrivemarketing.ie, and we’ll take it from there.



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