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Guerilla Advertising

By EMMA JAMES Published 19th Nov 2013
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Guerrilla advertising is an excellent way of being innovative and differentiating yourself from competitors whilst sticking to a lower marketing budget. It has been implemented successfully in the past by several large organisations such as Nike, as well as many small to medium sized businesses. Often, it involves eye-catching campaigns, in public, that are unexpected and attention grabbing.

This unique marketing tactic normally targets consumers in a certain area; often it wouldn’t be cost effective to carry out on a large scale. However, this doesn’t restrict the prospective audience: If the campaign is successful then it’s likely to go viral on the internet, as well as gain coverage from mainstream media.

One of the beauties of guerrilla advertising is that it encourages word of mouth communication. Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools available to organisations, as consumers have more focus when a message is coming from someone they trust.  

It is important for the desired message being communicated to be clear to those it is targeting. The point of guerrilla advertising is not just to catch the consumer’s eye, but to allow them to make the link to the message behind it. 

The stunt had a positive effect on passers by as they stopped and curiously examined the out of the ordinary sight. The idea behind this particular campaign was to give football players the impression that they would be “infused with mind blowing power” if using a Nike football. Although the audience were aware that this isn’t actually possible, the concept was still largely talked about.

The main reason that guerrilla campaigns are successful is because they consist of elements of surprise and originality. Old school forms of advertising, such as billboards and TV ads are often tuned out as consumers are constantly surrounded by them.

In order for guerrilla advertising to be successful it is important to remember a few key points:

  • Be original: the whole point of guerrilla advertising is to turn heads and draw attention. If the public are seeing something familiar, they won’t be as inclined to engage.
  • Keep a low budget: Keeping a low budget is vital. If huge sums of money are being spent then it defeats the purpose of using a low budget approach.
  • It is advisable not to use “shock tactic” advertising in a guerrilla campaign. If consumers are scared or upset then these feelings will be associated with the organisation behind it.
  • If you aren’t able to take a risk, then it’s probably not the right method for your company: you must have confidence in your idea and not be afraid to be unconventional.

As important as it is to stand out from the crowd and “break the rules” with guerrilla, you must also know where to draw the line. There have been a few campaigns that have largely backfired in the past. For example, Vodafone hired two men to streak during a rugby match wearing nothing but their logo painted on their backs. As daring and unconventional as the stunt was, especially as it took place at a stadium sponsored by their largest rival, the display upset rugby fans and resulted in one of the streakers being fined.

Remember to deliver something that differentiates you from your competitors, being both daring and unconventional. Don’t lose touch of what you are trying to communicate: a strong message that comes from the heart of your organisation.  

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252 weeks ago, by Jackie
Great read - but why was only one of the streakers fined, I wonder?
252 weeks ago, by James
Perhaps the other one used up all the credit?

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