I decided to do some research into Guerrilla Marketing and why it’s so important to businesses, here’s what I found.
“I’m referring to the soul and essence of Guerrilla Marketing which remain as always – achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy , with unconventional methods, such as investigating energy instead of money “ – Jay Conrad Levinson, from his book ‘Guerilla Marketing’.
Guerrilla Marketing can be found all around us as an advertising strategy that works ti promote products on a personal and memorable level. The phase ‘Guerilla Marketing’ was inspired by ‘Guerilla Warfare’, small tactical strategies used by armed civilians creating elements of surprise. It was founded bt the so-called ‘Farther of guerrilla Marketing’ Jay Conrad Levinson, who cared his tactical ideas in his book in 1984.
The low-cost unconventional marketing tactics are used all over the world by businesses that have products to promote or by individuals who are trying to find jobs or more work. Guerrilla Marketing was primarily aimed at small businesses that were failing or needed to reach a larger audiences. The tactics are simple to understand an inexpensive, perfect for small businesses to promote. Jay Conrad Levinson also states in his book that ‘it gives small businesses a delightfully unfair advantage: certainty in an uncertain world, economy in high-priced world, simplicity in a complicated world, marketing awareness in a clueless world.” Therefore Guerrilla Marketing is found to be very successful for the small business community.
Tactics like using social media, graffiti and thinking outside the box, are a perfect way of reaching the public in more creative ways. Social media connects billions of people around the world through ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’ , ‘Instagram’ and other rich media and therefore a brilliant way for small businesses to promote their name to the world. Graffiti is another popular form of Guerrilla Marketing for smaller businesses. Most people would see graffiti as a violations or a wrong doing in their community, but some forms of graffiti are considered legal. This tactic would get people talking and therefore spread the company’s name. Guerrilla Marketing also gives businesses the freedom to think outside the box. An example of a business thinking outside the box was ‘Adidas’ when they placed blue rubber ducks in a fountain with the message , “I’ve swam too far -help me get back home! Reward for my return at Adidas Original store”. Once you had retrieved he duck you would then get a free t-shirt, promoting the company.
On the other hand the tactics can be far more risky and unpredictable for larger businesses that are beginning to downsize. The fact that larger businesses are more at risk than smaller companies is to do with the fact that they had more money to invest in stunts which could cause financial problems in the long-term. An example of a disastrous Guerrilla Marketing stunt was the ‘Turner Networks bomb scare’. In 2007 Turner Broadcasting used battery powered LED place cards to create the ‘Mooninite’ character from he show ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force; a new film featuring Cartoon Network. The LED cards were placed throughout Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding cities. The plan was that the character would light up at night to show it putting up its middle finger, resembling some characteristics of explosive devices that caused a scare. Turner Networks received a lot of criticism and s $2 Million fine because of the incident.
Guerilla Marketing therefore is all about taking the consumer by surprise and creating social buzz. It relies on unconventional marketing strategies and tons of imagination. According to Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing is said to make more valuable impression with consumers in comparison to more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. The strategies are very important for the well-being of businesses but they also have a large effect on the audience too.
Coca Cola is an example of a company who created an interactive vending machine. the “Happiness machine” was created in January 2010; it was a vending machine that dispensed more than just a cold beverage. The company placed this machine in a University and secretly filming the students reactions. Coca Cola released the video containing the vending machine sharing numerous Coca Cola bottles and other random items. Shortly after releasing the video on YouTube that reached 4.5 Million reviews. See the video below.
Another form of successful Guerrilla Marketing was form Red Bull and the Austrian extreme athlete, Felix Baumgarter. The professional athlete broke the highest skydiving jump record, plummeting 128,000 feet into the stratosphere, promoting Red Bull. This act attracted much deserved attention and broke social media records with 8 million views on YouTube. See video below.
The American physiological horror film ‘The Blair Witch Project’ was also promoted using Guerrilla Marketing. The film was created by three film students that wanted to spread rumours about a fictional legend of the ‘Blair Witch’. The students created an internet campaign and website dedicated to the legend. People were interested in the film that wasn’t even made and because of this the film grossed $248,639,099 worldwide.
My personal favourite use of guerrilla marketing was ‘Medicines du Monde’s temporary homeless shelters’. The association’s prime idea was to call attention to the homelessness problem facing Paris. The company distributed pop up tents to the homeless people in the City. When the government saw the large amount of tents popping up around the city it promoted the government to allocate millions to emergency shelters for the homeless.
These examples of Guerrilla Marketing prove how useful the tactic is for companies to promote their businesses and shows how successful it can be. Ideally the tactic is best used for smaller businesses that want to develop their company on a bigger scale. On the other hand using this form of strategy creates a larger risk for larger businesses. The main reason guerrilla marketing is so successful is due to the fact the goal should be to implement something that the people will embrace, enjoy and share with friends.