Guerilla marketing, at its best, surprises people and potential customers in a positive way. It meshes human emotion and marketing strategy to raise awareness about a product or service at the right moment, at the right time.
Think about Coca-Cola’s Happiness Machine, Swiss Skydive or Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, and consider the extraordinary impact they had on consumers, viewers and fans. The idea is not to break your advertising budget, but to come up with innovative, funny or catchy content and scenarios that can wow the public.
Emad Rahim with Jack Welch (former CEO of GE and Best-selling author) and Suzy Welch (Best-selling author and former editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review)
Here are our top 10 guerilla marketing examples you can mimic to make yourself or your business famous.
1. Raise Awareness About a Health Subject
There are many health hazards we face nowadays, and you reach stardom if you can uncannily draw people’s attention to a serious health problem. For inspiration, see Fitness First’s viral guerilla marketing campaign. Make sure the subject, content and scenario all are in sync with your personality, business or the needs of the specific demographic you are targeting.
2. Talk About an Important Social Issue
People respond well if you talk about an important social issue, not in the conventional “you have to watch out” way, but in a manner that ties your subject to the public’s priority.For example, if child obesity is near and dear to your heart, find a way to present the topic in a refreshingly surprising way. For example, you could show an overweight but healthy child who actively takes part in sport and leads a normal life. Right somewhere in the scenario, you might still say that “although overweight can be healthy, being normal weight is better… or something along those lines.” For inspiration, see UNICEF’s brilliant “dirty water campaign”.
3. Show Your Company’s Products Where People Expect It
With guerilla marketing, the idea is to surprise people but not distance yourself or your company’s products too far from your conceptual niche – in other words, what consumers expect from you or your company. For inspiration, see Duracell’s moments of warmth or Bounty paper towel guerilla promotion.
4. Create Good Feelings, Memorable Moments
Everyone loves good feelings, especially when you share memorable moments with loved ones, at familiar places. Experts have not found the recipe for the perfect viral content, but suffice it to say that previous viral hits somewhat comprise a moment of bliss, whether it is personal happiness or collective enthusiasm. To make yourself or your brand famous, create a scenario or video that makes people feel good, just as the Coca Cola’s Happiness Machine or Tyskie Beer campaign.
5. Talk About Yourself, Your Work or Your Company
Some of us, if not all of us, think we have an amazing job or provide awesome services. If that is your case, show it in a catchy script or video and share it with millions around. Here the inspiration is deep. You can choose to explain how long it takes to do your job, as National Geographic brilliantly did in their museum ad, or as Parkinson’s Victoria did to show how Parkinson’s disease makes easy things difficult.
6. Turn a Negative Into a Positive
You can ride on a wave of negativity, say, a social phenomenon like hardcore crime or petty theft, to educate people and, maybe, turn them into potential customers. The trick is to find the right balance between selling your products or services and not scaring people away. Vodafone Phone Insurance did a compelling job here, by hiring “well-meant thieves” to steal people’s phones and convincing customers that buying phone insurance is a good investment.
7. Embed Your Content in Everyday Life
Again, we think the best guerilla marketing campaigns try to embed the content or scenario in people’s everyday life. Look at McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” boardwalk, which placed the ad in the normal scenery of a big city. By so doing, the ad became part of the scenery yet remained outstanding because it shows the colors and logo of the brand.
8. Penetrate The Workplace
A good way to make your content go viral is to insert it at workplaces. A good portion of the adult population works and spends most of their day at work. So embedding your scenario within an occupational setting is an effective ploy, especially when you make it in high-traffic areas, such as lobbies, pantries and bathrooms. The idea, again, is to raise awareness about your brand or yourself but make it seamlessly part of the environment. For inspiration, see Vampire Diaries “blood” dispenser, and how the hit TV drama series adeptly managed to gain publicity and make viewers thirsty for more episodes.
9. Make People Dream, Escape Their Daily Routine
If you can make people dream, your content will be known. If you can make them escape their daily routine in a humorous yet realistic way, your content will be viral. And that virality comes with higher conversions and sales as well as repeat business. No matter what business you are in, you still can craft content that nicely ties to your sector yet appeals to consumers’ vacation mood or oneiric mindset. For inspiration, check out Beau Rivage Resort Casino’s airport marketing campaign.
10. Impress Your Audience
When it comes to impressing, there is no limit of ideas, scenarios or content. But the most important thing is to be creative, presenting an original script. People like it when you talk about yourself or your brand in a quirky way, differentiating yourself from others. For inspiration, see Copenhagen Zoo’s original guerrilla ad or the announcement for the 2012 movie.
Guerilla marketing can be a bit controversial, but most experts agree it is an effective way to raise awareness about a brand. You can also use a guerilla tactic to become famous, but remember there have been many marketing flops in the past decade. All you can do is create highly relevant, funny and catchy content and scripts, and hope that the public likes it so much that it goes viral.
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