Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire You

Key Lessons About Guerilla Marketing You Can Learn from Big Brands

Abhinav Girdhar
By Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on July 27th, 2021 6:29 am | 3-min read

Guerilla marketing is like guerilla warfare which entails adopting an unconventional approach. If you believe that conventional broadcast is no longer getting you enough attention at times, it is best to resort to new tactics that no one has thought about yet. Although guerrilla marketing is a creative marketing strategy, but aguerilla campaign does not take place with an objective to win new customers. It is instead an attempt to draw attention to the brand and then let conventional marketing do the convincing.Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire YouA good pick from best guerilla marketing examples is a campaign Vodafone had in Romania about insuring cell phones against theft. Though Vodafone offered cheap insurance, few customers responded to the add-on offer. The telecom giant had some professional pickpockets slip flyers into pockets of random people with the message that they must get their phones insured because it would have been just as easy to take out the phone as putting the flyer in.

The Essence of Guerilla Marketing

What is guerilla marketing? It is a term that was first used by Jay Levinson in 1984. When traditional marketing becomes monotonous, marketers resort to guerilla techniques. The element of surprise is critical in guerilla marketing.
  • Guerilla marketing ideas depend on the use of imagination rather than a huge budget.
  • They are often spectacular and entail a heavy use of props.
  • They might even piggyback on the message of another company, sometimes a competitor.
  • The event may be aimed at an audience of any size. Often small groups are chosen as the target.
  • It works best when a rival is stealing existing customers away with their high-volume advertising efforts.

Best Guerrilla Marketing Examples

  1. UNICEF dirty water campaign
  2. Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire YouIn the world's most prosperous nation, the USA, people take for granted that tap water is hygienic and fit for consumption. However, this is not true for most parts of the world. At least 50% of the global population does not have access to drinking water. The campaign for clean water doesn’t find much traction compared to other pressing social issues such as child trafficking that seem so much eviler. To highlight this fact, UNICEF set up vending machines around New York City dispensing dirty water in eight flavors – cholera, malaria, typhoid, dengue, yellow fever, salmonella, dysentery, and hepatitis. Of course, it served its purpose, and UNICEF was overwhelmed with donations.

  3. Snapchat
  4. Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire YouHow did Snapchat end up with so many users? Not many know the name of its CEO, but everyone knows about the product (in the tech world, the name of a star CEO such as Kalanick and Musk matters). It was all down to the ghost-like white blob logo of Snapchat. The white blob logo on a striking neon yellow background was plastered on about every billboard you could think of. What is so strange about that? Well, Snapchat left their name out. There was no message of any kind except the logo. You are bound to remember a white blob on a yellow background. It will cut through the clutter of marketing messages. And it did. Snapchat got several hundred million downloads that year. This was not enough to dethrone Facebook or Twitter, but it was an excellent attempt to get their foot in the door.

  5. Red Bull
  6. Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire YouRed Bull loves to make the pulse race. But with Formula One suddenly becoming tiresome, the brand was at their wit's end about what to do. Enter Felix Baumgartner and his jump from space. The Austrian skydiver had an ambitious project – to jump from the edge of space. He needed a sponsor. Red Bull was more than happy to oblige with the Stratos Project. In 2012 Felix Baumgartner jumped from a helium balloon at 128,000 ft (24 miles). Of course, the Red Bull logo was all over his jumpsuit, and the almost 10 million people who saw it live would never forget it. Unlike most guerilla marketing campaigns, this one cost a cool 30 million dollars but is viewed thousands of times on YouTube, even today! So, it continues to pay dividends.

  7. Coca-Cola Happiness Machine
  8. Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire YouCoke wanted to do something spectacular, and senior brand manager A J Brustein came up with the idea that was going to make Coke a path-breaking brand again. A regular Coke vending machine was modified and installed in the cafeteria of the St Johns University of NY. Five secret cameras recorded the reaction of gleeful students when they received what they had not bargained for – from a sunglass to flowers and pizza in addition to Coke. The edited video was published on YouTube and garnered millions of hits in a matter of days. The ad campaign won rare honors, including CLIO's Gold Interactive Awards.

  9. GoldToe
  10. Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire YouThe bronze bull and bear statutes of Wall Street are well-known icons. One day in 2010, busy New Yorkers rushing to work were greeted by the sight of them being in underwear! What do you do when you come upon a bronze bull in tighty whities? Snap a pic and upload it to social media, of course. And in no time, the photos went viral, giving GoldToe a brand recognition that it could never have imagined possible. Just a few yards of white cloth and stitching is all that it took. This was guerrilla marketing at its best.

  11. Tesla Space Man
  12. Appy Pie - Guerilla Marketing: 6 Great examples to Inspire YouWhat is guerrilla marketing? Learn from Tesla. Who can forget the voice of David Bowie's Space Oddity playing in the background as a Tesla car headed to outer space on the back of a Falcon Heavy? Musk's antics are well known, but the 2018 Tesla car in space was a game-changer. It made everyone aware of the brand Tesla (as if there was someone who was not) but also tied it to SpaceX, the other Musk brand. The icing on the cake was that not only was it seen on YouTube but on every local and international tv news channel. It’s safe to say that the Tesla brand got more eyeballs than a World Cup football final.

Closing Thoughts

Guerrilla marketing ideas are splendid as long as they are well thought out. Care has to be taken that they do not offend anyone or intrude on their personal space. The core part of the exercise is that people must want to share the experience. Not every marketing campaign lends itself to this form of novelty. It is meant for products that are young and energetic. Have you considered using an app for your guerilla marketing strategy. Try building one now, without any coding on Appy Pie AppMakr – the prfect solution for small businesses!

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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie