What Is Guerilla Marketing?

you a fortune? The answer you are looking for is two words: Guerilla Marketing.

The term guerilla conjures up images of sabotage, raids, and conflict. Pair it with the word ‘marketing’ and it results in even more confusion. However, guerilla marketing involves none of that. 

It is essentially an unconventional form of marketing that entails imaginative effort on a brand’s part to come up with extremely unique and creative advertising techniques that leave customers surprised! Guerilla marketing stunts that hit customers on a personal level are a sure way to create a buzz about your brand.

Basics of Guerilla Marketing

The term ‘guerilla marketing’ was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson, a business writer, in the 1980s. The concept behind this economical strategy is to create maximum exposure for a brand by means of unconventional and never-before-seen marketing stunts that leave the customers in shock and wonderment. 

Statistics show that guerilla marketers who use innovative approaches typically spend 90% less on advertising. Moreover, the social buzz created by the marketing tactic increases purchasing decisions by 54% through word-of-mouth. 

Consumers have become accustomed to traditional marketing strategies such as YouTube ads and pop-ups, therefore they are easily able to tune them out. Under these circumstances, guerilla marketing stands out by captivating the audience with an element of surprise. 

Contrary to traditional marketing methods, this advertising strategy focuses on resonating with the audience and leaving a permanent imprint of awe in their customers’ memories. 

Types Of Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is an umbrella term for the various innovative advertising techniques that a human mind can conjure. There are different ways of employing this marketing strategy according to your brand and cause. 

What Is Guerilla Marketing

Outdoor Advertising

This involves adding a unique and removable element to the usual outdoor environment. This can include putting up a magnified form of your new product, a temporary artwork, a vending machine, and so on on the streets for people to interact with. 

Ambush Marketing

This tactic involves hijacking an ongoing event (probably hosted by a competitor) to promote your brand in a way that diverts the customers’ attention away from the event in progress and towards your advertising stunt. However, this can often result in a conflict with the law.

Experiential Marketing

The goal here is to create an interactive marketing strategy whereby your target audience can connect with the thing that is symbolizing your brand or cause. This strategy is the perfect way to foster a bond between the brand and the potential customers. 

Ambient Marketing

The idea here is to place a captivating structure, message, or any imagery in the most unexpected place to arouse curiosity and wonder in the customers. The critical element for the success of this marketing strategy is a surprise, shock, and awe. 

Benefits of Guerilla Marketing

The most prominent benefit that sells this marketing strategy is its cost-effectiveness. However, there are plenty more advantages that brands can reap by opting for this form of advertising.

Maximum Brand Promotion 

Unconventional and innovative advertising campaigns are the key to increased brand awareness. Guerilla marketing creates a massive hype that is capable of spreading like wildfire among the people. 

Increased Brand Recall

Successful guerilla marketing leaves customers not only impressed and baffled but also wanting to know more about your brand. The unconventional and memorable element of this strategy increases brand recall in target customers. 

Increased Popularity

In the digitized and technological world of today, it takes mere seconds for a unique and innovative thing to go viral. This means your unconventional marketing can be captured and spread on the internet making your brand reach millions of people in no time.

Emotional Bond

The primary goal of guerilla marketing is to resonate and connect with customers. If done successfully, guerilla marketing can help foster emotional bonds that can give brands many loyal customers. 

Edge over Competitors

This bold and unconventional form of marketing is bound to distinguish your brands in the eyes of target customers and can even gain you your competitor’s audience. 

What Makes Guerilla Marketing Successful?

It is not enough to just think up an innovative advertising strategy. You need to drive it all the way to success in order to reap the benefits of guerilla marketing.

Be Clever in your Ideas

Your advertising campaign should be clever enough to leave a permanent mark. One way to achieve this is by identifying a problem that your brand solves and broadcasting it in an unconventional way. 

Make it an Interactive Experience 

Figure out ways to incorporate your audience in your advertising strategy. Making them a part of your marketing stunt would strengthen their memory of your brand as well as the emotional bond that is formed. 

Go Digital

Targeting your audience digitally can increase your brand’s reach and the audience for your marketing stunt. Remember, interruptive promotional techniques are not frustrating if they are captivating and unexpected. 

Be Compelling 

Make sure to draw your customers to explore your advertisement. For instance, you can use incentives to encourage them to engage with your advertising strategy. 

Examples of Guerilla Marketing

Many companies and brands have successfully employed guerilla marketing tactics to promote their products and create brand awareness. Here are few of the best examples of guerilla marketing to take inspiration from. 


What Is Guerilla Marketing

Coca-Cola is the name for innovation and the perfect example of how emotional bonds are created. It is a top brand that has employed the best guerilla marketing strategies in the most unique and exceptional ways. 

In the January of 2010, as a result of Coca-Cola guerilla marketing an interactive strategy was employed when a “Happiness Machine” was placed at a college campus that dispensed more than the coca-cola beverage. 

As the students used the vending machine, they were constantly surprised by an unlimited supply of coke bottles that wouldn’t stop coming, flowers, and other wholesome things that made their day!

Coca-Cola captured the precious reactions of these students using hidden cameras and later compiled a video that reached more than 4.5 million views on YouTube. The video even won a CLIO Gold Interactive Award in May 20120. 

Similarly, in the April of 2011, Coca-Cola set up a giant vending machine in a mall on ‘Friend’s Day’ which offered two coca-cola bottles for the price of one, however, with a little catch. 

The buttons to access the deal were at the very top of the giant vending machine. This forced many people and groups of friends to create human ladders to access the deal. These wholesome moments were captured by the company through hidden cameras and later revealed in a compiled video. 

UNICEF Dirty Water Campaign

What Is Guerilla Marketing

A guerilla marketing strategy employed by UNICEF to raise awareness regarding the masses that do not have clean drinking water and are forced to drink dirty water which contains deadly diseases. 

As part of the campaign, they set up a vending machine on the street that contained bottles of dirty water with various diseases and offered them to the passing pedestrians. The campaign posed the question “What if those bottles of water you waste money on were filled with dirty water?” 

The goal was to encourage people to donate to UNICEF’s cause of bringing clean water to those people. Seeing the dirty water created feelings of altruism in the pedestrians who felt motivated to donate to the cause. 

Moreover, purchasing the bottle of dirty water from the vending machine was also a permanent reminder for them about their privileges which would constantly encourage them to engage further with UNICEF in other initiatives. 

Guerilla Marketing Summed Up

Guerilla marketing can be the key to expanding your business and increasing your customer reach. This unconventional and cost-effective advertising strategy only demands your creativity and imagination and in return offers numerous advantages and prominent recognition for your brand.