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Guerilla Marketing

Making the unexpected work for you By Abigail Thorpe

Imagine a giant life-sized melting popsicle on the streets of New York. You’d probably stop and look, right? That’s what Bounty counted on when it installed various large “messes” around the city streets as a can’t-miss-it advertising strategy.

Surprise, unconventional marketing strategies like this often work, because they catch people in the middle of their everyday life and provide a visual or experiential advertising strategy that either stops people in their tracks and requires interaction, or is installed in such a public, every-day place, people can’t help but notice—even if it’s only subconsciously. Either way, it accomplishes one goal: It demands people’s attention.

This type of advertising strategy is called guerilla marketing, a phrase coined in the 1980s by business writer Jay Conrad Levinson. It is defined by unconventional methods of creating surprise or unexpected interactions with the public as a way of marketing a product or service.

Take for example Frontline, maker of flea and tick prevention products. They installed an oversized picture of a dog scratching on the entire ground floor of a large public building with several escalators. From the upper levels, people walking over the picture looked like flies on the dog—a visual image that couldn't be missed but also didn’t interrupt or take time away from people’s daily commute or work.

Guerilla marketing is often inexpensive in comparison to other advertising strategies, as it repurposes an audience’s everyday environment into a marketing opportunity. The disruption is minimal to the audience, but the payoff is often large for the brand.

The key is to find something eye-catching, simple and relatable for your audience. To grab people’s attention, you need to meet them where they’re at. Take an everyday thing your audience does, and make it do something unexpected or unique. Get your audience to interact, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and you create an impact much larger than standard advertising can do.

For this and other unique and original marketing ideas, get in touch with our Like Media team. We take traditional marketing methods and take them to new and exciting places through unique, targeted advertising opportunities. Our goal throughout has always remained the same: to connect local communities to local businesses in thoughtful, original ways.

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