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What is guerrilla marketing and how can you use it?

With pre-pandemic businesses back to full strength and commuters, shoppers, and students alike back on the streets, footfall in our city centres is returning to normal levels.

It couldn’t be a better time to *literally* get in front of your consumers and pique their interest with creative, quirky, and clickable guerrilla campaigns. Senior account executive, Izzy Shipley, explains why consumer brands should be rebelling against the status quo with guerrilla marketing.  

Get in touch with our London PR agency team to discuss your branding & marketing needs today.

What does successful guerrilla marketing look like?

Guerrilla marketing takes it name from ‘guerrilla warfare’, a battle tactic hinging on ambushes, sabotage, and surprise. While we’re not suggesting you go about sabotaging your customers, guerrilla marketing employs the element of surprise and disruption to the everyday routine to make people stop and take note.

The key to successful guerrilla marketing is to operate in the spaces where your customers already exist, whether this is their commute to work, the park they walk through every Saturday, or the social media platforms they scroll. By repurposing spaces they already occupy and turning them into marketing opportunities, you have a ready-made audience of people primed to be surprised, bemused, or delighted by your brand.

The beauty of guerrilla marketing is that it can be undertaken for a fairly low cost. Altering the existing landscape of your target consumers can be budget-friendly – it just takes some creativity! Rather than an expensive financial investment, guerrilla marketing is often an investment of the time, intelligence, and creativity of your PR and marketing team.

We’ve collated a list of some of our favourite guerrilla marketing campaigns and reasons why we love them to spark your creativity and help you get ahead in the jungle.

3 successful guerrilla marketing campaigns


1. Street smarts

Encouraging consumers to look down and notice the world beneath their feet, brands can take the everyday commute of their consumers and turn it into a marketing opportunity. Whether its McDonald’s reminder of its iconic products, turning a street crossing in Switzerland into a packet of fries, or Mr Clean showing the prowess of its products by cleaning a crossroad stripe, these examples show how guerrilla marketing can help your brand pop up in a mundane space to delight passers-by.

Why it works… turning something as boring as a road crossing into an opportunity to be inspired creates a positive impression on consumers and is easily shareable on social media.

2. Going digital

Guerrilla marketing doesn’t have to be restricted to the physical spaces consumers occupy, and can work in online spaces too. Apps and websites provide a great opportunity to get in front of potential customers wherever they are.

Sci-fi film Ex Machina took to dating app Tinder to promote the movie during the South by Southwest festival in Texas, creating a fake profile for the film’s main character. The artificial intelligence character would even respond to its ‘matches’, directing them to an Instagram profile promoting the film.

Why it works… during a busy film festival where the city was full of marketing messages, Ex Machina managed to occupy a different space where none of its competitors were advertising, getting straight into the pockets of potential movie-goers.


3. Bringing the party

One of the key goals of guerrilla marketing is to spark emotion in people, whether its intrigue, shock, or joy. The latter of which being an excellent way to instil positive sentiment surrounding your brand.

Earlier this year, we launched new street-food snacking brand Carnival Kitchen with a guerrilla campaign to delight passers-by and increase brand awareness. With a branded tuk-tuk, carnival dancers and steel drums, we took our carnival to high footfall areas in three major cities, distributing products and creating a party atmosphere.

Why it works… with a brand-new product range it’s important to get in front of target consumers wherever they are and this campaign brought the carnival to them, growing brand awareness and creating positive sentiment around the products.

So whether you’re exploring event pop-ups, or taking your guerrilla marketing digital, there’s a plethora of opportunities to explore this exciting world.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you stand out in the crowd.

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