Guerrilla Marketing Tactics: The Usual Suspects
As you saw in the example of the lamppost transformed into a McDonald’s coffeepot, all kinds of spaces and urban environments present opportunities for the guerrilla marketer. In fact, guerrilla marketing initiatives can be executed offline or online. Some companies feel that an edgy, unexpected online campaign with creative guerrilla elements is a little safer than executing a project in the bricks-and-mortar world.
It goes against the very notion of guerrilla marketing to establish a set of tactics or practices that are “conventional” or “typical.” However, the following list describes some examples of guerrilla marketing tactics from noteworthy campaigns, which will give you an idea of what’s been used in the past.
|Graffiti marketing, a subset of guerrilla marketing, turns walls, alleys, and streets into larger-than-life canvases for marketing activity.
|Use of stencils to create repeated works of graffiti, with the stencils enabling the project team to rapidly recreate the same work in multiple locations. Stencils tend to be smaller-scale and simpler than classic graffiti art.
|Undercover, or stealth marketing
|Use of marketers or paid actors to go “undercover” among peers to engage unsuspecting people in a marketing activity of some sort. For example, attractive actors are paid to strike up conversations, rave about a new mobile device, and then ask people to take a photo using the device, so that they get hands-on experience with the product in question.
|Inventive use of stickers as a temporary medium for creating an image, posing an illusion, or conveying a message
|A group of people organized to perform an action at a predetermined place and time; usually they blend in with bystanders initially and then join the “mob” activity at the designated moment, as in the Do Re Mi video, above.
|Extraordinary feats to attract the attention of the general public, as well as media
|Placing a series of online and offline “treasure hunt” clues in an urban environment and inviting target audiences to participate in the hunt to win prizes and glory
|Staging an activity or event that appears real, but in fact is a fake, for the purposes of drawing attention and making a statement
Despite the irreverent, antiestablishment spirit of guerrilla marketing, marketers should use good judgment about seeking permission from building owners, city managers, event planners, or others in a position of authority, to avoid unpleasant or unnecessary complications. Some coordination, or even a heads-up that something is happening, can go far toward earning goodwill and a cooperative spirit in the face of an unexpected spectacle.