Producing Innovative Advertising Through Guerilla Marketing

The world is becoming almost completely digital: newspapers are on a downward trend in virtually every country, TV shows and movies are being streamed on via the internet, and advertising is making bigger shifting towards digital. Print advertising still has a presence but no one knows exactly how long it will stay and how strong of a reach it will have as more and more people are reading print publications such as newspapers and magazines on their mobile devices. Television ads are still considered the public’s favorite in advertising with 30 second Super Bowl spots going for a cost upwards of $3.5M.  The buzz around Super Bowl ads keeps people talking about these ads for the days following.

The one form of marketing that does not get enough attention is guerilla marketing.  Long seen as  a gimmick or teaser for a bigger TV spot, guerilla marketing initiatives can actually produce some very innovative advertising.  If done right, this form of marketing has the ability to have long staying power by creating marketing that people remember and talk about.  A great example of guerilla marketing is this ad created by Lipton Tea.  The first floating vending machine is a novel concept and if done at a busy beach can reap large rewards and generate a great deal of buzz.  The people that were there that day on the beach will always remember the time they were able to swim out into the ocean to grab refreshing Lipton Iced Tea.


Coca Cola has produced pretty popular Super Bowl ads and have also been a big player in the guerilla marketing world.  They have brought us the Friendship Machine.  In the commercial, the buttons are placed too high up on the vending machine for one person to press.   To get a Coke out of the machine, you need to grab a friend to share the experience with you.


Coca Cola has also brought us the Happiness Machine for Couples.  On this past Valentines Day, couples got the chance to get two free Cokes if they proved that they were truly a couple to the machine. This example of guerilla marketing by Coca Cola falls in line with their company philosophy: Coke Brings Happiness to the World.  This is a great way to show how guerilla marketing can tie in with company branding.


One video that is generating a lot of buzz is a guerilla marketing tactic created by the Weather Channel.  One thing to be careful of when creating a guerilla marketing campaign is to be wary of producing something that could potentially tick people off.  An example of this is a guerilla marketing campaign by The Weather Channel.  They installed sprinklers in a bus shelter as a way to promote an android app.  A guy is holding his phone and receives an alert from his Weather Channel app to expect rain.  While still under the bus shelter, he promptly pulls open his umbrella and it begins to rain inside the bus shelter.  The man remains dry thanks to his umbrella and alert from his android phone, but the rest of the commuters under the bus shelter get wet from the sprinklers.  This may have generated buzz to their product but at the same time could also leave people with a dislike of their brand.  Especially if they were the ones in that bus shelter.


While there are millions of guerilla marketing tactics out there, many don’t succeed.  However, if done correctly, marketers can create a strong interest in a company brand and generate a buzz that will resonate with people for a long time.  The 007 Franchise in conjunction with Coca Cola, generated over 10M views on YouTube with their “Unlock the 007 in You” guerilla marketing campaign.  Since this is a digital age, all good guerilla marketing stories usually end up on YouTube or at the very least in pictures on the internet.  Thanks to the internet, those who were not there are still able see interesting and innovative guerilla marketing tactics that have occurred half way around the world.  A global brand such as Coca Cola can align guerilla marketing efforts with TV ads, print ads and online advertising.

The clock is ticking; will you come up with the next great guerilla marketing tactic?

Sebastien Damas
Just Media, Inc.

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