How do you break through the clutter? That’s the question marketers and advertisers have to figure out with every campaign they produce.
So how do they do that? By doing something unusual, unexpected, and memorable – guerrilla marketing. First coined by Jay Conrad Levison, guerrilla marketing relies on unique or unorthodox methods of advertising or promotion to gain consumers’ attention. Below is a video by Mango Moose Media displaying a couple of guerrilla marketing techniques.
Guerrilla marketing is in your face, but there are a couple of core concepts (besides ultimate creativity) that make guerrilla marketing significantly effective. According to Elena English, “the idea is to play on human responses and emotions rather than present a sale, product release, or pitch”. The difference is the highlight on customer interaction with the goal of grabbing their attention, not selling them the product. English also explains guerilla marketing involves “extensive use of humor, lots of visuals, plays on “humanisms” and pop culture references”. So in honor of this, we found two completely different guerilla-marketing stunts that represent these core concepts.
The “Storm Drains are the MOUTH of the River” campaign was done by the City of Reno to battle the city’s river pollution problem. In 2013, local artist were commissioned to paint storm drains as the mouths of frogs, fish, and octopus. To learn about the campaign and how its effectiveness was measured watch the case study, Art Vs. Pollution, below.
As the video describes, the campaign worked to “humanize” the storm drains with a pop art style. The utilization of pop art to grab attention is not unknown to the marketing world. James Twitchell says in his book Lead Us Into Temptation that pop art on commercial packaging has been and is still grabbing the attention of consumers. It especially worked well in this campaign in which the cartoon aquatic species brought to life the message.
All guerrilla marketing doesn’t have to be inanimate objects. Chobani used it to continue marketing efforts for the “How Matters” campaign, which works to position its yogurt as real and natural. Relying on the audience’s knowledge of its Superbowl commercial, Chobani broke through the clutter with a 1400-pound human bear costume.
This realistic and naturally misplaced bear has gained over 4 million views in less than a month. The stunts effectiveness is due to the memorable bear’s search for food that is natural, which reinforces the brand message.
Guerrilla marketing is limitless; it can be used for many purposes, such as reinforcing brands or gaining exposure for issues, and in many inanimate or animate ways. Yet, they all have one goal and this is to capture people’s attention. What do you think of these guerrilla marketing strategies? Do you think these companies used them effectively?
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I think that guerrilla marketing strategies are successful because the ones displayed in the videos have personally grabbed my attention more so than the typical advertising means. Companies that use these strategies are doing so for one reason: to grab people’s attention. Today, you cannot count on people sitting at home and watching the commercials in between their television show, especially since DVR has become the norm. Guerrilla marketing enables a more personal advertising; something that reels in the consumer in a non-aggressive way. For example, when someone is walking down the street and you see a storm drain portrayed as a cute animal, younger generations would probably be hesitant to throw something in there because it’s no longer just a storm drain, but an animal. It also grabs people’s attention, which could possibly stop them from throwing a bottle down the drain because they would have time to think about what they’re seeing beforehand. This marketing has definitely become the new means of advertising because it’s simpler and more personable with consumers. Companies are able to gain exposure in ways that are unique for consumers.
By using unique and sometimes “out of the box” techniques guerrilla marketing strategies leave memorable and lasting impressions on all that see them. I particularly like the ability to anthropomorphize the storm drains to spread the word about water pollution. The ability to leave a lasting impression rather than sell makes guerrilla marketing strategies successful. Therefore the strategies used in these companies were effective.