Go Bananas with Guerrilla Marketing

October 10, 2019   /   by  Cassie Shukitis

No, we’re not going to the zoo, and no, guerrilla isn’t an old school English term for the apes that throw bananas at random passersby. Guerrilla marketing is a low-cost marketing tactic that yields high-budget results. Does that make you want to beat on your chest to find out more?

Guerrilla Marketing is a Not a War Zone

If you haven't heard of guerrilla marketing, surely you’ve heard of guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare relies on the element of surprise (i.e. raids and ambushes). The same goes for this marketing technique. Guerrilla marketing is most effective when using unconventional campaigns in otherwise ordinary situations. This unique approach to marketing will capture audiences in their everyday lives. The digital world is constantly changing and becoming more advanced, which is expected. Effective guerrilla marketing subverts expectations to generate the most attention, and disrupt a world of chaos.

If It’s Free, It’s for Me... Well, Cheap at Least

The largest investment in guerrilla marketing is the creativity needed to pull it off. To catch people when they are least expecting it takes creativity and time commitment. Think of it as repurposing your content, except you’re repurposing your audience's environment. Your business is already established, you now need to find a way to get noticed. Figure out what segments of your audience’s environment can be repurposed to include your brand.

There are Many Different Types of Guerrillas

Guerrilla marketing is all about innovation, which is why there are so many variations of it. This blog post would turn into a novel if we went into detail on every type, so let’s go over the top 4:

  • Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing - If your business added something to the preexisting, like putting something removable on a statue or temporary artwork on sidewalks - that’s outdoor guerrilla marketing. This is typically done in big cities for maximum exposure. Have you seen any orange spray-painted bikes popping up? Sadly, this is not Roger West’s doing. It was actually an Orangetheory Fitness’ marketing tactic. Fun fact: the first orange bikes that they put out were in Florida, particularly in our home town of Tampa.
  • Indoor Guerrilla Marketing - This pertains to adding something to preexisting indoor environments like train stations, subways, shops, universities, etc. Here is a fun idea… A FLASH MOB. Own a dance company? Flash mob. Own a music company? Flash mob. Own a restaurant? Flash mob (completely kidding, do a pop-up kitchen)!
  • Event Ambush Guerrilla Marketing - Think about how your business would leverage the audience at an event like a sports game. Are you ready to go wild? A guerrilla marketing stunt at a large public event is one way to stick it to the man and catch audiences by surprise. Typically, businesses don’t ask for permission prior to unveiling their campaigns.
  • Experiential Guerrilla Marketing - This can be indoor, outdoor, anywhere! The catch is that it depends on observer participation. The goal of this method is to connect with potential customers and form a sense of trust that will translate into brand loyalty.

Lead By Example

These brands display expert knowledge of guerilla marketing and have run impressive campaigns. Below are Roger West’s top picks for successful guerrilla marketing campaigns.

Here are three of Roger West's favorite guerrilla marketing campaigns:

Bounty Paper Towels: Guerrillas are popping up everywhere!

  • Bounty put ‘life-sized messes’ on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles, with spilled coffee and giant melting popsicles. This was a statement piece, like an outdated shag carpet, to the audience and was a surprise no one was expecting.

IKEA: Everyday Fabulous for bus stops and train windows.

  • In 2006, IKEA wanted to improve its brand awareness and decided to add some ‘fabulous’ comfort to everyday living. In Paris and New York, IKEA decorated public settings with their products, like sofas, pillows, and curtains. To this day, they rely on guerrilla marketing campaigns to attract audiences.
Guerrilla Marketing Example - IKEA staging a bus stop with home decor Guerrilla Marketing Example - IKEA decorated city benches to make them more like a home with blue and green pillow  

Mr. Clean: More than just a magic eraser; guerrilla marketing genius.

  • City crosswalks witnessed the cleaning abilities of Mr. Clean. One crosswalk strip was strikingly cleaner than the rest. With this campaign focused on the ground, it did more than catch the average eye, it caught the eyes of people crossing the street looking down at their phones. A win-win!
Guerrilla Marketing Example Mr Clean - Image of a people walking at a cross walk and one line is more white than the others  

Going Bananas

Are you going bananas for guerrilla marketing ideas? It’s time to start a guerrilla marketing campaign of your own. Do you need help with a killer creative design or strategy? Roger West is fully loaded with expertise, and ready to take care of your campaign needs.

Cassie Shukitis

Cassie Shukitis

Account Manager

As an Account Manager for Roger West, Cassie worked with a variety of clients to develop SEO-based strategies that generated leads and increased brand awareness in their respective markets.