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What do you do when consumers are bombarded with advertisements and your marketing budget is almost non-existent?

Traditional marketing tactics, such as print ads or email marketing, have become oversaturated to the point where we usually disregard them. Plus, making these methods work requires a substantial budget, which many small businesses lack. 

When traditional techniques fail to deliver, you send in the guerrillas. This underground advertising approach relies on word-of-mouth and inventiveness to make an impression on buyers – and it is intended to do it using low-cost means.

Do you want to add a guerrilla marketing strategy to your armory? Then, please keep reading to learn everything you need to know, alongside some of our favorite battle-winning guerrilla marketing types.



What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising method where a business advertises a product or service through surprise or unusual interactions. It’s a marketing strategy that focuses on generating maximum exposure for a product or service through low-cost marketing strategies.

The phrase “guerrilla marketing” was coined by American business writer Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book Guerrilla Advertising where he writes about easy and inexpensive strategies for making big profits.

Even though the world of marketing looked significantly different in the 1980s, guerrilla marketing is still widely utilized today by businesses looking to make an impact on potential consumers. Guerrilla marketing has gained popularity among marketers since the internet’s inception.


What are the types of Guerrilla Marketing?

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the most efficient types of guerrilla marketing.



1. Ambient

Ambient Marketing

Image via ambientmediaww


Ambient marketing is a nontraditional marketing strategy that focuses on time, energy, volunteers, creativity, and imagination rather than significant marketing dollars.

Ambient marketing places visual and interactive adverts in unexpected locations to surprise and intrigue your audience. These advertisements stand out more than traditional advertising mediums, causing customers to remember the company and motivating them to spread awareness through word of mouth.

This guerrilla marketing style first started in the 1990s and is still widely used by numerous businesses today. Here’s an example to get you started on creating fantastic ambient adverts for your brand.

Rimmel, a British cosmetics firm, chose to be inventive in promoting Rimmel’s quick-dry nail polish. They built a nail polish installation to demonstrate the product in a unique and prominent location.

Its installation was positioned on a busy road with a high traffic volume. So naturally, this large nail polish container drew the attention of a variety of people. 


Rimmel’s quick-dry nail polish

Image via Global Guerrilla Marketing


Pros and Cons

The advantage of this sort of media is that it interacts with your target audience’s daily lives and environments, assisting them in developing good connections and familiarity with your brand.  Ambient marketing allows customers to see your brand in a new light, and it won’t break the bank to incorporate it into your marketing approach.

There is, however, no assurance of success. For example, you can put out outdoor advertising in a high-traffic location and get no new customers from the effort.



2. Ambush

Ambush Ma

Image via Pragma International


Ambush marketing, also known as coattail marketing or predatory ambushing, is a marketing strategy in which a company rides on the coattails of a prominent event or campaign without paying for or participating in the sponsorship or event.

The word “ambush marketing” came in sixth place in the Global Language Monitor’s “Top Words of 2010,” establishing its prominence as a new marketing technique. Its tactics take many shapes, but they all have one thing in common: they match a product with an event or property without paying for the privilege of being a sponsor.

A great example of Ambush Marketing is the “bitter feud that erupted between MasterCard and Visa,” held in Albertville, France, during the 1992 Winter Olympics. 

The 1992 Winter Olympics had Visa as its official credit card sponsor, having paid $20 million (roughly $35.5 million in 2018 USD). In addition, Visa produced television advertising in the months leading up to the games encouraging American Express members to keep their cards at home because “the Olympics don’t take American Express.”


Pros and Cons

Most start-ups lack the financial resources to sponsor huge events, so ambush marketing is a great way to get a business off to a fast start. It is also a far cheaper choice for the company operating the Ambush Marketing campaign to get your brand recognized and, in some cases, with the same amount of impact, if not more.

Some say that Ambush Marketing is a deceptive and dishonest marketing method and that it may not be a good fit for a smaller, more local approach. In addition, smaller businesses may not be able to bear the unfavorable media and brand impact caused by this type of advertising. 



3. Astroturfing


Image via Fameable


Astroturfing is a marketing and public relations strategy that produces a false sense of naturalness and spontaneity to gain support and spread virally. It is a prevalent sort of campaign, for example, between political parties and giant corporations, whose efficacy is based on influencing public opinion through the use of modern technology and digital media.

Because the grass is synthetic, the phrase “astroturfing” is a pun on the “grassroots movement.” a metaphor that perfectly expresses what this concept is: something artificial designed to appear natural.

In late 2008, McDonald’s admitted to employing people to stand in line for a new hamburger released in Osaka, Japan, an example of Astroturfing marketing. The company has revealed that over 1,000 people who waited in line were compensated but argues that they asked for user input from one of its marketing agencies. 


Pros and Cons

Nowadays, astroturfing is a prevalent practice. Although it allows businesses to appear more competitive, you should avoid it. Bot accounts, as well as many accounts maintained by the same person, are easily detected.



4. Grassroots

Grassroot Adverstising

Image via grassrootsadvertising


Grassroots marketing is a marketing technique that aims to attract a high niche group to have them spontaneously spread the brand message to a larger audience, so increasing the brand’s visibility in the marketplace.

So, rather than launching a message that you hope would resonate with many people, you focus your efforts on a small group and hope that they will distribute your message to a much larger audience.

Leveraging your audience’s emotions is one of the most effective methods to persuade people to spread a message. Thus emotional triggers are a great way to get your news out there.

A brilliant example of this approach in action is a grassroots effort by WestJet, a Canadian budget airline, which canvassed passengers on social media to find out what they wanted as a Christmas gift. The airline then raced out while the plane was in the air, purchased several of the gifts mentioned by passengers, and then gave them to them when they landed by placing them on the baggage carousel.


Pros and Cons

When appropriately executed, grassroots initiatives can feel much more natural and “real” to consumers than traditional advertising. It means that your target group may devote more time to your message, pay more attention to it, and otherwise interact more deeply with it.

As for the cons, many advertisers discover that putting together a successful grassroots campaign may be very expensive – to the point where it competes with the price of mass media. High-end campaign pieces, personnel or street teams, talent, video, and other features can be costly to produce.



5. Pop-up retail

Pop-up Retail

Image via The Pineapple Agency


Pop-up retail is a temporary retail location set up by businesses to capitalize on seasonal demand and trends. Certain items and services are seasonal, implying they are more needed during certain times of the year.

A pop-up store may resemble a typical store. Still, many brands use them to create unique and engaging physical shopping experiences since they allow for more flexibility and risk-free experimentation.


Pantone Cafe

Image via AWOL


For instance, this seasonal café is ideal for Instagram and has effectively generated much attention in the press. It’s an excellent example of a pop-up event allowing a firm to take creative risks with its brand by moving outside of its traditional business strategy.


Pros and Cons

Creating a natural, physical setting where you can interact one-on-one with your customers will help you better understand them, target your products and ideas, and receive real-time feedback. Additionally, pop-up retail is a considerably more cost-effective alternative to the constraints and responsibilities of long-term rentals, rates, and other expenses.

On the downside, you won’t be able to carry a wide variety or a significant amount of merchandise because of the limited space. Also, customers may be turned off by the pop-up nature of your retail location because they won’t be able to contact you or return an item once the pop-up has ended.


6. Presence

Presence Marketing

Image via Delnext


This form of guerrilla marketing approach is similar to ambient marketing. It tries to take advantage of all accessible physical marketing locations so that the brand or product can keep a consistent presence in the target customer’s daily routine. The idea is simple: make the company’s name identifiable and familiar.

Product placement in your favorite television show is one example of traditional advertising. Agent McGee’s iPhone usage throughout NCIS is an example of this. (It’s unclear whether this is an actual Apple promotion, but any publicity is good publicity in this situation.)

It’s practically identical online, but it’s manifested differently. Companies engage in Presence Marketing by being active on blogs, social networks, and any format that highly values visibility.



7. Projection advertising

Projection Advertising

Image via doubletakeprojections


Projection advertising, also referred to as projection media or street projection, is the act of projecting static images or moving imagery onto a building, landmark, or environment for advertising purposes.

It is mainly utilized as an event marketing strategy for short-term, transient audiences such as those found at trade exhibitions, sporting events, film premieres, product launches, and political rallies.

Projection Advertising uses images and videos to boost brand exposure. The Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai is one example. The element of suspense in projection commercials distinguishes them. In addition, projection commercials capture the audience’s attention by exhibiting solid eye-catching graphics.


Burj Khalifa

Image via AV Magazine


Pros and Cons

Projection advertising is an excellent approach for businesses to capture their audience’s attention while efficiently expressing their message. But, unfortunately, it has some drawbacks. First, it isn’t easy to see in well-lit circumstances. That implies you have time constraints from the start. So, if you tried to map an advertisement onto a structure, it couldn’t be seen from sunrise to sunset, and you’d miss out on that valuable traffic.



8. Stealth 

Stealth Marketing

Image via Delnext


Stealth advertising, also known as undercover or buzz marketing, is a type of guerrilla marketing where the customer is typically unaware that he is being marketed. While some claim that stealth advertising is a misleading and dishonest marketing strategy, regulators have not traditionally pursued businesses that engage in it.

Hiring actors to gently advertise things to the public, paying influencers to write about a product or service without admitting it’s an ad, making false viral videos, and product placement in movies are examples of stealth marketing.

Films are a popular medium for product placement. There are countless examples of individual automobile brands being extensively portrayed in films, but The Italian Job is one of the most remarkable examples.

During the movie’s memorable getaway scene, a gang of robbers flees in Mini Coopers. The car also appeared throughout the film, converting it into one gigantic ad for Mini Coopers, but since it was a movie, people kept watching. Imagine happily sitting through an 11-minute ad!


Street Marketing

Image via Pinterest


Pros and Cons

Stealth marketing may appear risky at times but can have huge payoffs if executed ethically and creatively. It is unique and presented innovatively, which is more likely to capture consumers’ attention and inspire them to bring others to the market as possible buyers of the product.

On the other hand, if your marketing seems unethical, stealth marketing can damage your brand’s reputation. Plus, these practices are usually put on customers without their consent.



9. Street

Street Marketing

Image via VivelaPub


Street marketing is a guerrilla marketing method that brings items or services directly to clients in a public setting. This marketing style differs significantly from traditional advertising approaches and can frequently be unusual in its execution to attract attention and create a commotion.

One excellent example of street marketing is IKEA’s bus stop sofas. Thanks to IKEA, waiting for a bus in Sydney and Perth is a delight. The Swedish store celebrated the release of its 2018 catalog with a guerrilla street campaign in cooperation with Adshel, which saw full-size sofas and cabinets placed at bus stops across Australia.



Image via Mumbrella


Pros and Cons

You may have guessed what the primary benefit of street marketing is. That’s correct, and it’s all about the aesthetic impact of your campaigns. Additionally, a street marketing advertisement is typically less expensive than television or newspaper advertising.

Is there a downside to street marketing? Yes, just like everything else. Small businesses who opt to invest a considerable amount of money in this type of campaign are more likely to suffer from these disadvantages. If you’re looking to make a significant impression on people with street marketing while spending minimal money, you might not get the return you’re expecting.

The amount of money spent on these techniques, on average, tends to give a similar return, so if you invest a small amount, you typically won’t get a big bang.



10. Viral marketing

Viraal Marketing

Image via Klint Marketing


Viral marketing is a guerrilla marketing strategy that focuses on increasing the word-of-mouth potential of a campaign or product. These techniques can generate discussions among consumers’ family and friends and broader discussions on social media sites.

To stay popular and current with its audience, Starbucks mainly relies on viral marketing. Writing customers’ names on mugs is one of the first things that comes to mind when we hear about Starbucks.

Many consumers voluntarily share photos of these mugs on social media, allowing Starbucks to get free marketing.



Image via Chron


Pros and Cons

Viral marketing relies heavily on social media networks. The advantages of social media networks for the real estate business are apparent; you can target your desired audience while also covering a specific place without using any other tools.

While viral marketing appears to be a good fit, there are certain downsides, like if your viral marketing strategy becomes too spammy, you create a negative buzz.



11. Wild posting

Image via Matrix Media Services


Wild posting is a form of guerrilla marketing where a massive number of static posters are placed in different locations, usually in densely populated areas, to capture maximum attention.

Wild postings enable your customers to interact with the product directly by taking the display. This level of involvement allows the message to be seen in broader places, such as houses, garages, dorm rooms, and basements, while also building brand loyalty.

Claris Virot, a fashion business, was one good example of a wild posting marketing that gained awareness for its originality. They advertised their gorgeous purses on the streets of Paris using posters.



Image via ChilliPrinting



Pros and Cons

What makes wild posting beneficial for both large and small businesses? First, it is less expensive than traditional advertising while still achieving excellent brand exposure and recall outcomes. Another advantage of wild posting campaigns is that it raises brand awareness and is perfect for introducing new ideas, products, and events.

On the other hand, putting your products posters in places where no one else appears can result in negative press, high-profile legal attacks, and fines.

There’s no doubt that guerrilla marketing can provide a large amount of publicity with a great return on investment while allowing marketers to express their creativity in new directions.