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13 Great Guerrilla Advertising Examples

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Brands and agencies are both sharpening their saw to get more creative in the international market leaving a lot of advertising examples behind as inspiration for other advertisers around the world; thanks to technology for making everything so accessible. 2013 has been a great year so far.

In fact it is not even halfway through and we’ve seen a burst of creative guerrilla advertising examples from a bunch of global advertisers already. So here I am posting some of the guerrilla campaigns I loved as advertising examples and inspiration.

If you’re not aware. Guerrilla marketing or guerrilla advertising is a low-cost (not necessarily) advertising strategy. Marketers use it to reach and target an audience in an unconventional way.

Unconventional? How’s that? Well, any marketing effort that is unusual (that was obvious I know). But to illustrate this further, flash mobs and graffiti can be referred to as good guerrilla advertising examples. In a nutshell, Guerrilla Marketing can be defined as:

 

An unexpected advertising approach that disrupts the audiences’ environment to get their “quality” attention, helping brands to convey messages more effectively.

 

Guerrilla Marketing is Less About Big Marketing Budgets

Guerrilla advertising is more about the involvement of time, energy and imagination and less about big marketing budgets like traditional advertising models (TV, print, outdoor, etc.).  And that’s not where it ends. This advertising approach is usually known to create a lot of buzz and hype leading advertising campaigns to go viral!

I say guerrilla marketing is advertising without rules! As far as I remember, Coca-Cola was one of the first brands that started making videos of their guerrilla marketing initiatives. Do you remember which campaign I am referring to? The Coke Happiness Machine! Yes, that can be taken as one of the best guerrilla advertising examples! I truly believe that it was Coca-Cola that inspired a trend focusing on “Guerrilla + Viral” approach. It was a smart strategy to execute a guerrilla marketing campaign with a meager budget and then blowing it off on social media to generate hype. And since the execution was so full of human values, it was bound to go viral and touch millions of hearts across the world.

Coke learned its lessons and are on a roll since then. Even the smallest of a creative idea is being executed by the company on a small scale before seeding its video on power blogs and social networks to make it go viral. Now that we have discussed what guerrilla marketing is all about, I’m going to give away some of my favorite campaigns in 2013 so far:

 

1. Turner Television Network: Push the Red Button to Add Drama

Do you remember watching Turner Television Network‘s “Push the Red Button to Add Drama” guerrilla campaign last year? Well, they are back! And this time with a whole new thrilling drama in the middle of the road. To launch its new series and movie channel, TNT added crazy action-packed drama to the innocent passers-by’ usual day. If someone dared to press the RED button, they were in for a roller coaster ride.

No! Seriously. This is one of my favorite guerrilla advertising examples and really appreciate the marketing team behind it to have to balls to pull off something like this.

 

 

 

2. Delite-o-Matic: Human Lab Rats Run for Fantastic Delites

Fantastic Delights is an Australian snack company and is recently known for its fun guerrilla marketing campaigns. In order to test human snack behaviour, Fantastic Delites wanted to check if anyone would subject themselves to a lab experiment. Whoever chose to be the subject out of the audience had to run in the wheel fast as they could to reach the top of a bar. And if they did, they’d win a prize. A bold guerrilla example which was fun to take part, watch and was well worth the effort.

 

3. Coca-Cola: Generous ATM Machine

A Coca-Cola ATM machine in Spain that dispenses 100 euros for free, on the condition that the receiver shares the reward with someone. This came as an addition to the overall Coke’s vision of spreading happiness. And talking about Coca-Cola, this is another small campaign execution amplified online.

 

4. Lipton Ice Tea: World’s First Floating Vending Machine

Lipton came up with the world’s first floating vending machine promoting the “Never Lose Your Cool” campaign. And yes, it was actually a floating vending machine where beach-goers had to swim through the sea to get a drink.

In the pre-hype to the campaign, Lipton released information through its Facebook page of a cargo ship going down and vending machines getting lost in the sea. The users were encouraged to guess the locations to get a chance to win a prize. An audience relevant guerrilla advertising example that was based on insights:

 

5. Lipton Ice Tea: TEA-mometer

What happens when you combine ice tea and a thermometer: you get a TEA-mometer!

The TEA-mometer was a thermo activated, can shaped vending machine that made use of touch screen technology to detect people’s body temperature. People who had high body temperature and heart rate were being awarded free Lipton Ice Tea; and not only that! They encouraged people to increase their body temperature by hoola hooping and dancing around.

Fun, engaging and some serious viral content!

 

 

6. Coke Zero: The Airline Takeover

Coca-Cola wanted to prove that Coke Zero doesn’t taste any different from regular Coke. Of course, there is a difference between the two, but it is hardly noticeable by the regular Coke consumer.

Check the video below to see how strongly this video conveyed the message. In the simplest and cheapest possible way.

7. Japanese Retailer Uses Kinect Powered Mannequins

We always hear about Japanese being ahead in technology, and this guerrilla advertising example proves it quite well. Already fascinated by the robot culture, United Arrow apparel store in Japan hooked up the mannequins on their store display with Microsoft Kinect.

The result?  A large crowd spent hours in front of the storeThe shoppers and passers-by had a great time making the mannequins mimic their moves.

 

 

8. M&Ms Gangnam Style in Paris

Many brands and filmmakers tried their best to ride the success of the Korean pop star’s hit song “Gangnam Style,” since it became Youtube’s most watched video ever… and M&M was one of them.

Five people dressed up as M&M characters roamed around in the streets of Paris fooling with people, greeting them and dancing on Gangnam Style. A very simple street marketing example which turned out to be effective because these 5 characters managed to interact with people first hand and actually made hundreds of them dance to the Gangnam Style beat.

 

 

9. Tic Tac: France’s Worst Breath Prank

I personally love flash mobs a lot, and this flash mob prank by Tic Tac is one of the best guerrilla marketing examples. A stranger approaches a random guy/girl in a busy walk friendly area to ask for directions. As soon as the person starts speaking, everyone in the vicinity faints. Not only everyone in the vicinity, but a big monitor around the corner suddenly turns on and shows that all people in the nearby areas are also fainting.

People had priceless expressions. And they clueless on what is going on and are fearful. When the drama ends, one of the fainted people hands the person a pack of Tic Tac. Overdramatized but totally worth the effort.

 

 

10. Coca-Cola Spreads the Love on Valentines Day

This year on Valentine’s Day Coca-Cola decided not to come up with a formal Valentine’s Day TVC. Instead, they issued a brief to independent film makers to come up with a campaign. Hugh Mitton from New Zealand picked the brief up and spread the love to as many couples as possible by tying Coke cans to red helium balloons that landed in front of them.

 

11. Coca-Cola: Small World Machines

And yet another Coca-Cola campaign that I have already shared. A small world machine that brings people of two countries, India & Pakistan, together. These two countries have a tensed relationship since the time of their partition and independence.

This insightful light-hearted Coke campaign sent a very strong message across: Common people want to live in harmony!

 

 

 

 

12. Coca-Cola: The Happy Flags

And it seems like Coca-Cola is on a never-ending run of setting guerrilla advertising examples for others to follow. Denmark was the world’s happiest nation. More recently surveyed by the UN.

Coke clubbed this discovery with Denmark’s tradition of greeting arriving passengers with Danish flags, and gave away free flags!

 

13. Heineken: The Negotiation

Last but not the least, Heineken extended their crazy attempts to target football fanatics through a nice guerrilla campaign. They secretly gave men a chance to watch the Champions League final, only on one condition: they had to convince their female counterparts to buy a pair of ordinary looking stadium seats at a ridiculously high price.

 

 

This was our list of the Best Guerrilla Advertising Examples. We hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment below if you have any more cool examples to share. That’s it from me today.

I’m a marketing strategist by day. Marketing and strategy are 2 things that I enjoy because they give me the chance to do what I do best: think, identify opportunities, and connect the dots. By night, I love to inspire people to think big. I truly believe and advocate that every individual has the potential to go beyond what he or she thinks they’re capable of.

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