13 Great Guerrilla Advertising Examples from 2013

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 half way 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. For those of you who are unaware, guerrilla marketing or guerrilla advertising is a low-cost (not necessarily) advertising strategy that is used to 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 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 meagre 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 learnt its lessons and are on a roll since then. Even the smallest of 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 giveaway 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 it’s 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 roller coaster ride. No! Seriously. This is one of my favourite 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 on-line.

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! Lipton takes another spot in the 13 best guerrilla advertising examples of this year so far for the same campaign – “Never Lose Your Cool.” 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 the message was conveyed in the most simplest and cheapest possible fashion:

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

8. M&Ms Gangnam Style in Paris

Many brands and film makers 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. The expressions on peoples faces are priceless as they have no clue what is going on and are shit scared. When the drama ends, one of the fainted people hands the person a pack of Tic Tac. Over dramatized 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 are known to have a tensed relationship since the time of their partition and independence, and this 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 has been named as the world’s most happiest nation by various surveys, and more recently 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 counter parts to buy a pair of ordinary looking stadium seats at a ridiculously high price. This was my list of the 13 Best Guerrilla Advertising Examples of 2013 so far, and I hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment below if you have any more cool examples to share. That’s it from me today.