What Is Guerrilla Marketing? A Detailed Overview

Guerilla Marketing: A Detailed Overview

The surprise element constituted a major element of guerilla marketing and considered a form of innovative communication strategy in the modern global market. The style of marketing takes an unconventional approach to communicate its message to the huge masses. It is particularly the implication of eye-catching creative ideas, which helps organizations successfully implement guerilla marketing techniques. The high level of innovativeness in this approach would help achieve a higher level of impact by just making a modest budget.

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A detailed look over guerilla marketing

The renowned US marketer Jay Conard Levinson in the early 1980s put forward the concept of Guerilla Marketing. He has coined this term by referring to military concepts and vocabulary. In the context of army tactics, guerilla warfare is considered to be taking unconventional strategies to weaken and defeat the enemies. Similarly, the business organizations would focus on innovative and unusual approaches to gain the cutting edge over the business rivals by implementing Guerrilla marketing.

The classical advertising measures are being disregarded under guerilla marketing and for the same reason, it as an unconventional approach. The potential interactive points acquired through the tool of below-the-line communications help organizations apply various unorthodox approaches.

The positioning of the advertising is done in such a way under the concept of guerilla marketing that no one is expecting it to appear. The unexpected appearance of the advertisement would create suspense and astonishment among the customers. There is no bound for innovativeness in this approach, and you explore as much as you can. You could include every product under the radar of this approach, whether it is the advertisement of public facilities, coasters, or escalators. The engagement with the audience at the emotional level will happen if an innovative approach is taken in advertising. Creating surprise, laughter, emotion, etc. among the viable customers through advertisement would bring excellent results.

Though the approach of implying Guerilla marketing brings many benefits, they are majorly aimed to enhance the brand value and sales of the product.

It was to promote the new feature films that guerilla marketing strategy was utilized in the market. A similar approach was also considered to be the best one for promoting any sports event. The close attention towards the event was able to be generated because of the offbeat approach. The fact that guerilla marketing is a much cheaper option than other advertisement approaches attracted a lot of entrepreneurs to adopt it. Now the mode of guerilla marketing is recommended to multinational companies and medium-scale and small-scale enterprises. Even startup companies and freelancers are frequently implying Guerilla marketing techniques.

Instruments of guerilla marketing

If considered the theoretical aspect, guerilla marketing could be classified in various sections though these classifications do not appear to be significant in the practical aspect. The classification could be respectively termed as viral marketing, sensational marketing, ambient marketing, and ambush marketing.

Viral marketing

The concept of viral marketing is highly associated with that of guerilla marketing. Viral marketing intends to make a maximum impact by attracting the attention of the targeted section and customers.

The mode focuses on spreading the intended message among the targeted customers through the online platform of social media, word of mouth, referrals, and personal recommendations.

Ambient Marketing

It is by utilizing the element of surprise that the organizations use the strategies of ambient marketing. It is the product that is used on an everyday basis that is marketed through this method. The public spaces are utilized under this method to display the outdoor advertisement innovatively. You could trace the frequent examples of ambient marketing in destinations like restaurants, airports, trains or buses, etc. In the modern scenario, ambient marketing could even be seen in the toilet seats of the bars and pubs, postcards, coasters, etc.

Sensation Marketing

The spectacular demonstration of the innovative advertisement is done through sensation marketing. It is majorly done at the instance of point of sale. In this instance, the strategy for marketing performs the effect of a multiplier or a promoter. The frequent use of sensation marketing could be witnessed in instances like flash mobs conducted at the pedestrian area and at the instant fashion shows.

Ambush Marketing

The issues that are in trend or the topic with a high potential for publicity are used under the strategy of ambush Marketing. It is also often termed ambush marketing. It is in association with large-scale events or functions that this type of marketing is adopted, which would give high appreciation to the product’s brand value.

The approach of ambush marketing is considered fraudulent since some event is manipulated for the company’s personal gain. Hence it has always been labeled as a controversial approach.

Major instances of the guerilla marketing campaign

In the modern global market scenario, the majority of the countries are relying on the guerilla marketing strategy. The market for every product is facing immense competition, and everyone wants to draw close attention to their products and brands. Let us take the instance of the movie King Kong. The marketing team had created a huge print on the beach to draw attention towards the film before its release. A similar strategy was adopted in the case of the low-budget movie The Blair Witch Project. The marketing team had staged a fake disappearance of students in the woods to generate mystery among the public. If checked by the marketing strategies followed by a lot of companies in the world, various types of guerilla marketing were used.

Some of the prominent examples of guerilla marketing are:

  1. Converting the zebra line into the large bag of French fries by McDonald’s.
  2. Giving away of ice lollies by Colgate. The wooden stick resembled a toothbrush, and the Colgate advertisement got revealed when the lolly was finished.
  3. One of the 80-year-old marathon runners was encouraged to wear Nike shoes at an event sponsored by Adidas. Nike got heavy media attention and simultaneously decreased the impact of the marketing campaign by the actual sponsor.
  4. The 6th GDL car rental chief, Claus Weselsky was strategically awarded the position of an employee of the month. Thus the customers were encouraged to choose rental cars to avoid rail strikes frequently. The action has helped the company in gaining significant publicity among the media.

The factors that make Guerilla marketing a successful approach

The implication of campaigns related to guerilla marketing requires a good level of preparation and planning. The heavy prerequisite of including the creative idea in it makes the approach much unique when compared to other marketing campaigns. The marketing team should also be aware of whether the approach you had made in the guerilla marketing campaign is well suited for the targeted customers and doesn’t reduce the company’s brand value. The planned action will only be successful if the customers are allowed to respond through contact points immediately. If the targeted customers are engaged well in all the media channels situated in the network, the Guerilla marketing campaign would be a success. Social media should be used appropriately to make the message conveyed through guerilla marketing a viral hit.

Guerilla marketing


As mentioned in this article, the factor of surprise is considered to be the key element of guerilla marketing and hence is considered to be the creative classification of advertising. To give publicity to the products at a very wide range but in a cost-effective manner, the companies use different variations of it like viral marketing, ambient marketing, ambush marketing, and sensation marketing. However, their ground of classification is not clear since the concepts are a lot more similar.

The mode of guerilla marketing has higher significance in the fierce battle for consumer attention in the modern market. The fact that appears when the customers are expecting it the least make it more efficient in the purpose. The use of humor and emotional content has increased in advertisements because of the increased acceptance of guerilla marketing. The use of such elements would make a lasting impact on the mind of the targeted customers.

The inclusion of the guerilla marketing approach increases the potential of the advertisements to spread virally through various mediums. It should also be understood that the approach would be a disaster if the content does not abide by the product description. The companies would have to be very cautious while implying the concept of guerilla marketing for their promotion campaigns. A small blunder may instigate immense outrage on the social media platform.

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