The new marketing trend making headway: Guerrilla marketing
Guerrilla marketing has been taking the marketing world by storm over the past few years. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that it has become increasingly challenging for many companies to ‘cut through’ and gain consumers’ attention, in an age where people are ‘glued’ to their mobile phones and have become immune to more traditional forms of advertising on billboards, and in newspapers/magazines.
Thus, it’s guerrilla marketing to the rescue! Now, it’s not as scary as it sounds! It is simply the use of unconventional marketing techniques to pull maximum results from minimal resources, so it’s actually very economically sound. It has the potential to act as an effective marketing strategy for start-up brands, as well as creating a bit of brand revitalisation for more established brands. It can also create a publicity buzz, especially if it’s unusual and novel, and particularly if it goes viral! It is especially helpful in helping to create a fun and exciting ‘brand personality’ for an organisation or event.
Pop Ups – are a relatively inexpensive way to create maximum buzz for a brand. A great recent example of this form of guerrilla marketing was for Melbourne Fashion Week 2018. Free pop-up runway shows were called ‘brand activations,’ and were conducted throughout the Melbourne CBD, showcasing different fashion designers and styles (smart casual, streetwear, spring racing carnival fashions, etc.), to bring attention to the brand and event.
The handbags were branded with both Melbourne Fashion Week, and the designer labels. The parades also included loud music from a pink ‘boom-box’ speaker on wheels (also with the branding M/FW), playing house music, and often accompanied by a musician (one with a ukulele, and one who was a beat-boxer), with the music complementing the theme of the designs.
The pop-up runways generated brand awareness and often consumer liking, as passers-by expressed joy and delight as they saw the unexpected novelty and excitement of fashion runway shows and photo-shoots through the CBD streets, laneways, train stations, on trams, the steps of buildings and the Docklands area.
It would seem the briefing for this year’s M/FW was to ‘bring the fashion/art to the people,’ as they also had pop-up art installations throughout Melbourne, including business areas at 101 Collins St, the Art Centre forecourt and Emporium Melbourne, which also generated brand awareness and liking from the public. Indeed, it has an added benefit of passers-by taking pictures or videos of the pop-ups and sharing them on social media. There are often incentives for sharing pictures, such as going into a draw to win a prize in a competition. This creates more ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing.
Another exciting form of guerrilla marketing is the flash mob. This is when there is an unexpected group of people performing a dance or exercise routine in a seemingly ‘random’ public space, to create publicity and ‘buzz’ about a brand.
The flash mob was the brainchild of the senior editor Harper’s Magazine, Bill Wasik. However, the first attempt in Manhattan, New York, May 2003 was unsuccessful because the retail store where the event would be held was alerted about the public gathering. Nevertheless, now, the flash mob is considered to be a highly successful form of guerrilla marketing.
One example was the famous ‘100 Single Ladies’ flash mob, which saw dancers emulating Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ video choreographed dance in Piccadilly Circus to announce the chewing gum brand Trident’s free Beyoncé concert for lucky competition winners in 2009. The flash mob created a buzz, generating awareness of the competition, which involved buying Trident gum, and going into the draw for a free ticket to an exclusive Beyoncé ‘I AM’ show in London.
You can see footage from this flash mob here.
Although guerrilla marketing campaigns – since they are usually in public spaces – often need planning when it comes to security measures, crowd control, allowing the ‘flow’ of busy pedestrians, and often special permission from surrounding businesses and the relevant city councils, they are still considered to be an exciting and fun way to create awareness and consumer liking for brands!