Exploring guerrilla marketing techniques for brand promotions

 Exploring guerrilla marketing techniques for brand promotions
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Guerrilla marketing is explored by all- from large brands to small brands or services. The intention is quite clear. Create an impactful message for brand promotion that will remain within the consumer for a longer period than the short lived typical ads

Guerrilla marketing is a marketing tactic in which a company uses surprise and/or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service. Guerrilla marketing is different than traditional marketing in that it often relies on personal interaction, has a smaller budget, and focuses on smaller groups of promoters that are responsible for getting the word out in a particular location rather than through widespread media campaigns.

Smart marketers use every technique available to gain a foothold in the consumer’s mind. With guerrilla marketing, the focus changes from the volume of advertising to the impact of the message. The guerrilla marketing technique would rather reach ten people with a message that works than 100 people with one that doesn’t. 

The guerrilla marketing is obsessed with benefits. Whenever offering a product or service, they focus on how it will benefit the consumer and builds everything- the product, the delivery, the marketing – around that benefit.

When the classic strategies aren’t delivering, you use the guerrilla marketing techniques. They’re the extra-special forces – the ones that implement killer strategies to turn the tide and defeat the enemy. Guerrilla marketing is a great alternative to traditional marketing. It thrives on original thinking and creativity, where imagination and ingenuity beat out big budgets.

Here are a few examples of brands using guerrilla marketing techniques:


Colgate normally gives out small product samples at annual events like “Oral Health Month” to remind target consumers, especially kids, to take better care of their teeth after eating sweets. This method does not drive strong results as most consumers tend to forget the message, even if they have collected the samples. Instead of giving away product samples, ice cream and cotton candy were given out. The stick carrying the ice cream and cotton candy carries a hidden message. Once consumers are done the message printed on the tip of the stick shaped like a toothbrush reveals “Don’t Forget” with the Colgate logo. This simple message effectively reminded consumers to brush their teeth. This direct advertisement was created by Y&R, Thailand for Colgate.


Nike has been known for its “Just do it” attitude and tagline. They always tend to use guerrilla marketing techniques to grab the attention of consumers. In this case they used a bench in the park which had all the frame of a bench and yet no place to sit on. Instead there was Nike’s logo and a single word- ‘RUN’. Clearly it was targeting the people who used the park to jog. Nike wanted them to do their exercise instead of relaxing in the park. This abstract bench, therefore, serves as a signifier for the company motto. Consistent with its brand personality of pushing one’s limits, Nike makes the perfect guerrilla marketing example with its history of ads.

Nike had earlier used similar kind of guerrilla marketing techniques. Another one was in a Metro station where the escalators were blocked with a board containing Nike’s logo. The escalators which were not working just had a board with Nike’s iconic ‘swoosh’ logo blocking the entry on it and urging them to take the stairs. Most people riding the metro on that day weren’t particularly happy to see this. However we all agree it does an excellent job of highlighting the benefit. Whoever ran into this escalator was reminded of the brand’s motto and was “forced” to take the stairs, thus initiating their workout routine. This was launched in early January- a time of year to start new resolutions. 

Coca Cola

In 2013, Coca Cola did a campaign called “Small World Machines”. It provided a live communications portal between people in India and Pakistan showing that what unites people is stronger than what sets people apart. The key to engaging with each other through the machines was simple: people in India and Pakistan should complete a task, like touching hands, drawing peace, love, and happiness symbols — together.

Coca-Cola partnered with Leo Burnett to produce this inspiring film and campaign. They set up the two vending machines in two popular shopping malls in Lahore, Pakistan and New Delhi, India – two cities separated by only 325 miles, but seemingly worlds apart due to decades of political tension.

The campaign was meant to help bring together two strangers to share a moment and break the borders. Coke and Leo Burnett used first-of-its-kind 3D touchscreen technology to project a streaming video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the unit to capture a live emotional exchange. People from both countries and various walks of life were encouraged to complete a friendly task together – wave, touch hands, draw a peace sign or dance – before sharing a Coca-Cola.

Crews filmed through the night, capturing more than 100 interactions between people of all ages and from all walks of life. None of the people featured in the film were actors, and their reactions were completely natural.

The film featured tender encounters, such as a young girl in Delhi touching hands with an older woman on the Pakistani side, as well as more spirited interactions including an impromptu dance-off between two men in their 60s that went on for several minutes. 


With guerrilla marketing, the focus changes from the volume of advertising to the impact of the message

Coke and Leo Burnett used first-of-its-kind 3D touchscreen technology to project a streaming video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the unit to capture a live emotional exchange

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