At Hotcow, we talk a lot about ‘guerrilla marketing’, but what exactly is it? Well, essentially, it is a promotional strategy that uses low cost, high-energy tactics to engage large groups of consumers – and guerrilla tactics use unconventional communications in unexpected places to make a high-impact impression.
The visually-striking, imaginative and sometimes controversial nature of guerrilla marketing makes it ideal for launching new products and services. Here are just a few examples of guerrilla strategies used by companies to bring their products to market.
The most impactful guerrilla marketing campaigns leverage exceptionally creative concepts for viral advantage. In many cases, guerrilla product launches revolve around unique visual ads or promotional stunts.
Coca-Cola placed adhesive material to bus stop advertisements, in order to launch their new stick-grip bottles. The concept demonstrated the effectiveness of the grip, whilst grabbing the attention of bemused consumers, who had to pull their clothes from the advertisements before catching their buses.
Guerrilla marketing strategies use available opportunities to generate buzz for new products or services. One such example is American coffee brand Folgers, who painted cups of coffee on manhole covers, which were then animated with steam wafting from them. This was an innovative and visually striking campaign, using an everyday occurrence.
Across the board, guerrilla-style product rollouts feature highly public visibility — either online, offline or both.
One way of doing this is with a Flash Mob, which is a ‘sudden gathering of people that do something unusual for a few minutes in unison and then disperse’. One memorable Flash Mob took place in Central Station in Antwerp. The station was filled with the melodic voice of Julie Andrews, as a growing crowd of dancers provided the moves for the stunt, which was designed to promote a Belgian TV talent contest to find a new Maria. The video went viral and resulted in over 28,500,000 views.
Social Media Tie-Ins
These days, it’s impossible to talk about guerrilla marketing without considering social media tie-ins. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are now the primary vehicles for word of mouth marketing, so it’s important to incorporate them into your strategy.
Sony Ericsson launched its Xperia Play smart phone via a clever Super Bowl ad and tied it in with a range of announcements, competitions and videos on their Facebook page. Sony Ericsson was able to utilise its social media channels to raise awareness and anticipation for the Super Bowl ad spot as well as increase engagement and conversations between fans online.
It is important to note the role that customer retention strategies play in generating long-term value from a guerrilla style product launch. In most instances, guerrilla marketing campaigns for product rollouts focus on acquiring new customers for the product or business, but unless your business has a strategy in place to retain those customers, the time and effort you spend on your guerrilla marketing initiatives will have little or no long-term impact.
Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.