Successful Guerilla Marketing Campaigns

Guerilla marketing involves high energy and imagination focusing on grasping the attention of the public at a more personal and memorable level. They are concepts that think outside the box – but what truly distinguishes guerrilla marketing from mere public stunts is cost-effectiveness.  Jay Conrad Levinson  - the man who coined the phrase – says that it “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute and inexpensive.” Guerrilla marketing is about using existing resources (and some wild imagination) to engage with audiences en masse and make a bold statement.

1.Double Robotics  Lucy the Robot

The Sydney queues for the launch of the iPhone 6 contained hundreds of people. And one robot. Tech company Double Robotics sent Lucy the Robot the store, amidst their Asia-Pacific telepresence robot launch, aiming to help businesses understand what robots could do for them.  

The campaign was covered in more than 4000 news pieces that were translated across 32 languages for a reach of over 132 million in days. This media value was in the tens of millions of dollars and resulted in more than 12,400 inquiries in three days – for a marketing outlay of next to nothing.

Check out this video here to see Lucy in action.


Tinder acquired more than 50 million users through word-of-mouth alone, but the early customer acquisition success can be attributed to a very simple, inexpensive and out-of-the-box idea. The Tinder creators personally invited friends to download the app, then visited the best “party colleges” and got attractive, influential figures on board – focusing on a female user base, and the app took off.

3. Coke Hug Me

Coca-Cola is a brand with a product so iconic, the majority of advertising campaigns are centred around brand perception and engagement with the brand. Coca-Cola Singapore created an experiential marketing campaign as part of the wider “Open Happiness” initiative, in which a Coke vending machine was installed at the National University Singapore with only a dispenser and the words HUG ME. Students hugged the vending machine, which dispensed a can of cola.

“Whether you were hugging the machine or experiencing the event online, our goal was the same – to put a smile on your face and share that emotional connection,” Coca-Cola Company spokesman Leonardo O’Grady said in the release. “Reactions were amazing… people really had fun with it and at one point we had four to five people hugging the machine at the same time as well as each other!”

Check out the video here.

4. WePay Paypal Freeze Your Accounts

Using negative marking can be a bit of a risk, but WePay took this risk by capitalising on competitor PayPal’s habit of freezing its members' accounts, by leaving a block of ice filled with cash outside the PayPal conference in San Francisco. The stunt was on the front page of tech news sites in an hour.

The risk paid off. Despite the action at a single location, the amount of global online coverage led to some truly impressive gains, including a 300% increase in weekly traffic and a massive 225% increase in account sign-ups.

5. Adidas x Fashion 5 Ways Falcon W

Not all guerrilla marketing has to be real-world stunts, as proven recently by a new use of Snapchat – as pop-up sneaker store. Adidas launched the Falcon W through a Snapchat show Fashion 5 Ways, with viewers able to purchase the shoe through the app, supported by Shopify.

The stock sold out in six hours, with millions of viewers, 70% of which were from the 13-24 demographic, showing that the digital native generation is happy to engage with platforms that bridge the gap between content and commerce.

6. Village Roadshow IT

One of our personal favourites, the East Coast capitals got a nice dose of creepy clown time, when Village Roadshow were promoting the 2017 remake of IT.

For little more than the cost of some stencils, string and balloons, the campaign centred around the #ITmovie, providing not only a place to gain information about the film, but also a place for user-generated content to collect.  Drain locations right in the middle of the Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne CBDs provided cheap exposure and social media shares, for far less than the price of traditional outdoor advertising in a similar space.

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