Guerrilla marketing, Taking Consumers By Surprise :)

Fedex always first

17 May Guerrilla marketing, Taking Consumers By Surprise :)

I was browsing through my LinkedIn account and came across an innovative branding strategy that was followed by Daikin, the Japanese AC and Refrigeration Giant. As I saw it the word that came to my mind was ‘Guerrilla Marketing’. This made me go back into my Business School Day’s where we had a chapter around it. It is shear creative minds that work behind this form of marketing.



daikin gureilla marketing

What is Guerrilla Marketing and how it came into existence?


As per WikipediaGuerrilla marketing is an advertisement strategy concept designed for businesses to promote their products or services in an unconventional way with little budget to spend. This involves high energy and imagination focusing on grasping the attention of the public in more personal and memorable level. Some large companies use unconventional advertising techniques, proclaiming to be guerrilla marketing but those companies will have larger budget and the brand is already visible. The main point of guerrilla marketing is that the activities are done exclusively on the streets or other public places, such as shopping centers, parks or beaches with maximum people access so as to attract a bigger audience.

Guerrilla marketing is all about taking the customer by surprise and has marked its name in increasing brand awareness and brand loyalty. As people are more prone to remember creativity for a longer time this can result in increased sales at a relatively lower cost.


Brief History

There was a time when marketing was about reaching the masses with an apt message that engages with customers. Marketing teams used to spend on Radio ads, TV ads and Print ads. It had its own golden time but then with many Ads rolling around Agencies struggled to make an impression and consumers were tired of being marketed to. It was time to explore new ways of advertising that can have an impactful messaging delivered to the customers. Marketer started trying new methods and new marketing media to reach their target audience.

In 1984, marketer Jay Conrad Levinson introduced the formal term in his book called, “Guerrilla Marketing.”

In the book Jay Conrad Levinson proposed unique ways of approaching and combating traditional forms of advertising. The goal of guerrilla marketing was to use unconventional tactics to advertise at a comparatively small budget. Levinson suggested that campaigns need to be shocking, unique, outrageous and clever. It needs to create buzz as the conventional methods now do not work as expected.

The marketers who tried these were amazed to see the positive results of their campaigns. The Return On investment was good and has a long last brand recall in the minds of the consumer.

With more and more brands now trying this media. Here are a few more examples that tell how engaging these Guerrilla ad campaigns can be.


Fedex ran a Fedex ‘always first’ campaign where they tried to showcase Fedex as the fastest logistics movers. They tried to depicts this aspect of marketing through a creative on their shipment vehicle keeping Fedex ahead of another logistics bus which resembles a logistics bus of DHL, a logistics competitor of  Fedex.


Fedex always first



A very creative painting on street side benches promoting a brand of Chocolate. This is a Very smart advertising campaign that tries to connect customers with their tag line “Have a break, Have a Kitkat!” placing it just at the place where people take a break by sitting on a bench.





Colgate, the very well known dental products brand. To promote its products in a very innovative and cost effective manner this toothpaste brand tied up with an icecream company and provided them icecream sticks to add them in the ice cream as the child finishes up with eating the chocolate he is able to see the sick giving a message to brush teeth indicating the brand Colgate for the keeping the teeth clean.


chocobar colgate


Rimmel’s Nail Polish

A very enticing promotional campaign by Rimmel’s retailers in London where they created a product 3D imagery statue that looks to be showcasing the best pink color grabbing the attention of the girls.

Rimmel’s Nail Polish


Movie, KingKong

The movie will always be remembered for its innovative marketing where they used different strategies to promote the movie I am showing 2 of the campaigns where they show the footprints of the giant KingKong, followed by placing smashed jeep in place of one of the footprint.




The second was where they showcase Kingkong, a legendary giant gorilla‘s hand crushing a large sized bus.


king kong guerrilla marketing



To advertise Windex, a Glass cleaner pump brand the company used a bus stop to showcase how this glass cleaning spray works on an unclear glass.

Windex guerrilla marketing


There are 1000’s of such examples where marketers have used their creativity to heights to engage customers. Guerrilla Marketing has proven itself in increasing brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand recall and overall sales is very cost effective way of marketing these days. This type of marketing is limited to local audience but when the concept is shared social channels like Linkedin, Facebook and more it crosses the national boundaries, get people talking about the brand and gets brand being recognized by people.


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