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Definition of Guerilla Marketing


Definition of Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla Marketing: Brief Definition

Guerilla Marketing is an innovative communication strategy whose principle of action is based on the effect of surprise. The tactics employed often use, particularly attractive, creative ideas; at the same time, advertisers are trying to communicate their messages through unconventional Marketing tools. As a result, Guerilla Marketing typically requires only a modest budget to achieve maximum impact.


What is Guerilla Marketing? Detailed definition

The term "Guerilla Marketing" was coined by American marketing specialist Jay Conrad Levinson in the 1980s. It is a borrowing from military vocabulary. “Guerrilla” strategies refer to a kind of warfare designed to weaken a targeted enemy by deploying unconventional techniques. Guerilla Marketing therefore aims to obtain a competitive advantage, through the use of atypical marketing strategies.

Definition of Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla Marketing is considered unconventional because it renounces traditional advertising strategies in favor of unorthodox approaches, the latter being particularly associated with direct and personal contacts obtained through non-media communications.


During a Guerilla Marketing campaign, advertising is deliberately placed on objects and in places where consumers do not expect to find it at all. Thus, the opportunities offered by this type of advertising are almost endless, ranging from advertising on everyday objects such as coasters, escalators or public facilities, to “street marketing” actions, such as than “flash-mob” events. These innovative forms of advertising work on an emotional level as they cause the targeted people to laugh or surprise.

Guerilla Marketing can have many different goals, but it is typically used to launch a brand or product, or to strengthen a company's branding.

In the past, Guerilla Marketing has often been used to promote new film productions and is also a common method of sports advertising. Since its offbeat approach attracts a high level of attention and can be effective even on a small budget, experts recommend using Guerilla Marketing to promote big brands, but also small and medium businesses, as well as for independent contractors.


Guerilla Marketing Tools

Guerilla Marketing tools are organized around different categories, but in practice the distinctions are more blurred. One generally distinguishes the ambient Marketing, the Marketing ambush, the emotional Marketing and Viral Marketing .


Ambient Marketing

The ambient marketing relies on deploying surprising advertising campaigns, affecting consumers in their everyday environment and normal. This method includes, among other things, the deployment of unusual advertising formats outdoors, in public spaces. Thus, Ambient Marketing includes innovative advertising campaigns in airports, buses and trains, or in restaurants. In such places, advertising can be, for example, positioned on coasters, postcards… or even the toilet seats in pubs and bars!


Marketing in ambush

The Marketing ambush, also known as imitation of Marketing, is to use the attention surrounding a topic or event for advertising purposes, to highlight a brand. This technique is frequently used in conjunction with large-scale events to achieve beneficial image transfer that can benefit the brand.

Ambush Marketing is understandably controversial, as this type of advertising relies primarily on an opportunistic association with a given event.


Emotional Marketing

The emotional Marketing also involves her unusual actions or dramatic demonstrations, conducted mostly on a point of sale. Emotional Marketing therefore functions as a promoter or a multiplier. Examples of Emotional Marketing operations include surprise fashion shows or flash mobs in pedestrian areas.


Viral Marketing

The Viral Marketing is also associated with Guerilla Marketing, insofar as it nourishes the objective to quickly obtain the greatest possible attention of a target group.

Viral Marketing aims to spread content virally, to reach a population of consumers through personal advice, word of mouth or online sharing, via social networks.


Examples of Guerilla Marketing campaigns

Many companies have used eye-catching Guerilla Marketing campaigns to draw attention to their brands or products. Thus, the movie "King Kong" was promoted through a huge imprint on the beach at the time of its launch. The mysterious disappearance of students in a Supernatural Wood was organized before the launch of the low budget film "The Blair Witch Project". And as another more distant example illustrates, the Mini brand has always devised new ways to engage with its audience through Guerilla Marketing.


Other examples of Guerilla Marketing

Colgate handed out some special popsicles to surprise them. When tasted, these ice creams revealed a wooden stick in the shape of a toothbrush, adorned with the Colgate brand logo.

The Beiersdorf group has placed blue double-textured sofas in its stores, displaying the logo of its Nivea brand: the upholstery has been designed to illustrate the difference between skin with cellulite and smooth skin.


McDonald's has turned a zebra crossing into a big fries.

Nike captured media attention by asking an 80-year-old runner wearing Nike gear to participate in an Adidas-sponsored marathon, with the goal of weakening the official sponsor's advertising impact.

To encourage customers to use rental cars as part of a rail strike, Sixt GDL car rental manager Claus Weselsky was quickly promoted to employee of the month by the group, which made it possible to its action to become an important topic of conversation.


Guerilla Marketing success factors

Beyond a truly creative idea, good planning and careful preparation determine the success of Guerilla Marketing campaigns. To reap laurels, it is also crucial to propose a “guerrilla” action adapted to the brand and the target group (“Brand Fit”). In addition, points of contact must be set up to enable consumers to react immediately to the planned action. For an optimal Guerilla Marketing campaign, it is recommended to put in place an action capable of engaging consumers and relayed in all media. In order to encourage the viral dissemination of the campaign, the target group should be approached to provide content on the Internet, for example by uploading photos to Pinterest.



Guerilla Marketing is a very creative advertising method that highlights products or brands using the element of surprise. Guerilla Marketing Different tools can be used such as ambient marketing, the emotional Marketing , the Marketing ambush and Viral Marketing.


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