Guerrilla Marketing: Optional or Mandatory?


In today’s evolving market every company needs to be on top of the current trends in order to stay fresh and relevant in their consumers’ minds. For example, social media is no longer an option, but rather a mandatory aspect of business that every company should have if it wants to be successful. Likewise, guerrilla marketing may become more and more prevalent as traditional forms of promotional activities become obsolete.

The term guerrilla marketing was first coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing. Levinson is famously known for being the mastermind behind the Malboro Man, the Pillsbury Dough-boy, and Tony the Tiger. In his book Levinson described guerrilla marketing as unconventional promotions that rely on creativity rather than big budgets. Therefore, guerrilla marketing is ideal for entrepreneurs and small businesses, although large companies have been known to use guerrilla marketing as well.

Some famous examples of guerrilla marketing are the Folgers Coffee campaign, the Mr. Clean campaign, and Big Pilot Watches’ campaign. (Those and other campaigns can be found here). Folgers went to the New York City manholes where steam was rising up and simply put a circular printout of the top of a Folgers cup of coffee to give the appearance that the steam was rising from the cup. Mr. Clean’s campaign was installed on crosswalks where all the white strips were faded, except for the one with the Mr. Clean logo, which was bolder and whiter than all the rest. Big Pilot Watches simply had their watch designs printed and put around the handles of the bus railing. That way when bus riders held onto the rail through the loop, they got to see a Big Pilot Watch on their wrist.

It is very important to know that guerrilla marketing has to reach out to the consumers, spread a positive message about your product, and, ultimately, intrigue them. Guerrilla marketing campaigns should not be as plain as chalking a sidewalk, but should also not be as intrusive as trimming someone’s hedges in the shape of your logo. A careful balance of creativity and sensibility will lead to the best results.