In today’s competitive business environment, winning new business and attracting potential customers is a challenge. In order to set themselves apart from the competition, many larger organisations have adopted innovative campaigns, taking inspiration from ‘Guerrilla marketing’ and social media, to help raise their brand awareness and keep up-to-date with the changing lifestyles of their consumers.
Over the next few months, we will be sharing 3 tools used by big businesses that SMEs can develop and add to their own marketing mix. The first instalment focuses on ‘Guerrilla marketing’ and how original campaigns can help move your business forward.
The concept of ‘Guerrilla marketing’ came from the idea that imagination, time and energy could be used to create great marketing, as opposed to a big budget. ‘Guerrilla marketing’ can often make a far more impact on consumers when compared against more traditional forms of marketing. Tools such as flash mobs, floor stickers, videos and 3D art have been used to help generate publicity and that vital social buzz.
Take a look at some of the best ‘Guerrilla marketing’ campaigns for inspiration
1. Doses of happiness
Coca-Cola installed ‘The Happiness Machine’ into the cafeteria of a University in America, but when students pressed the button for a bottle of Coke, they got more than they expected. Hidden cameras filmed the spontaneous reactions of students as the machine dispensed goodies including flowers, pizzas and sunglasses to unsuspecting students.
2. Unlock the 007 in you. You have 70 seconds.
During the run up to the release of last year’s James Bond film, Skyfall, Coca-Cola came up with another fun and innovative campaign. When buying a Coke Zero, the vending machine at a train station gave the customer the option of whether they would like the chance to win tickets for the Skyfall premiere. If yes, the message then appeared “You have 70 seconds to get to platform 7…” but Coca-Cola made sure it wasn’t that easy for each contender and staged a series of obstacles to distract them from their mission.
3. ‘Carlsburg don’t do litter….’
‘Guerrilla marketing’ doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated. Carlsburg made a huge impact merely with stickers. Carlsburg added a sticker to £5000 worth of £10 notes and released them into circulation. The stickers said “Carlsburg don’t do litter. But if they did, it would probably be the best litter in the world.” As a result, the campaign received huge media interest. Who wouldn’t like free money?
4. ‘Chalk’ Homer
During the run up to the release of The Simpsons Movie in the UK, one of the UK’s most famous landmarks, the fertility God carved into a chalk hillside in Dover, got a new neighbour. Overnight, a 180ft Homer Simpson appeared next to the fertility god. People couldn’t decide whether it was an act of vandalism or pure genius! Either way, it served as a huge promotion for the film, without an expensive price tag.
5. ‘Weighing for the bus’
Fitness First in the UK wanted to increase their gym membership, so instead of targeting people with the usual flyers and promotions, Fitness First went a step further. The fitness brand decided to target people who were waiting at the bus stop by fitting a scale into the bench. When the unsuspecting victim sat down on the bench their weight would be projected onto the screen next to them. A cruel or effective way of telling people they need to lose weight?
Obviously, we don’t condone illegal activity, but the above are great examples of businesses thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing. ‘Guerrilla marketing’ is often ideal for small businesses that need to reach a large audience without breaking the bank. In order for your business to use the concept of ‘Guerrilla marketing’ effectively, it is important to plan and research your idea, whilst weighting up any factors that could back-fire once the campaign is implemented. As always, with all forms of marketing, having a clearly defined target audience that you understand intimately is critical to delivering an effective campaign. Just because you like it or think it is funny, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be appreciated by your target audience. Put yourself in their shoes!