Guerrilla Marketing - What is it and How Can it Pay my Brand? - A Little Cartoon Monkey Scratching His Head with Bananas Beside Him on a Blue-Grey Background with Yellow Writing

Guerrilla Marketing – What is it and How Can it Pay my Brand? (with Examples)


Guerrilla Marketing is an unconventional marketing technique that relies mainly on creativity. In urban and everyday environments, it is used to reach specific audiences with the intent to attract their attention differently and without the need to invest a large number of resources.


When leaving the traditional format in which companies usually communicate, their messages are forced to rely more on recursion and the sense of opportunity… Guerrilla marketing in most cases, has the potential to draw the attention of people in a surprising, unexpected and unique way.


By using innovative marketing techniques like this, companies are able to generate a ton of word of mouth advertising, have videos that could potentially go viral, and impact their potential prospects and loyal followers in a unique way, being able to convey their message in some cases without even being noticed doing it.


This unique marketing technique also maximizes the performance of your campaigns, sometimes with a low investment compared to many other advertising options. It has a ton of advantages, but, like anything else in life, there are some disadvantages too.


Keep reading, and we are going to tell you some more about guerrilla marketing, and give you some killer examples of this fun to use and rewarding tactics used by some of the world’s most beloved brands!



What is Guerrilla Marketing?


Wikipedia describes Guerrilla Marketing as an advertising strategy that uses surprise and/or unconventional interactions to market their product or service. Although guerrilla marketing was originally associated with small companies that were lacking funds for expensive marketing campaigns, over time the technique became very popular among large companies that found ways to complement campaigns in traditional media such as press, radio, video, or television.


Here is a quote by the New York Times:


Guerrilla marketing — sending out street teams or posting ads in unusual places — has become more popular as marketers find it harder and harder to reach consumers through traditional media like newspapers and TV programs.


Until a few years ago, one of the main criteria to launch an campaign using to guerrilla marketing was that the place where it was carried out, had a high concurrence to thereby have greater reach and impact the largest number of people possible. Recently, new technologies have facilitated and further enhanced the dissemination of these types of initiatives as social networks are tools that stimulate word of mouth and help amplify any content, like in the video above by SeedMatters.orgwhere they use an offbeat cartoon animation to get the attention of anyone watching.



Soldiers Hiding in a Camouflage with Guns


The Origin of the Term


The term “Guerrilla Marketing” was inspired by what is known as guerrilla warfare. A mode of combat in which the confrontation that is made by one of the sides in the dispute in a war is not direct and the opponent sets out to destabilize his opponent with small tactical actions that are capable of generating great impact.



The concept was discovered in the mid-eighties when Jay Conrad Levinson, a person with great experience in the world of marketing and advertising, formally introduced the term in his book Guerrilla Marketing.


Faced with the diminishing impact that mass media advertising seemed to be having, Levinson spoke about the need to implement other types of approaches apart from traditional advertising. In this way, part of the principle behind guerrilla marketing was to use unconventional tactics so that businesses could be promoted when their budget was small.


Under this condition, it was essential for Levinson that the campaigns be shocking, unique, intelligent and scandalous (in a good way). In other words, they needed to give people something to talk about.


Guerrilla Marketing - What is it and How Can it Pay my Brand? Guinness Pool Tips Guerrilla Marketing - What is it and How Can it Pay my Brand? A Bus with a Boa Constrictor Wrapper Around it Guerrilla Marketing - What is it and How Can it Pay my Brand? A Billboard Going Into a Tunnel Painted like the Cars are Driving Into Someones Mouth as a Food Commercial Guerrilla Marketing - What is it and How Can it Pay my Brand? A Candy Bar Wrapper with Company Branding


Gallery of Guerrilla Marketing Examples


In the gallery above, you will notice some guerrilla marketing examples from around the internet that we thought would help convey the topic.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Guerrilla Marketing


To surprise the consumer today, brands have had to innovate their communication strategies and campaigns, in such a way that they are able to surprise consumers without intrusiveness being part of the picture. This is where guerrilla marketing gets tricky.


If your marketing strategy is one that seeks to promote a brand and some of its products or services through the use of unconventional means by using your message in a forceful, creative and surprising way, here are some advantages and disadvantages of guerrilla marketing that you should be aware of first:




This type of “off the mark” marketing allows companies to project their message directly; In addition to clear, fun, dynamic, creative, and unconventional ways, allowing them an opportunity to get more people talking about their brand, this technique allows brands an innovative way to make their brand voice stand out among competitors and be remembered.




  • Adaptable to Various Cultures, Societies and Countries
  • Attracts and Captures the Attention of the Target Audience
  • Increase Brand Following and Earned Media
  • Great International Reach
  • Unique, Innovative, Creative and Fun Content
  • Messages are Hard to Forget
  • High Visual Impact





Some things that you want to look out for if you are planning on using a guerrilla marketing technique for your company’s marketing campaign, are number one, to make sure that your brand’s message is clear. In the video above by Seed Matters, The Clif Bar Family Foundation took the chance of taking some serious heat and negative attention by teaming up with Austin based company  The Butler Bros, and the animation company Buck, who (we like to go ahead and give credit here…) NAILED the video. 


That being said:




  • Good Enough Ideas Can be Taken and Adapted by your Big Competitors
  • Campaign May not be Accepted by Your Target Audience
  • In Some Cases, Measuring this Type of Campaign is Not Very Comprehensive, Due Mixed Data Types
  • Can be Very Expensive for the Current Budget of the Department.
  • Massages Can Cause Controversy without Careful Planning
  • Short Life Span Advertising
  • Without Careful Planning, Could Bring on Legal Problems 


Guerrilla Marketing – What is it and How Can it Pay my Brand – Final Thoughts


Given that the main purpose of guerrilla marketing is to generate word of mouth, one of the concerns that companies should be attentive to when implementing this approach is to prevent their message from being misunderstood or giving rise to different interpretations that have nothing to do with their message, or could cause unrest, controversy, or bad press.


For this reason, it is required that from a strategic point of view, the message to be communicated should be well defined, in addition to stating the campaign’s objective exactly.


We hope that this helps!

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