The term “guerrilla marketing” was reputedly coined by Conrad Levinson in his book “Guerrilla Marketing” which was published in 1983. Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that employs low-cost unconventional means to promote a product or service.

Guerilla marketing campaigns often defy traditional marketing ideas and methods, and include strategies such as flash mobs, viral video campaigns, art, graffiti and more.
Smaller scale ideas such as personalized candy or cupcakes, fake publicity stunts, marketing Stickers on coins all go that extra mile to create a killer guerilla marketing campaign
The whole idea behind this kind of marketing is to achieve maximum marketing goals with minimal cost. Much like guerrilla warfare which uses unconventional warfare tactics like ambushes, sabotage and strategies of surprise attack guerrilla marketing employs the same tactics in the marketing industry.
It is an outside of the box marketing strategy that is completely different to traditional marketing.
With consumers becoming immune to traditional marketing ideas, small brands and larger brands alike are all considering new tactics to employ for their next killer marketing campaign. Sometimes these strategies can be much more cost effective and will attract a much better response, with the possibility of a campaign going ‘viral’
Most popular brands like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Ford, Samsung etc engage in this kind of marketing to strike the chord with their prospective customers. Here are 5 Killer guerrilla marketing campaigns I thought were worth a mention!

1. Coca Cola Friendship Machine

On 20th July, Dia Del Amigo- friendship day- is celebrated in many parts of South America, particularly Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. In 2010 Coca Cola designed a huge vending machine to honor this day of celebration. This huge friendship machine was placed in different parts of South America including Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and the Honduras. Passers-by were offered two Cokes for the price of one. However, to reinforce the importance of friendship potential customers needed to collaborate with one another to reach up to the Coke machine slot. This campaign was also repeated in other countries for local versions of Dia Del Amigo.



2. Folger’s Steaming Coffee Cup

Folger’s followed the guerrilla marketing guidebook by creating an optical illusion of a coffee mug. As passers-by walk on the street they see a coffee mug fixed into the ground with steam being emitted in your direction: probably the best way to remind you about the coffee cup that you missed!



3. Medecins Du Monde’s Tent City

France’s Medecins Du Monde – a non-profit – directed attention to Paris’s homeless population by setting up tents for the homeless in a “tent city”. The huge cluster of tents shamed Paris into allocating emergency funds to address the problem.



4. Cingular’s “Dropped Calls” Campaign

If you are a cellphone user you have probably been irritated more than once when your call dropped in the middle. Following the true spirit of a guerrilla marketer they addressed the problem by positioning an unusual billboard with the word “calls” hollowed out and dropped to the ground portrayed a dropped call. Both the “dropped call” and the crazy billboard grabbed the attention of passers-by easily.



5. EMAP; 1Nation

Guerrilla marketing was at the heart of UK’s largest multi-platform media group EMAP’s radio station – 1Nation. A special 10 ft 1Nation figure was built and the area was surrounded with props and actors to suggest that the figure had fallen out of the sky and smashed through the ground. The stunt received much ROI.




These are only a few examples of how businesses take a leaf out of the guerrilla marketing guidebook. If you want to see the magic of guerrilla promotion you can find great examples here.

More and more businesses are looking to think ‘outside the box’ and employ guerrilla marketing strategies as traditional marketing becomes more and more expensive and less effective.

If you want to consider a guerrilla marketing campaign for your business there are specialized guerrilla marketing agencies who will do this for you. Kommando is a good example of a guerrilla marketing agency who can take a project from start to finish creating those attention grabbing ideas that get results.


Written by Caroline Baxter
Caroline Baxter is a serial Entrepreneur, Business Start Up Coach, and recent bestselling author on Amazon. Having started her first business aged 24, she now has multiple businesses in property, the motor trade and online and offline business consultancy. Caroline is now starting a series of live training events to support entrepreneurs looking to plan launch and grow their business