Does the term ‘guerrilla marketing’ immediately make you think of guerrilla warfare? Well if so, there’s a reason for this; just like guerrilla warfare, this style of marketing relies on the element of surprise.
Guerrilla marketing campaigns
Guerrilla marketing campaigns aim to catch consumers unaware, where the element of surprise helps to make a huge impression. In simple terms: this style of marketing involves a stunt of some sort that gets people talking, either by word of mouth or via social media, and the brand noticed. Guerrilla marketing is powerful in creating a buzz around a brand or product and doesn’t have to be expensive; the investment comes in creativity.
This effective type of marketing helps to create consumer ‘experiences’, which are becoming increasingly more important in the retail sector, as shopping centres are now being seen as leisure ‘destinations’ rather than just places to shop.
Our client, The Marlowes shopping centre in Hemel Hempstead, launched a Dino-Discovery event at the end of last year where they welcomed life-size dinosaur models into the centre and ran interactive events relating to this theme. This proved hugely popular with shoppers, increasing footfall and gaining coverage in local publications, and is a good example of how shopping centres can start using guerrilla marketing techniques to set them apart from others.
Our top five favourite Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns from the Retail Sector:
We’ve gathered a list of our top five favourite and memorable guerrilla marketing campaigns from the retail sector:
T-Mobile’s flash mob in London Liverpool Street Station
We thought we’d start our list with an oldie but a goldie. At the beginning of 2009, T-Mobile organised a flash dance in London Liverpool Street station as part of their ‘Life’s for Sharing’ advertising campaign. The crowd performed dance routines as commuters passed through the station, whilst hidden cameras captured commuters’ genuine surprised and delighted reactions. T-Mobile used the element of surprise and the power of viral video to creatively demonstrate that their products can be used to share exciting things with family and friends.
Iceland’s travelling animatronic orangutan
As we’re sure you’re all aware, Iceland released Greenpeace’s film featuring an orangutan and the destruction of its home in the rainforest, only for it to be banned for being too political. Of course, this controversy raised awareness of the advert and Iceland’s message of the environmental dangers of using palm oil even more. To capitalise on this interest, Iceland took an animatronic orangutan to the streets of London to highlight how palm oil and rainforest destruction threatens this species. The stranded, out-of-place orangutan grabbed peoples’ attention and vividly demonstrated the effects of deforestation. This poor stranded orangutan even made it all the way to Harborne’s Iceland store.
Greggs’ reversed shop logo
Greggs has been very busy lately, recently being in the news with the launch of its eagerly anticipated vegan sausage roll. Over the Christmas period, the chain’s Newcastle store ingeniously flipped around the shop’s logo. It just so happens that the store opposite is Fenwick department store, which annually attracts a huge crowd to its famous Christmas window display. The recognisable logo’s reflection was visible in every photo taken of the impressive display, and the stunt cleverly corresponded with the launch of the company’s 2018 Christmas menu. This is a perfect example of how guerrilla marketing can be extremely cheap, even enabling free promotion.
Lacoste’s endangered species logos
Everyone is familiar with Lacoste’s iconic crocodile logo, which is why this ‘Save Our Species’ campaign proved so popular and memorable. To mark the three-year partnership between Lacoste and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the brand replaced the famous reptile with ten threatened species in separate polo designs. Strikingly, the number of polos released matched the number of remaining animals in the wild, so only 40 Burmese Roofed Turtle polos were released. This was certainly a creative and sobering campaign that set Lacoste apart from other fashion brands.
Coca-Cola’s Christmas truck
Yes, yes; we know it’s not Christmas anymore but we couldn’t ignore this fantastic and instantly recognisable example of guerrilla marketing. Capitalising on the television advert, two decorated lorries playing the ‘Holidays are Coming’ theme song tour the UK offering free cans of fizzy drinks to eager consumers. Whilst this stunt costs relatively little, especially for such a massive company as Coca-Cola, the impact on consumers is massive, prompting emotions of joy from children and nostalgia from adults; for many, the Coca-Cola truck is synonymous with Christmas. The fact that the tour was even alluded to in Aldi’s 2018 Christmas advert demonstrates the effectiveness and impact of this campaign.