How to create a Guerrilla Marketing Campaign:

Another marketing strategy that creates brand awareness at a fraction of the cost and breaks through the traditional advertising clutter is Guerrilla marketing. It requires creativity, risk taking and therefore a brand must be flexible and adaptable to take these risks as the outcome may be very rewarding, and a brand doesn’t need a big budget to do so.

This type of campaign feeds off PR exposure thus in order for this approach to work a marketing and advertising team needs to be creative and strategic as the aim is to get media attention.  Guerrilla marketing is a great way to get your brand noticed by the public and this will differentiate your brand away from its competitors and if done correctly your brand will be seen as more fun and outgoing than its competitors. Guerrilla marketing can be done off any media platform, even online.

Guerrilla marketing is a campaign that is original, unpredicted and unique in approach. This approach enables a brand to stand out from the advertising clutter and draws viewers attention. Therefore it is an alternative approach to traditional advertising methods and if done correctly it will create a “memorable reaction from or interaction with the viewer”1.

A guerrilla marketing campaign is a brand activation that is slightly unofficial or not completely permitted by the city or event etc. Therefore a brand needs to be risk taking and daring to use this technique when trying to create brand awareness. This campaign is disruptive as it grabs the audience’s attention and is news worthy.

Therefore it is evident that Guerrilla marketing is NOT a form of traditional media. This campaign needs time, imagination, creativity and strategic thinking thus it needs energy from its creatives instead of money.

This campaign should only be used by brands that want to make a statement that they are outgoing and diverse from their competitors, slightly risk taking and very creative, therefore for financial businesses like a bank, this is not really recommended as risk taking (gutsy) it not what you’d like to communicate to your consumers.

When creating a Guerrilla marketing campaign keep in mind that your main aim is to be original in approach and to create newsworthy brand awareness, so keep in mind that this could make cities and some consumers feeling unsettled. One word of advise is to step outside your comfort zone and be completely original, as something that has already been done is not newsworthy.

Steps to follow when creating a Guerrilla Marketing Campaign:

  1. Determine what your core message is (essence). What are you trying to say to your consumer, what are you trying to say about your brand, summarise this down into a 5-second message or embed it into a clever system.
  2. Set clear objectives for your brand, when doing so think about your category, where your brand fits into the category or market, how is it differentiated from its competitors, who are its consumers (therefore taking into account what appeals to them, what attracts them, what would get them talking), target market, what is your goal etc.1
  3. Next is to think of all the ways your idea can come to life.1 All the media platforms that can be used to get your message or idea across and what your desired outcome is. It may help to imagine the story headline that your campaign will create, the ‘tweets’ you’d like to read on Twitter, the posts you’d like to read on Facebook, the photos you’d like to be taken as well as the YouTube videos that you’d want to view.1
  4. Research Research Research! As your goal is to create media attention and reach your target market, you need to research your ideas to see if they have been used before. As newsworthy information (PR) is original, and creating newsworthy and very creative and original campaign will make a positive connection1 to your target market.
  5. Do not aim to “upset, scare or provoke people in a negative way. The goal should be to implement something that people will embrace, enjoy and share with friends.”1

An example of a Guerrilla marketing campaign that occurred during the World Cup 2010 was when Pepsi strategically placed Pepsi in the FIFA volunteers lunch boxes at Durban’s Fifa fan park instead of Coca-Cola.2 And as Coca Cola was one of the main official sponsors this was a big no no. Pepsi apologised and stated that the driver must have got the venue confused or the address wrong (which all in all he may have yet it still created publicity and got Pepsi noticed).

Another Guerrilla campaign that some say was not very successful was Vodafone’s streaker. “In 2002, Vodafone caused quite a stir when it hired two men to streak across the field during a major Australian rugby match, wearing nothing but the Vodafone logo painted across their backs. CNN Explained: the match was being played in a stadium sponsored by Vodafone’s main competitor, Telestra. This one backfired as the streakers were fined and many fans were upset by the disruption (which potentially caused a game-winning kick to be missed). The stunt did succeed in getting tons of worldwide press, and it earned Vodafone a reputation for pushing the envelope. But most of the sentiments about it were negative–not exactly what you want to do with your campaign.”1

Source1: Male, B, 19 April 2010. How to Pull Off a Guerrilla Marketing Campaign It requires creativity, flexibility and a willingness to take a little risk. Retrieved on 23 August 2010 from

Source2Mallinson, T, 2 July 2010. The World Cup Day that was: 2 July, The Daily MaverickThe Mail & GuardianThe Guardian Retrieved on 27 July 2010 from

Picture source:Pepsi vs Coca Cola, Retrieved from: