Guerrilla Event Promotion

Everything You Need To Know About Guerrilla Event Promotion

The name, “Guerrilla Marketing” traces back to guerrilla warfare. Here, unconventional tactics were used to achieve a goal. The term “Guerrilla Marketing” was first used in Jay Levinson’s book of the same name in 1984.

Today, marketers regularly take to the streets with a unique angle on marketing. Some campaigns are blatantly corporate.

Guerrilla Event Promotion by McDonalds

Guerrilla Event Promotion by Folgers

There’s a whole world out there waiting for you to leave your mark. There is no one style of Guerilla Marketing. It can include graffiti, stickers, posters, art installations, etc.

Guerrilla Event Promotion Principles

Guerilla Marketing demands imagination, time, and energy. It can be wildly successful, but not without work. Which is why it’s not taken advantage of as often as flyers, commercials, and radio ads. Guerilla Marketing is meant to be shocking. Your audience is meant to be taken off guard.

The intention of this type of marketing is to entertain your audience into action. Everyone now has a camera in their pocket. Give them a reason to pull out their phones, snap a pic, and share.

This style of marketing appeals to a targeted demographic. Young (20-35), urbanites, on the forefront of fashion, trends, and everything digital. This group often has both disposable time, and more importantly disposable income. Capture their attention, and they will be your most valuable ambassadors.

The goal is to add value to your consumer’s experience with your brand. By reaching your targeted demographic on their own turf, they feel like they’re calling the shots. They will feel as though they are making a conscious decision to support you.

Do It In The Streets

Guerrilla warfare often takes place in the streets, as does Guerrilla marketing. Street marketing builds on the pre-existing street art culture.

For years, graffiti and street art have been considered a legitimate art form. Museums and galleries are featuring street art and graffiti in their permanent collections.

Within street marketing, there are several different classifications: ambient, ambush, stealth, and viral. Each category acts a little differently and has a different goal.

Choosing the right location for your street marketing endeavor is crucial. The more public, the better. Think of areas where your target demographic frequents. Beaches, city squares, universities, business districts, entertainment districts, and sports arenas.

If using private space, make sure you get permission. Oftentimes, private businesses will rent out the sides of their buildings.

Guerrilla Event Promotion Examples

Many companies are taking advantage of the easily rented, sanctioned spaces at bus stops for their ads. This stunt by 3M Security Glass sandwiches what appeared to be thousands of dollars in cold hard cash.

Guerrilla Event Promotion by 3M

Break the glass you could have the cash. Now, what the pictures don’t show, are the guards hovering nearby, and the fact that it was really only a mere $500. But don’t worry, enough people bruised their shoulders trying to get the cash to make 3M’s point.

Sony took a more cost effective approach in the early 2000’s. Sony commissioned street artists in seven major US cities to tag rented spaces with images of young kids using the brand new PSP.

New York Times and Guerrilla Event Promotion

Naturally, this campaign garnered criticism, saying that Sony was co-opting graffiti culture for profit. That said, Sony sold 3 million PSP consoles.

Those examples are somewhat sophisticated. I always start small and keep things simple. The level of engagement you get you get with cooler full of cold beverages on a hot day will shock you. Send the summer student out and make them earn that wage.

A good pal of mine regularly rents a street food vendor or teams with a food truck as a form of marketing. It’s simple as the food vendor already possess the licences and food credibility. This goes a long way and costs very little besides time. Be creative, abolish complexity and I guarantee you will learn a lot.

Do not miss the opportunity to incorporate social media. There are several ways to link your campaign to social media. The best technique I use asks people to share a photo on their social media in exchange for free food or drinks. Bonus points using your @FacebookFanPageHere or hashtag such that you can share.

Don’t Be A Greybeard

The beauty of guerrilla event marketing is its versatility. This marketing allows you to reach a group who might not otherwise know about you.

Conventional advertising is lazy and the craft of grey beards. Ensure that marketing is embedded in the culture of your organization. Effective marketing is not expensive. It just takes effort and a little creativity.

Get out there, abuse that summer student and have some fun.

Colm shares his years of experience marketing events on our blog, writing about successful strategies to bring more people to your events. Colm is a product manager at Crowdflow, responsible for client success.