Anatomy of Guerrilla Marketing

To hold its own in an ever-changing media landscape, advertising is changing fast.
Traditional channels like TV and print have a limited reach. The posters, news releases , tacky commercials, radio spots are not exciting no more and do not garner the attention of consumers. Advertising that works is advertising that shakes people, approaches them in unexpected ways. Therefore, brands need project-specific solutions involving new media, stunts in public places, street propaganda, the works. Did i mention they want it cheap, add that right into the mix.
We’ve done a post on Guerilla marketing in the past and the popularity of the phenomenon brings us to analyzing the anatomy of Guerrilla advertising:

Guerrilla Helps Teddy Bear get the point across : The Footprint Poster :

Bears in South Korea are kept in dirty cages so than later they can be operated upon for Gall Bladder Extraction. The bile from the gall bladder is further used used in Asian Medicine. Bear farming industry was set up to intensively farm the bears. Over 12,000 bears are being kept in bear farms across China, Korea and Vietnam.
Extraction of the bile is an inherently cruel and painful procedure, and bears are known to moan in pain when bile is being extracted. Bears are left with open weeping wounds that often become infected and inflamed, causing undoubtedly pain.
The musuem made the public realize what your indifference can trample.They put out a poster on the floor with transparent adhesive and as people walked on it the message got clearer and clearer.

A Strong mind allowed guerrilla to plan well. They chose a subway station where the footfall was heavy. As more people walked on the poster the message became clearer. Moreover, a large linked QR code was printed along side so people could immediately find out more about the campaign and act by showing their support online.

They were prepared to sacrifice the initial audience who would trample over a placid poster to ensure that the ultimate video would be viral enough for it to reach a much larger audience.


“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is a Hollywood Romantic Comedy starring Jason Segal and Kristen Bell (as hated Sarah Marshall). The movie revolves around a guy who is trying to get over his girlfriend( Sarah Marshall of course). For the promotion of the movie , “I HATE YOU SARAH MARSHALL” signs were posted all over along with a link to their official website. A campaign that made even Curious George curious about who Sarah Marshal was and why someone hated her so much ;made the right kind of buzz all around the country.

Not everything went as planned. Little did them marketing geeks know that there would be an outcry by all the Sarah Marshall’s in the country. Apparently people started relating the ad’s to their very own Sarah Marshall. Sarah Marshalls were unhappy except one who had a a domain under that name. Her hit rate sky rocketed.Imagine her going woohoo! (then a meteor struck her). All in good PR though.

Angry Clan of Sarah Marshall's

Flexing those dollar triceps wasn’t a biggie for a 30 million dollar Hollywood Rom com. It was what they did with the promotional budget. Giant Billboards all around the country were effectively used to convey their message across. From flyers,handouts, Giant Posters, Giant Billboards they did it all and did it well.
Collections= $105mn. 🙂

Mommy Says So ..


Volkswagen came out with their Fast Lane Campaign dedicated to the people who enjoy speeding up things in life .

The Slide: Who doesnt like a slide. From a kid to a old timer(as long as i dont have to walk to the park and can do it with my laptop bag), everyone enjoys it to the core. When Volkswagen placed a red colored slide next to the escalators so that people can descend down the staircases faster, it surprised commuters and gave them what some refer to as the WOW moment.

I feel the need , The Need for Speed : Shopping can get bit tedious when you have a lot to buy and you end up realizing that all the items on your lists are spread across the shopping mart and the retailer of course has tricked you into going through all the aisles. Although trolleys are there for your convenience, they hardly make you go faster unless you are Flash. So Volkswagen equipped the trolleys with a skateboard so that customers can zip across aisles to their next item. Apart from great execution this would also needs tact in planning and collaborating with authorities and ensuring that no one gets hurt because you’ve let a guerrilla free.


Reacting fast to an opportunity and making full use of a situation presents itself can make you stand out and generate serious interest for your brand.
Take for example the Presidential Elections of 2008 , 7-Election, You choose Obama, undecided or McCain in coffee. The race was for which democratic nominee out-cupped the other nominee’s in the consumption of Coffee.

Obama OutCupping the Others

Another instance during elections when a skateboarding community realized that their wants for skateboard parks was not being met in the elections. So they decided to take the Guerrilla’s way and manipulated the election posters and mapped them to their own wants. Guerrilla Power.

HAVING a HEART is Risky Business :

Street Art and Graffiti have long been condemned as being illegal activity. But that didn’t stop Mountain dew into recreating famous celebrity faces through paint balls.


How about Swallowing a whole music system ?
Ok Lets Pause here….3,2.1 and now talk about “Pause”, an audio equipment store in Stockholm. They wanted to do something ballsy to make their mark in a high competition market. What they came out with was a wireless receiver “the Gutpod”, which when swallowed, yea when swallowed transformed a person into a walking human jukebox, .
Have a Look :

GREAT VISION. Watch your Competition

Markets are tough and competitive. Each and every action has to be thought ahead and planned meticulously so as to not get shamed by other brands.
Taking the examples of the three leading Airlines in India.
It all started when Jet Airlines innocently put up this billboard title: “We’ve Changed”. Kingfisher Airlines saw an opportunity and took credit for making them change.If that wasn’t enough, Go Airlines decided to cash in on the success of the first two billboards and create a broader awareness of the campaign.

I can Top you over everything you Got

Having said this, it’s still essential to back up any kind of advertising with strong propositions.
Guerrilla Marketing is for everyone, you can amplify its effect by spending some extra money but the real currency is creativity. Did we point that out in the anatomy, yes look carefully.



One thought on “Anatomy of Guerrilla Marketing

  1. I’m really liking your posts! and believe me… that’s a hard thing to get! sorry mine are in Spanish, although I have one in English. Keep with the great analysis!

    Posted by rodolfocondorena | November 10, 2011, 1:36 pm

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