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Everything you Need to Know about Guerrilla Marketing

By | John Preston

In recent years there has been a great advertising saturation that makes it very difficult for any company to attract attention and stand out from other competitors. It also seems easy to find a good advertising space, where the investment is not very large and achieves an impact on the public objective. To combat this problem, a new concept was born: guerrilla marketing.

This concept was born during the 80s thanks to Jay Conrad, inspired by guerrilla tactics: independent military organizations that fight against a greater enemy. These organizations usually do not have the same resources, so their actions are based on the surprise factor and generate a much greater impact.

Is it the solution of guerrilla marketing? With this article we want to answer this question and go even deeper into the idea of ​​guerrilla marketing, teach you the techniques that currently exist and are the main guerrilla marketing strategies.

Guerrilla Marketing What is it? 

Let’s start at the beginning of everything, what is guerrilla marketing? It is an efficient alternative for those who are going to generate a great impact among the public through a very low investment.

Guerrilla marketing, or also called guerrilla marketing, can become a more than interesting tool, with a very strong value to enhance communication between the company and the target audience.

 All this, thanks to the search for other methods different from the conventional ones within advertising and, above all, achieving maximum cost reduction is one of its main strengths.

Companies and brands frequently resort to guerrilla marketing. From the smallest company with limited resources, to multinationals that are present in numerous countries, they have found in this tool a way to get even closer to the consumer and capture it with force.

In fact, there are many companies that are firmly committed every day to breaking these traditional patterns through these alternative formulas.

History of guerrilla marketing

The concept is very good and how companies opt for this advertising model, but where does all this come from? Well, we would have to go back to the 60s to understand it better. In these years, television and radio were the main channels where companies advertised.

It is not until the 1980s and early 1990s that cable television began to receive advertising on its channels. One of the pioneers is MTV, which got viewers to connect with the product at the same time as they did with the show they were watching.

It is at this time when large companies begin to see how it becomes more difficult for them to advertise their brands and they constantly fight without receiving any prize. It was in the year 84 when Jay Conrad Levinson, a merchant introduced the term in his book “Guerrilla Marketing”.

In his book, he sees how guerrilla marketing is a new way of approaching and combating more traditional forms of advertising.

However, these are years in which television, radio and the press were increasing in terms of receiving advertising. But what they didn’t count on was that consumers were beginning to be overwhelmed by so much advertising.

This is where Levinson suggests running campaigns that are shocking, unique, outrageous, and have a clever twist. Small businesses, attracted by Levinson’s siren songs, began to adopt this new form of advertising.

What is guerrilla marketing good for?

Guerrilla marketing serves exactly the same purpose as any other type of marketing that we can find: to publicize a specific product, service or brand in order to attract potential consumers and convert them into customers.

Apart from this, it also achieves something just as valuable and much stronger than with conventional methods, something that in the long run achieves greater visibility and lasts longer over time.

The main purpose is to surprise when nobody expects it and when the competition doesn’t expect it either, to take a 360 degree turn and leave them in the lurch. Guerrilla marketing does this by cutting costs to focus almost exclusively on originality.

In short, guerrilla advertising serves to:

  • Generate a greater impact on the public.
  • Do more for less.
  • Stand out from the competition.
  • Consolidate the client.
  • Branding.

Types of guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing relies on many techniques to surprise and impact the public. However, we are going to show you some of the most famous and efficient techniques so that you know how guerrilla marketing is done:

1. Ambient marketing

It basically consists of appropriating a public space, whether interior or exterior, and giving it a different approach. What you want to convey with this type of guerrilla marketing is to generate an immediate impact on people, who turn to observe what is happening around them.

However, to carry out this technique, it is necessary to study very carefully the place where it is going to be carried out, if it is a busy place such as a main square, a large avenue, the hours of greatest traffic, etc.


It is based on taking real actors to start a staging. One of the best-known performances within guerrilla marketing are flash mobs, in which a large group of people appear out of nowhere to carry out an unexpected action.

Without a doubt, it is one of the great guerrilla strategies to impact the public from minute 1.

3. Experiential

With this guerrilla marketing technique, what is intended is to interact with the public and get directly involved in the staging. A clear example is promoting products for free to capture the attention of the public.

4. Viral 

There are many creative and amazing ad campaigns that end up going viral. However, there are guerrilla marketing actions that are focused on the digital world. The clearest example is the Ice Bucket Challenge that originated to give visibility to the Commonwealth.

What advantages are obtained with guerrilla marketing?

As you can see throughout the entire article, introducing guerrilla marketing into an advertising strategy is a good idea that will bring you advantages when promoting your product, service or brand.

Therefore, we are going to show you 5 advantages that can be obtained using this advertising tool:

  • It allows you to achieve short and medium-term goals without having to invest a lot of money.
  • It is a very good way to make your brand known with guerrilla marketing to the public without having to depend on traditional advertising channels.
  • Position your brand with the minimum possible investment.
  • Develop that innovative and creative facet that your brand has, favoring its image among the target audience.
  • It generates a great impact among people who can become customers.

Guerilla Marketing Examples

Throughout all these years, small and large companies have been using this advertising model to reach their different audiences in a different, groundbreaking and fun way.

In this section, we want you to learn about the most characteristic examples of guerrilla marketing, so that you can better understand how this type of advertising is carried out.

1. Coca Cola

The American multinational is known for making ads that generate an abysmal impact. In 2010, he created a guerrilla marketing video called “Happiness Machine” that featured a Coca-Cola vending machine that dispensed more than just a soft drink.

In the video you can see how hidden cameras are placed in different parts of the room, to see the reaction of the people. Thanks to this guerrilla marketing technique, the video went viral and has had more than 4 million views.

2.Red Bull 

Back in 2012, the Austrian brand and Félix Baumgartner set a world record for the highest skydiving jump in the world. The Red Bull Stratos was a masterful campaign to capture the world’s attention, a death defying jump into the void, exceeding the speed of sound, with a free fall of about 4 minutes on its return to earth.

That day, they also broke the social media record when they reached 8 million confirmed views on YouTube.


In one of their campaigns, they decided to do guerrilla marketing with a simple question: what would happen if the water bottles on which so much money is spent were filled with dirty water?

With this blunt question, what was intended by the NGO was to awaken the conscience of the first world and inform those populations that do not have drinking water.

To draw people’s attention and promote a campaign to bring drinking water to these places, they set up vending machines where bottles of dirty water came out, with each labeled button appearing a disease caused by drinking this water.

In this sense, guerrilla marketing works in non-profit entities to send a forceful message that generates an impact and awareness among the population that awakens awareness and acts in favor of achieving a better world.

Conclusion: The Value of Guerrilla Marketing Today

Guerrilla marketing is a constant exercise in creativity and studying the different scenarios where you want to make an impact. You have seen throughout the article that it is a very valid tool, that many things can be done with little money, but you have to know how to do them well to reach your goal.

There are many companies that use all the weapons at their disposal to reach the largest number of people possible, whether they are economic, logistical or wasting ingenuity.

But without a doubt, apart from these weapons, the most important part of guerrilla marketing is the people. They are the real acquisition engine, the meter that companies have to know if their advertising is good or bad or if their product meets their needs.

In conclusion, guerrilla marketing generates emotions, immediate impact on people, creativity battles between large companies that go in search of attracting that audience that, in recent years, has become more demanding due to the mass advertising to the public.

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