Skip to main content

Guerrilla Marketing: Ultimate Guide to Unconventional Marketing

An example of guerilla marketing by BMW

An example of guerilla marketing by BMW

What Is Guerilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional marketing strategy that relies on low-cost, creative tactics to promote a product or service. This type of marketing can be used by businesses of all sizes, and it’s especially useful for startups and small businesses that have limited budgets.

Guerrilla marketing is all about being creative and thinking outside the box. To succeed, you need to be willing to take risks and experiment with new ideas. You also need to commit fully to your idea in order to get others excited about it too.

It’s important not only to know how guerilla marketing works but also why it works so well. People are naturally drawn to unusual things; they like what they don’t expect, and they want novelty in their lives. When you offer them something unique, they will stop in their tracks to find out more information—this is exactly what guerrilla marketers hope for!

Guerrilla marketing isn’t just about grabbing attention; this form of advertising focuses on building relationships too. As word spreads around town that your company offers something original and exciting, people will start talking positively about your brand, which will lead them back into your store or website!

7 Benefits of Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing tactics are often unexpected and quirky, which can lead to increased attention and engagement from consumers. Additionally, guerrilla marketing can be extremely effective in getting your message out there without breaking the bank. Here are seven benefits of using guerrilla marketing to promote your business.

  1. It's quick and easy: The beauty of guerrilla marketing is that it doesn't require any expensive tools or complicated tactics.
  2. It's creative: Guerrilla marketing campaigns can be as creative as you want them to be, which means they're more likely to stand out in a saturated market.
  3. It gets people talking: Attention-grabbing guerrilla campaigns will get people talking about your company, which could lead to viral success for your brand!
  4. You have complete control over it: With traditional advertising, you don't always have control over how people react to your message; with guerrilla marketing, you're not limited by an existing campaign or product offering.
  5. It's affordable: Guerrilla marketing usually costs much less than traditional methods like print ads or TV commercials.
  6. People love surprises: In this age of mass communication, we've all become used to being bombarded with information online and offline. Because most guerrilla marketing techniques are unexpected, people enjoy being surprised when they see one pop up unexpectedly in their social media feed.
  7. Creativity breeds creativity: When you think outside the box with your campaigns, you'll encourage others to do the same--which will ultimately lead to innovative ideas for other businesses looking for new ways to get noticed.

While some businesses shy away from guerrilla marketing because they believe that it could upset potential customers or clients, these complaints generally come from those who aren't familiar with unconventional forms of promotion. Most guerilla campaigns aren't pushy or offensive (unless a company intentionally wants them to be) but rather playful and inspiring so that consumers remember both your brand and your message!

Types of Guerrilla Tactics

Ambush Marketing

Ambush marketing is a high-impact, low-cost marketing strategy that can be used to great effect by small businesses. The key is to create a memorable experience for potential customers that will make them take notice of your brand. Be careful, though, not to alienate the people you want to convert into clients; if you go too far and cross the line, it might backfire on you.

The most successful ambushes are typically humorous or disruptive and occur in the midst of other events that already have plenty of attention from those in attendance.

For example, it's common practice for musicians and artists at large concerts or festivals to walk around with shirts promoting their own brands without any warning whatsoever (or if they do let people know beforehand they're doing so, they'll usually have very little time). It's also an excellent way for restaurants with smaller footprints or less visibility (e.g., hidden in strip malls) to get noticed when competing against much larger establishments located on busy streets with heavy foot traffic.

Another form of ambush marketing involves ambush celebrities—meaning famous people who endorse products or services without being paid for the privilege, such as actors participating in product placement or guest appearances.

Although this strategy is not universally approved of due to ethical concerns about whether these famous individuals are endorsing products purely out of love for the brand or because they were paid to do so, it remains a very effective marketing tactic because many people respect opinions from respected sources.

Billboards and Public Spaces

Guerrilla marketing is all about thinking outside the box and using unconventional tactics to get your brand noticed. Billboards and public spaces are great for this because they're high-traffic areas that will reach a lot of people. Plus, they're usually free or very low-cost to use. Just make sure your message is clear and concise so people can't help but notice it!

Flash Mobs

A flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual or humorous action for a brief time, then quickly disperse. Flash mobs are often used as a form of guerrilla marketing, employed to draw attention to a product, service, or brand. They have been known to create a sense of euphoria and awe among participants and viewers.

Some organizations use the tactic to generate word-of-mouth publicity that would be otherwise difficult to attain through traditional advertising methods. When done well, the event goes viral on social media before it even happens. These events also require coordination and strategy with various aspects such as timing, location, promotion, and idea behind the event.

Product Placement

Another way to market is through product placement. You might have seen products placed in movies or TV shows without even realizing it. This is a form of advertising that can be very effective, as it allows potential customers to see your product in use and can create a favorable association with the show or movie.

Flash mobs are an effective way to send a message to a large amount of people in public spaces.

Flash mobs are an effective way to send a message to a large amount of people in public spaces.


Pranks are a great way to grab people's attention. Just make sure your prank is safe and doesn't violate any laws! Here are a few tips for pulling off a successful guerrilla marketing prank:

  1. Keep it safe. This should go without saying, but make sure your prank won't result in anyone getting hurt.
  2. Keep it legal. Again, this should be obvious, but make sure your prank doesn't break any laws.
  3. Make it relevant. Your prank should be related to your product or service in some way; otherwise, people won't make the connection. Don't be mean-spirited. Nobody likes mean pranks, and they can backfire if people don't find them funny. Instead, have fun with your idea and find ways to get into the spirit of things even when you're not running a prank on someone.
  4. Plan ahead of time and plan well. Making jokes on the fly might seem like a great idea at first, but they can easily go wrong when there isn't enough time to think them through properly beforehand. It's best to come up with your prank ideas beforehand so you know they'll work out well.


One of the best ways to be unconventional is to give away free samples of your product or service. This not only gets people talking, but it also helps you build brand awareness and create a buzz around your business. Plus, it's a great way to generate leads and get people in the door. But before you start giving away freebies, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, make sure your product is high quality and that it's something people will actually want. Second, be strategic about where you distribute your samples. And finally, don't forget to follow up with each and every person who takes one of your samples. It's a good idea to have a sign-up sheet so you can record contact information from potential customers. You might even want to ask them what they thought of the sample or if they would recommend it to others.

Since businesses often rely on word-of-mouth advertising, this is an excellent opportunity for potential customers to talk about their experience with your company, which could lead to future sales!

Social Engineering

One unconventional tactic you may want to consider is social engineering. You can use this technique by targeting the people who work in high-profile companies or industries that are related to your business, then get them to talk on behalf of your company without realizing they are actually endorsing it.

Social engineering doesn't just have to be for big businesses either; small businesses can also use this technique by targeting more local establishments like community centers, non-profits, schools, etc.

Guerrilla Projections

If you want to get noticed, there's no better way than guerrilla projections. This marketing tactic involves projecting images or videos onto buildings or other large surfaces in high-traffic areas. Guerrilla projections are a great way to generate buzz and get people talking about your brand. Plus, they're relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. Here's everything you need to know about guerrilla projections.

First, find a location with plenty of foot traffic. You'll also want to make sure that the surface you're projecting on is made of glass and can withstand heat (so as not to melt it). Finally, think about what message you want to be projected so that passersby can understand its meaning.

Great locations for guerrilla projections include busy intersections and storefronts where many people pass by on their way home from work. But remember, guerrilla marketing isn't just for businesses; individuals can use this tactic too!

Guerilla art projects happen unexpectedly in public spaces, often engaging passersby. Mobile graffiti involves artists making murals on city walls using stencils created on their smartphones and shared via social media platforms like Instagram. These are just some examples of guerrilla tactics that exist; this list isn't exhaustive by any means!

When Does It Work Best?

Guerrilla marketing is most effective when your target market is already engaged in some kind of activity. For example, if you're trying to reach college students, setting up a booth on campus or near popular student hangouts is a great way to get their attention.

You can also hand out flyers or freebies in high-traffic areas, like busy downtown streets or shopping malls. If you want to go even more unconventional, try plastering stickers or posters around town with your contact information. And the possibilities don't stop there!

With a little creativity and research, you might be able to find other unique ways to drum up business. But always keep safety in mind when employing guerrilla tactics—and make sure you have consent from property owners before making any permanent changes. Otherwise, you could end up facing fines or criminal charges for vandalism. So take it slow, think outside the box, and be smart about where you advertise. Once you've found an ideal location for guerrilla marketing tactics, follow these five steps to maximize your impact:

  • Decide what will grab people's attention in that area
  • Keep it as simple as possible
  • Bring out-of-the-ordinary items
  • Pay careful attention to time restrictions
  • Always measure your results

Even though guerilla marketing isn't as measurable as conventional advertising, it still lets you know whether your efforts are paying off. Are there more customers now? Do people seem happier? Is word getting around about your products? The best way to track this is by using surveys or putting a sign up at the venue asking participants how they heard about your company. By keeping tabs on these numbers over time, you'll be able to see which strategies work best for different situations.

5 Real-Life Examples of Successful Guerrilla Campaigns

  1. In 2008, Nike wanted to increase brand awareness and sales during the Beijing Olympics. They did this by setting up a fake Nike store in the city, complete with products and staff dressed in Nike gear. The store was a hit, with people lined up around the block to get a glimpse of it.
  2. In 2013, Volkswagen ran a guerrilla marketing campaign in New York City to promote its new Jetta. The company placed fake parking meters around the city that accepted coins but gave out free car washes instead.
  3. In 2014, Samsung set up a series of human charging stations in London to promote its new line of Galaxy phones. To use the station, consumers had to plug themselves into an outlet next to it for 30 minutes before they could charge their phones.
  4. In 2012, Ben & Jerry's launched Broadway Bares with a marketing campaign consisting of only three posters on bus stops in Times Square and Facebook ads leading people back to their website where they could watch videos from past performances or buy tickets for future ones.
  5. Pepsi's advertising stunt—putting robots on the streets of New York City that would talk about Pepsi when someone stopped them for directions—well, that's also an example of guerrilla marketing!

What better way to be seen as innovative than coming up with something totally unexpected? As you can see, there are many different ways that you can employ guerrilla marketing tactics to your advantage.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting

  1. What are your business goals?
  2. Who is your target market?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. What are some creative ideas you can think of to market your product or service?
  5. What are some unconventional marketing tactics you can use?
  6. How can you measure the success of your marketing campaign?
  7. What are the risks involved with Guerrilla marketing?
  8. Is this strategy appropriate for my company and my product/service?
  9. What are the consequences if this strategy doesn't work out well for me?
  10. Is guerrilla marketing worth it, given all that I have learned about it so far?

3 Steps to Create a Successful Guerrilla Campaign

  1. Do your research. Guerrilla marketing is all about being strategic and thinking outside the box, so you need to know your target audience inside and out. What do they like? What do they respond to? What are their pain points? The more you know, the better equipped you'll be to create a campaign that resonates.
  2. Think outside the traditional marketing channels. When it comes to guerrilla marketing, the sky's the limit in terms of creativity. Traditional advertising channels like TV, radio, and print are great, but they can also be expensive. If you want to really get noticed, think about unique ways to reach your target market.
  3. Get creative with your budget. You don't have to spend big bucks to make an impact on people's lives. In fact, sometimes doing things on the cheap is exactly what will make people stop and take notice. Whether you're printing up fliers or dressing up as a mascot, getting creative with how you spend your budget can give your guerrilla marketing campaign its own distinct flavor!


Guerrilla marketing is a great way to get your message out there without breaking the bank. With a little creativity, you can reach your target market in a way that is both memorable and effective. Just be sure to plan your campaign carefully and always keep your goals in mind.

With a little effort, you can create a successful guerrilla marketing campaign that will help your business stand out from the competition. If you have any questions or opinions about guerrilla marketing campaigns, comment down below.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Justice Ndlovu