May 21, 2011

Guerrilla in the Midst
- Several Great Guerrilla Advertising Examples Pt I

Guerrilla Advertising (also known as "guerrilla marketing" or "ambient advertising") is a fairly recent innovation in the advertising world. It involves unusual approaches such as staged encounters in public places - usually built into the physical environment. It can also incorporate interactive advertising, where the viewer can respond to become part of the advertising message.

Guerrilla as an advertising medium is becoming a more popular avenue for advertisers on a low budget, to reach consumers and a target audience in unpredictable and innovative ways.

Here is a look at several great outdoor guerrilla examples from around the globe. 

Scotch Brite Street Drinking Fountain, Bangkok, Thailand, 2009.
Y+R Thailand were asked to show Scotch Brite's super absorbent unique selling proposition. A novel way of presenting this to consumers was to build a street fountain with the sink component made completely out of the super absorbent sponge. These were set up all around the city of Bangkok, Thailand. Whenever a tap was used, the consumer saw a clear and effective demonstration of it's super absorbency. This resulted in increased product "buzz", awareness and ultimately sales.

Feed SA Shopping Trolley, South Africa
Feed SA is a charity dedicated to feeding disadvantaged people throughout South Africa. TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris developed decals depicting hungry, begging street children - placed at the bottom of supermarket shopping trolleys ( or carts) bearing the Feed SA website and the line:

 "See how easy feeding the hungry can be?"

Any food placed in the trolley appeared to be given to the child. The message was seen by hundreds of shoppers throughout South Africa for the low cost of mass produced but well designed decals. The result was a marked increase in website traffic and donations.

Cingular Billboard, New York City, 2006.
In 2006, Cingular (via BBDO NY) showcased a dramatic way to highlight the issue of dropped calls. Setting up a large billboard in Times Square, New York City, a special segment was installed on the ground below. The sign proved so popular that people walking by and tourists posed with it and took pictures. Does that mean it was a viral billboard?

3M Security Glass, Canada
Rethink Communications Vancouver found a creative way for 3M to illustrate the strength of its security glass in Canada. In selected metropolitan bus stops, a window filled with bundles of cash bills was encased inside 3M security glass. The money was real but was only $500 in value (small denomination of bills). Security guards were also present in these locations. Passers-by were encouraged to try and break the glass with their hands and feet. 

The ad took a beating but still managed to sell its point.

Superette: Thigh Advertising, New Zealand
New Zealand fashion chain Superette turned to DDB NZ for a promotion on their seasonal sale of short shorts. The agency came up with a controversial but effective method to spread the word. Indented and reversed plates were placed across inner city and fashion district bus stops, mall seats and park benches so that when people sat down, the message was imprinted on to the back of their thighs.

Not only were the reverse ads on seats but also readable on thousands of imprints on the back of people's thighs - which lasted up to an hour. The strategic placement (both by seat location and the fact that the sitter had to be wearing short shorts or a short skirt) meant that only a targetted selection of people would be displaying the sale message.

Did the Superette campaign go too far?

I came across many great examples of guerrilla advertising and will be adding to this in a later blog post.

For more samples, check out  Creative Guerrilla Marketing (I have added this to my "Interesting Advertising Links" list on the right).

Do you have any favorite examples of guerrilla advertising?

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