5 great examples of Guerrilla Marketing

June 12, 2018
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Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing is a concept coined in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levison in his book Guerrilla Marketing: Secret for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business. Just as it says in this Wikipedia entry, “It is understood by guerilla marketing the set of strategies and techniques, executed by unconventional means, and that achieve their goal through ingenuity and creativity, instead of a high investment on advertising space.”

Therefore, it is understood as guerilla marketing those actions that are done with more imagination than money, in which the creativity and the impact on traditional marketing prevails.

Included in this form of marketing are all those variants that use elements from the street like streetlights, parking lots or bins to create advertising that goes out of the traditional logo. Over time, web pages, posters, emails or flashmobs have also been incorporated in this way of marketing that seeks, above all, amaze the users.

What is sought with Guerilla Marketing?

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is born a way of marketing which allows brand differentiation concerning the competition. In fact, right guerilla marketing actions are usually, activities remembered by the people who have witnessed it.

By implementing these elements and characteristic points for the clients, like zebra crossing, paper bins, stop lights, stairs or bus stops, it is straightforward that the potential client to notice on the fact that there is something innovative in all of it and he or she remembers and associates the march that has made that marketing action with its surprise feeling at seeing it.

The use of familiar places or habitual transit of people doesn’t have another goal than to reach to the maximum audience possible. The ideal in this marketing campaign is that the maximum number of clients are impressed by the advertising or the campaign because the more user receives the input that you have sent, the more possible clients you will get.

That is why brands decide to use buses as elements where they can promote a TV show, an establishment, a travel agency or a fast food restaurant, because by being an element that goes around in the streets and is used daily by hundreds of people, you can achieve that, at least it reaches a more significant number of people. These people, afterward, will buy or not the product, but at least the input has been received. This way, the first step to the marketing campaign success has been given.

Any company can benefit from guerilla marketing

There is not a sector or a type of company to which this type of marketing strategies work best. Every kind of company that wants to play with imagination and brings it closer to users, clients or not, can take advantage of guerrilla marketing.

The advantage of this form of marketing is that it allows you to play with the brand, using concepts, compromising the feel of the audience and preparing actions that have in mind the reaction of the people. Therefore, it is open to both big brands that take advantage of the strength of their corporate image and small companies that do not have resources and need to be known.

Now, we will show you 5 examples of guerrilla marketing that you will find curious and with which you will learn the keys to this way of marketing:

1.- Marketing guerilla in a zebra crossing


One of the usual places to create guerilla marketing actions are the zebra crossings. The lines painted on the ground give you a lot to play with if you have the necessary creativity. For example, McDonald’s simulates that the lines are French fries coming out of the typical package of the hamburger brand.

What is interesting about this action is that, besides of being part of a real zebra crossing, which still has the same function, it has achieved that the image is one of the company’s products. And besides, with the image type of the M in the sight of all pedestrians.


The use of an element so striking and crowded in cities helps the message to better suit the potential client since he will necessarily have to pass through it. The more people see the advertisement, the better it is for the campaign, especially if it is about an industrial action like this one in which a rainbow was painted in a zebra crossing beside the Russian Embassy in Helsinki. With this action the laws they criticized the laws approved in 2018 against homosexuals.

This gesture of Finnish LGTB collective was imitated in many parts around the world, including the Gran Vía of Madrid or the streets of New York, in an element that usually accompanies a good guerilla marketing campaign: its imitation.


For its part, another exciting element is from this office supply company that uses white lines with a can like Tipex, to play with disappearing text on the road.

2.- Take advantage of urban benches


Following the same logic that the zebra crossings uses, the actions that guerilla marketing seeks in urban benches is to capture the client in his or her commonplace. KitKat has made famous its benches in shape of chocolate bars. The brand of sweets takes advantage of the famous design of its products, in form of bars, incorporating the famous red paper.


On their behalf, Ikea has gone a step further and has decorated all the space around a bench in the middle of the street with cushions, coffee tables, and rugs, promoting the comfort of their products. This example shows one of the great possibilities of guerilla marketing in the middle of the street, and it brings their products closer to the users. In this case not only the user is surprised to see their regular space customized, but also, they use specific products of the brand.

3.- Bus stops

Guerrilla Marketing

Who has not seen a bus stop with advertising? Bus stops are fascinating places for this type of campaign because:

  1. There is a usual influx of people.
  2. It is not a transit area, but the users spend a long time there that’s why the brand can gain their attention.
  3. There are elements with which you can play: bus shelter, benches…
  4. mcdonalds-marquesina

Some curious examples are this Coca-Cola refrigerator that looks like it gives a break to users who are suffering from the heat or the opposite case that shows a hamburger company simulating that it is an oven.


Besides, many brands are taking advantage of advertising in the bus shelters to go further. For example, to promote the movie Up, not only was the marquee used to show the two-dimensional poster but, playing in addition to the concept of the film, real balloons were included. This is another feature of effective guerrilla marketing campaigns: they mix two-dimensional and three-dimensional elements to reinforce the message.

4.- Guerrilla Marketing in public transport


The public transport is another place where the imagination of guerrilla marketing surprises you. It is not uncommon to find buses wrapped with movies, companies, restaurants, malls advertisements… but the ad for this zoo in the local buses of their city was original. A snake wrapped around the bus and squishing the vehicle, something striking and unique.


Continuing with the buses, do you imagine using the handles as an advertising element? Well, that is what the watch brand IWC thought, they incorporated a design customized on buses. The user of the bus that uses it will see how the watch fits in their wrist and get an idea of whether the product interests him or her or not. A plan with excellent creativity strength because it is very related to the product.


Did you know that in Seoul’s metro there’s a beach? This was the very original marketing campaign that was used in the subway of the South Korean city. The goal of the advertisement was to promote ecology, so the reasons chosen were about nature, as in this case, a beach.

5.- In other public spaces


The street marketing guerilla it is not only focused on public transport, but pedestrian crossing or bus stops. It goes much further, and it reaches common elements that we find on the street: to paper bins, lanterns, traffic lights or buildings. Everything is useful to create guerilla marketing.

Por example, this action that Miele simulates the entry to a road tunnel as if it were the pipe of one of its vacuum cleaners.


The advantage of guerilla marketing over other marketing forms is that it stimulates the imagination because of all the artistic expression that it takes place in these types of strategies. A painted advertisement can become a disaster if the paint is spilled, just like it is shown in the picture above. Or you can find a Toblerone in the garden of your company.


Is guerilla marketing reserved for commercial use?

As seen in some of these examples, guerrilla marketing can be used for multiple causes. What is important is creativity.

This way, special events like the International Day Against AIDS or Cancer, Pride Day or similar ephemeris are occasions that encourage the use of this type of marketing actions that can draw attention.

For example, finding pink elements on the day against breast cancer or the sidewalks and zebra crosswalks are painted with a rainbow on pride day, these are two actions that are useful to commemorate a day and draw attention to society remembering the cause that is being supported on that day.

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