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What is Guerrilla Marketing: the Ultimate Guide


The term “Guerilla” in its written form has a deep meaning. It epitomizes strength and tranquility. When you include such a term in marketing, it would be interesting, isn’t it! Well, guerilla marketing is an unconventional form of marketing. It uses unique and creative methodologies to promote a brand.

Understanding guerilla marketing:

Guerilla marketing is an unconventional method to promote brand awareness. It is well designed to surprise and evoke the reader. It uses various techniques and practices to establish a relationship with the customer. The marketing practice aims to create an emotional element in the minds of the client. Businesses use these marketing tactics to get remembered forever by their customers.

Guerilla marketing takes the customer by surprise to mark an impression about the brand. This creates a buzz about the brand in the market. It helps increase brand awareness. For a successful guerrilla marketing, the business has to spend some amount of creativity, energy, and time. This form of marketing works on the subconscious mind of the customer. It affects the purchasing decision of the customer.  

The etymology of Guerilla marketing:

The term “guerilla marketing” got coined in the early 1980s by the business writer Jay Conrad Levinson. He was well known for his writings on various guerilla marketing tactics.

You must have come across “guerilla warfare”. It was an unconventional warfare technique used by armed civilians. Armed personnel used to reap the benefits of such unconventional methods during wartime.

Businesses have started using this technique in promoting their brand. You may find guerilla marketing techniques on many social media channels. This has given rise to another form of marketing called “street marketing”.

In today’s article, we will know about guerilla marketing and the ultimate guide to use it. We will also look at some interesting examples of guerilla marketing.

Advantages of guerilla marketing:

  • Cost-effective
  • Offers considerable customer interactions
  • Increase brand recognition
  • Displays unique and eye-catching content
  • Has the potential to meet the demands of small businesses
  • provides an element of surprise to the customers

Types of Guerilla marketing:

  • Ambush marketing- A form of associative marketing that establishes brand awareness and goodwill. This form of marketing generally gets associated with an event.
  • Ambient marketing- This is an advertising technique on physical surfaces like roads. It combines intelligence creativity and flexibility. You can find such ads on bust stands or streets.
  • Viral marketing- This is a strategy to pass marketing messages to customers. It increases the potential of the message to get exposed to a wide audience base. Viral marketing is sometimes termed “WOM marketing”. It creates a buzz in the market about the products and services provided.
  • Buzz marketing- It encourages the customers to discuss the brand. A buzz initiated from Buzz marketing is generally known to increase organic Word-of-Mouth. To create the buzz for your brand, you need good web hosting for your website, to do so, you should go with any of these web hosting companies
  • Guerilla projections- They are campaigns run over large buildings. They include huge posters and banners placed over buildings. They advertise a brand and its products and services. These visual projections ensure that a huge mass of people gets to see the campaigns.
  • Astroturfing- It is one of the most popular forms of guerilla marketing. The term has been derived from another term “turf” meaning “fake grass”. the term is widely used in tennis courts and stadiums. Astroturfing thus means fake recommendations or endorsements. It generates an artificial buzz around a product or service. An individual creates such a buzz and gets paid for passing on positive feedback about the brand. The individual does so through blogs or discussion forums. Astroturfing is a risky investment because it can damage a company’s reputation. If the customer suspects the authenticity of the endorsements and recommendations. Sometimes, it can even lead to litigation. 
  • Street marketing- It uses unconventional marketing tactics to advertise a product or service. Such advertisement runs in open areas and streets. They may even run in gardens and theatres. It attracts the customer and creates a lasting image in their minds. Street marketing also includes the promotion of a brand by brand ambassadors of mobile kiosks. The kiosks would be having product samples or walking billboards. Street marketing is imagining street art and street culture. Street marketing is sometimes also available in the form of the distribution of flyers or product animations. Some even conduct roadshows and events to display street marketing. 
  • Experiential marketing- It gives importance to the customers through pop-ups and interactive experiences. It creates an unforgettable experience for the viewer. One of the creative examples is organizing a “flash mob”. You can use many tools to do experiments for your brands, there are many marketing tools for startups available in the market.

Guerilla marketing strategies:

  • Graffiti- This form of marketing uses streets and open areas as a giant canvas. You should get permission from the property owner before constructing such an advertisement. These are artistic creations and are low on budget. Graffiti is a convenient form of marketing. It is innovative, low cost, and does not harm the environment. 
  • Stencil graffiti- It uses stencils to create street art. It is a useful marketing strategy as it helps you create various instances of your art in less time. They are smaller in size and contain various designs.
  • Stickers- They can help you create unique advertisements. They create eye-catching designs to pause the viewer. You may use contour-cut stickers to advertise your brand. Such stickers can be in form of paper cuttings in form of people partying or of a brand promotion event.
  • Flash mobs- They are groups of individuals who perform a specific action at a pre-determined place and time. The participants may include popular actors or ordinary members of society.
  • Publicity stunts- These include sponsorships or endorsements with a brand. Brands like Red Bull have adopted this strategy in promoting their brand. It sent an Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner above the stratosphere to create a world record for highest skydiving. This stunt created hype around the market about the brand. It increased brand awareness and helped the brand reach sky high.
  • Suburban environment- Guerilla marketing uses large areas to showcase a brand. They are unconventional methods to promote a brand. You will find huge billboards and eye-catching street art. All these are offline examples of Guerilla marketing. These also include online ad campaigns through viral videos or creative landing pages.
  • Mascots- People love getting clicked with mascots. You can find mascots in front of an event or even over social media channels. They are one of the most effective guerilla marketing strategies.
  • Funny signboards- They are hilarious sidewalk signs over streets. They have funny jokes written over them. People click images of such signboards and share them over their social media handles. It helps spread the word about the brand to a larger community.     


  • Treasure hunts- They are creative hunts created to attract customers. They can include posting online clues to hidden items spread across one or more cities. The winner of such hunts gets rewards like digital codes or a hint to the next level of the hunt.

Guerilla marketing examples:

  • Axe body spray- The brand uses customized stickers attached to an “exit man” in common places. The stickers create a story about the exciting man. The man looks like he is escaping from a fire.


  • The Discovery channel- Placed bitten skateboards along beaches. The boards reminded people about the upcoming Shark Week. 
  • Coca-cola- The brand established happiness machines and vending machines in different crowded places. These vending machines provided free drinks to the passer-byes. In Istanbul, the brand also installed a love machine that gave away free Cola cans to love couples. The brand also installed another Happiness Machine to unite the people of India and Pakistan.


  • Duracell batteries- The American brand manufactures batteries and other power supplies. They came up with glowing flashlight posters in well-illuminated areas. This reminded people about Duracell’s battery power.


  • UNICEF- The relief organization came up with a unique idea. In its campaign, it stated, “What if those bottles of water you waste money on were filled with dirty water?” It reminded the privileged mass that a large population of the world is devoid of clean drinking water. UNICEF suggested putting in efforts to provide clean water to such communities. It installed vending machines selling bottled dirty water. Each bottle had a label carrying the name of a disease caused by consuming such water. 


  • Amazon- It came up with a creative campaign in Bengaluru named “Chai-carts”. It was launched to aware SMEs and small business owners about the brand.
  • Copenhagen Zoo campaign- The Copenhagen Zoo is a popular tourist spot in Denmark. The Danish advertising agency created a fictitious ad campaign that was mesmerizing. It showed a giant snake that crushes a metro bus. This caught the attention of the customers to a huge extent..
  • Bounty- The brand installed huge knocked-over coffee mugs and giant melting popsicles over the streets of New York. This unique marketing idea promoted the brand and increased brand awareness. 


In today’s digital world, people go online now and then. So businesses always keep an eye on the changing trends and try to adopt changes in their marketing strategies. Guerilla marketing is one such creative marketing strategy. It can offer great benefits to a brand. Guerilla marketing can be a great option for your business when done in a well-planned manner. Sometimes, such unconventional marketing method is illegal. So first read about their pros and cons to avoid any legal issues which may arise at a later date.

Creating unique campaigns will also help you to connect with your customers emotionally.

Author Bio: 

Suraj Kr. Prakash is a Trainer, Growth Hacker, SEO Specialist, and WordPress Website Developer…who is empowering 10000+ readers through the “Dhandho Karo” platform in various niches such as business & marketing.


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