GUERILLA MARKETING- The Crazier, The Better!

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  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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  • Jennifer C. Jimenez
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  • Guerilla Marketing is the hottest marketing trend today. Along with the budget constraints, brands compete to capture people’s attention amidst the clutter. But consumers nowadays are becoming more cynical on the advertisements and marketing efforts they are being exposed to. Guerilla Marketing provides an attractive solution to this issue.

    The word “guerilla” means “little war” in Spanish.  The concept itself is inspired by the guerilla warfare and tactics. Guerilla marketing is used when the opponent has large sum of resources and established reputation. It is a game where the opponent is bigger and more powerful than the player. The strategy dwells on the element of surprise attack. As a player, you have to catch your opponent off-guard and surprise them with an unexpected move.

    Last February 9,2012, I attended a talk conducted by Professor Emerito Pascual, from Salt and Light Ventures. Then on February 18, I attended another talk conducted by Ms. Tracy Camarillo from McCann WorldGroup, a world-renowned advertising agency.

    Let me share two important principles they both shared during the seminars:

    1. Everything can be media.

    The idea of using the tri-media (television, radio and print ad) does not mean having to use a large budget. Ad agencies who work with the brand marketing managers recognize the need to work smart and utilize the resources wisely. One good example given by Ms. Camarillo is the Skelan marketing campaign.

    The idea was to use a jingle that will reiterate the brand message—that is, living life with enthusiasm and vigor, despite old age. Skelan is an anti-arthritis drug by Unilab. The jingle was introduced just like a song launch popularized by a famous local celebrity, Vhong Navarro. The jingle became a hit as it played many times in radio and used as music in an instructional exercise video. A morning show also used the music to accompany the instructional exercise they conduct every morning for the televiewers to imitate. The result was increase in sales, and very good brand awareness among the target market.

    2. Generate buzz.
    Guerilla marketing catch people’s attention the way a wildfire spreads fire from a single bush to the whole forest. It must be viral and to do that, marketers and advertisers must target key influencers.

    This idea is related to some key points from the famous book “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” by Al Ries. The book states that the birth of a new brand is achieved through publicity. As I have learned from my Integrated Marketing Communications class, influencers are 2.5 times more likely to use social networks to meet new people, 4 times more likely to use discussion boards and 3 times more likely to blog. Imagine the rate of speed of information dissemination they could do to contribute buzz for your brand.

    One good example of a guerilla marketing tactic that was able to generate huge buzz is the Coca-Cola Living Billboard. The billboard is comprised of Fukien tea plants that could absorb pollutions. The billboard was strategically located in Metro Manila, a city where more people pass en route to work or school and where pollution rate is the third highest than any other city in the Philippines.

    The billboard was able to bring the point home—the Corporate Social Responsibility of Coca-Cola. More people were able to appreciate the brand and its efforts to contribute in making the world a better place to live in, even in at least one city.

    Another good example of this is Coca-Cola Happiness Truck and Coca-Cola’s The OFW project. The video obtained a lot of advertising awards. These two examples emphasized the essence of showing the authenticity of the story to the people. Consumers are easy to detect fallacies and fake emotions. Presenting them real stories that revolve around universal truth such as the value of family and life is better to provide something that could add more meaning to their lives. 

    The company and the ad agency also made sure that it ran on social networking sites as viral video instead of displaying it as TV commercial. Though it could have generated more attention, the firm's intention will be compromised as it will appear to be just another promotional stint, when in fact, the company just want to live up to its Happiness slogan.

    Check out the delight in the people's faces as they enjoy Coke's gift from the Happiness Truck in the video below:

    Ms. Camarillo advised that marketers should be able to look for the universal need or truth that pervades across different market segments and socioeconomic categories. "Busy consumers have a soft spot," she added. Finding that soft spot is crucial (by the way, Coca-cola's Project OFW is an instant tearjerker, trust me).

    It's the truth that spells the success when it comes to executing a good guerilla marketing strategy. It is important to deliver something relevant apart from catching their attention. And yes, it makes a huge impact on the bottomline.