To promote Shark Week, Discovery Channel dresses its entire Maryland headquarters as a shark.
In terms of creating buzz, this piece of marketing is huge. The set-up costs are probably pretty huge as well.
However, you don’t need a great-white-sized budget to do this sort of marketing. In fact, you can do it for under $100. You just need to apply the principles of Guerilla Marketing, defined as: an unconventional way of performing marketing activities on a tight budget.
Here are some great examples that might inspire you.
More Shark Week! This smaller campaign has some real bite. It’s captivating visually, all but ensuring that passersby stop and take a look. For your guerrilla campaign, take a page out of Discovery’s book and make your campaign visually compelling.
Go where your customers are
Reaching busy corporate execs who work long hours is tricky. Ultimat Vodka went directly to where they work – or directly outside, in fact – and had a dialogue. You might not have the budget to replicate a stunt like this but the idea of going to customers in their environment can cost you very little.
Create a novel business ‘card’
Dayna Steele has her guitar pick. Peter Shankman has his poker chip. Both items serve as business cards for these two entrepreneurs. They’re also inexpensive talking points for generating word of mouth.
Do something unexpected
Being unexpected is a key element of guerrilla marketing. Whether your campaign surprises through visuals (Shark Week) or through location (clam shells), the idea is for people to be so surprised they tell their friends about it.
Differentiate your business
What makes Mini Cooper different is its size. Depositing a Mini Cooper box in the same trash pile as TV boxes and garbage bags is a great way of demonstrating it. What makes you different, and how can you show it? If you can do it for the cost of a cardboard box, you’ve struck guerrilla gold.
Use the great outdoors
There’s no better way to do low-cost guerrilla marketing then to use street scenery that’s already there, right outside your office. Think like this Ballet company and customize the surroundings in a way that’s relevant to your business.
Go mobile (and we’re not talking about cell phones)
Think you have no budget to advertise your business? Think again. If you have a car, you have a platform. It’s as easy as thinking of a graphic, getting a sticker made, and pasting it on your car. Have fun with it.
Make your packaging an ad
Your customers can be your biggest adverts when you give them the tools. Create a bag that draws attention to customers as they walk the street. Or make unique packaging that entices customers to tell their friends about it or tweet about it. If you’re a retailer who uses bags, get creative and make them work harder for you.
Let people be your adverts
This pink Post-It Man is sure to create buzz for your business. The beauty of this campaign is that people can peel off a post-it for themselves. That’s messaging that can travel fast! And if you can afford a bunch of post-its (and we suspect you can), you can do this campaign – you can be the talent!
With guerrilla marketing ideas, you don’t have to do something big and elaborate to catch people’s attention. These ‘vampire bites’ draw people in for a closer look and help Twilight promote their upcoming film.