Guerilla Blueprints for Creative Passive Income

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The Pragmatic Programmer. Andrew Hunt. Cameron Clarke. Francis Glebas. Alexa Phillips. Christopher M. Fundamentals of Computer Architecture. Guerrilla marketing advertisements take classic approaches to advertising and offer a unique twist that serves to confound or delight viewers and spur them to learn more about that company. Take a look at this dental implant insurance company. It chose to advertise in a bowling alley and make use of the way bowling pins can resemble a set of teeth.

Perhaps they went on to show a photo to friends, family or office-mates. Perhaps this insurance company had a brief segment on the news following this campaign. Props —Seeing something physically out of place can stop you in your tracks. I remember when the Cow Parade came to my hometown, my family and I took a full Saturday to walk around Houston and devote our attention to this unique art display that featured painted, glass cows dispersed around the city. Guerrilla marketing makes use of physical props by placing unexpected items in normal, everyday places. Consider this photo of a super glue container leaning against the support of a bridge.

The commentary or joke here is that super glue is strong enough to hold an entire bridge in place. While a passersby knows this is an exaggeration, it still increases brand awareness in a humorous way. I can talk your ear off about guerrilla marketing, but ultimately diving into examples are some of the best ways to better understand the practice.

Looking at successful campaigns helps to see which wild strategies have worked for certain organizations, and perhaps inspire some ideas for your own business. These examples can also give you an idea of how brands have to uniquely understand their consumers before guerrilla marketing campaigns are anywhere near effective.

Nike —Athletic gear brand Nike is known for its unconventional displays that ultimately aim to spur people into activity. It had 50 Nike runners take off all over Vienna in these jackets at night. Nike challenged runners to compete to see who could find and photograph the most of these flash runners. This marketing campaign was effective because it incentivized users to participate and then provided multiple forums for participation. It also engaged residents of Austria by allowing them to do what many Nike fans enjoy doing: run.

Talk about knowing your audience! It continued to be published and discussed by news organizations and bloggers worldwide. Coca-Cola —Coca-Cola has taken multiple stabs at guerrilla marketing and has managed to execute many successful campaigns. One of its most notable campaigns is the happiness machine. When students and faculty approached the machine for a soda, they received a multitude of surprises.

The first customer received so many sodas that she physically could not carry them all and began passing them out to other students. Some students received full liters of Coke instead of the standard bottle. At one point, a hand reaches out and starts dispensing bouquets of flowers. One student is surprised by a sandwich so large it takes multiple hands to pull it out of the machine.

Another woman receives a whole pizza. Coca-Cola was successful in this campaign because it understood its target market. Students are often frugal, especially as the price of education increases. The surprise of going to purchase one soda and in turn receiving multiple, or in some cases an entire meal, was a visibly welcomed treat to these smiling faces. Whether the students were all friends prior to this campaign is unknown, but their connection through the excitement is evident.


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In , he participated in a campaign that was referred to as Guerrilla Tennis. The video shows Agassi and Pete Sampras setting up a tennis match in the middle of a busy city street. A crowd slowly shows up to observe the match, growing over time as street traffic appears to have stopped completely. This commercial played during the US Open and showed two rival tennis players participating in a fun, surprise game in the streets of San Francisco. In , PayPal hosted a conference in San Francisco.

WePay took this event as an opportunity to deliver some guerrilla messaging. It dropped a pound block of ice at the conference for all to see.

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The call-to-action or messaging here is that attendees of the PayPal conference should switch to WePay and stop having their accounts frozen. The pallet mover was eventually chased down and WePay employees ended up pushing the block of ice around all day. The whole charade reads much like a high school senior prank.

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No real harm was done, but you can bet WePay became the talk of the conference — the last thing PayPal conference administrators were expecting. Image courtesy of TechCrunch. That campaign challenged commuters to step out of their daily routine and try something fun in a usually mundane space. Volkswagen has a separate guerrilla marketing campaign that tells a much more serious message.

Moviegoers sat through a preview feature a behind the wheel perspective of someone driving a car on an open road. A mobile alert was then sent out to many people in the movie theatre, who checked their phones to view the alert. As they were staring at their phones, the driver on-screen crashed into a tree, shattering their windshield and presumably injuring themselves.

While there is no concrete evidence that anyone in that movie theatre is guilty of texting and driving, the ad explained that mobile-related accidents are now the leading cause of death behind the wheel. Whereas previous marketing campaigns had the goal of delighting or entertaining, this campaign sought to teach viewers a potentially life-saving lesson. This type of marketing is risky. Volkswagen chose a shocking method in order to confront a lethal trend of texting and driving. How do you feel about this method? Do you think it was a good idea, or unfair to disrupt their outing with potentially triggering content?

One thing is for certain: Audience members are sure to remember the fright this commercial caused them any time they consider picking up their phone on the road. Back when it first started, the company lacked the same marketing budget as other big-name social media companies. This technique was the opposite of costly, and had festival visitors both participating and telling others about their experience. Standing outside, presenting the chance to join in on a nostalgic name, and having face-to-face interactions with potential users likely helped this organization receive more engagement than many others did.

Foursquare has since grown and changed, and Dennis Crowley no longer works with the organization. But that original act of ingenuity has certainly remained a lasting value within the brand. Image courtesy of HubSpot. Penguin Random House Canada —Well-known publishing company Penguin Random House proved to fans and Toronto residents that, sometimes, our beloved book characters can come to life.

Looks included her iconic facial piercings, dark hair, tattoos, and even a few mopeds, for character accuracy, of course. The actresses spread out throughout Toronto and handed out small excerpts of the new book to passerby in the hopes of gaining their interest. The account was updated throughout the day with the various locations people in Toronto could find Salander. This planned, faux hack also spread to other Twitter accounts, increasing the audience reach way beyond their physical location. Penguin Random House was able to use its creativity to not only cause a stir in Toronto, but also to attract attention through its social media profiles.

Imagine how much fun this stunt was for fans of the book. This idea was so uniquely different from a book tour or book signing, and no doubt drummed up excitement for the next installment in the book series.

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Allende dressed up as an official contractor in order to evade questioning and hung up a promotional poster with the money he had been advance-paid for a future event. While the stunt was unexpected, it did not go unappreciated. Long-distance relationships are full of complications and miscommunications that lack the context proximity can often provide. The idea of this show is that viewers get to choose which side they want to watch first and experience episodes from the varied perspectives.

This means — you guessed it — advertisement strategies have to be low-budget and highly creative. This tweet from Emily Best shows the web series has chosen to advertise the uniquely complicated communications of long-distance partners. The poster includes a call to action at the end that seeks to compel people to check out the series online, complete with rip-off strips that people can keep for later.

If you had passed this poster, would it have caught your eye? Would you have been interested to learn more about the show, or would you have kept walking? Vegetarian Restaurant —When you work at a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, you most likely want to show others the beauty and flavor you see in food that comes from the earth.

From far away, it looks as if a fork is being stuck into broccoli. Although broccoli has mixed reviews among taste buds, trees are usually perceived as a natural and respected aspect of nature.

This simple guerrilla marketing campaign seems to be pointing out how natural it is to eat vegetables, and how broccoli should be as routine as walking past a tree in the park. Do you have any thoughts about the possible deeper meaning?

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A successful guerrilla marketing campaign makes us think about the stunt and what its creator wanted us to think. MilkyWay —Ah, MilkyWay. Does it even need advertising? Apparently so! Consider this progression of pictures which plays with the idea of how stretchy the caramel inside the chocolate can be. The candy bar begins on the conveyor belt looking like a complete bar of chocolate.

The ad is hyperbolic, to say the least. If this ad found me at the end of an after-work shopping trip, I would definitely be done for. Tic Tac —Have you ever had a one-on-one meeting, or been on a dinner date, or sat on the airplane next to someone whose breath could make flowers curl up and die? And that is exactly the kind of feeling Tic Tac was trying to conjure up in its flash mob advertisement that took place in Rouen, France.

The spectacle began with a secret actor asking someone for directions to the train. While the stranger is answering the question, the actor pretends to faint, which has a domino effect as all of the people around him begin to fall to the ground. As the strangers stand there dumbfounded, wondering if all of these people have perished in front of them one man literally takes off running , a video begins to play. It shows yet more people fainting all over the city; on trains and busses, in radio stations, and outside of restaurants.

At the end of the video is one simple plea: Take a Tic Tac. One of the actors on the ground reaches up and hands the stranger a Tic Tac, as they gleefully begin to piece together what this whole thing has been about: Their supposedly rank breath has made half the city lose consciousness. Additionally, this strategy presented an immediate solution to the problem at hand: take a Tic Tac, which resulted in cheering, fireworks, and streamers.

Warning: if you are reading this article in your office space, proceed in playing the following video with caution. I laughed so hard I cried, and then laughed some more. In order to make your giant monster movie truly stand out, you have to do something creative and unprecedented. This strategy was just ridiculous enough to not cause a legitimate scare. Smaller footsteps could possibly have been understood as a zoo animal running loose, which would have caused more harm than good. By making the footprints obviously impossible, the marketing team protected this campaign from the potential to backfire.

Kind of like Enrique Iglesias was known for his mole, prior to having it removed. Davis tweeted on March 31, , a video of himself supposedly shaving the middle of his unibrow. He also had a Red Bull towel draped over his shoulders—remember our lesson in product placement?

The next day, he tweeted another picture of himself with the unibrow fully in place.

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Y'all knew I wasn't cutting it lol. AprilFools We got ya!! This tactic is unique in that it truly has nothing to do with Red Bull, save the product placement and celebrity endorsement. Red Bull is a sponsor of Davis as you can see on its official website , and probably approached him with this marketing idea and paid him to take part in the gag. It fits into the guerrilla marketing category in that it surprised viewers. Fans of Davis were not expecting him to shave off his unibrow, a feature for which he has officially trademarked slogans.

It also caused some conversation. The Twitter poll itself saw more than , participants. Can you imagine that many people caring about your facial hair habits? Dollar Shave Club —We mentioned Dollar Shave Club earlier, but its ingenious advertising strategy is worth a reminder. Dubin encourages other marketers to think outside of whatever box they feel this industry has created for them. Ikea —Okay, this next guerrilla marketing campaign I am actually hoping will come to Chicago.

Swedish furniture and home-living store Ikea took over Manhattan with its whimsical and efficient designs. Examples of its influence include distributing water bowls around the city for dogs, placing stools in front of pay phones, and building full furniture vignettes at bus stops. Each of its contributions to the city made something just that much more convenient, or comfortable, or aesthetically appealing. It has plenty of designs and products that can transfer that kind of efficiency and whimsy into your everyday life.

Deadpool —Deadpool is a marvel character with incredible healing powers whose movie was released in This guerrilla marketing tactic is unique in that it does what every movie-goer or TV watcher loves: a crossover between worlds. One thing that surprises me about this campaign is its use of Blu-ray as a platform for attention. With the increase in popularity of streaming devices and services, I know I personally have not stepped foot into the DVD or Blu-ray aisle of a store in a long time.

The tweet regarding this campaign, posted by FilmFeed, received 14, likes and 8, retweets, meaning it was able to reach more than just the single person regarding the cases in the photograph. But do you think a campaign such as this was effective? Again, I ask for your opinion. Would you have shared this idea, purchased the film, or used the discounted movie ticket? Here are some more examples of guerrilla marketing campaigns put on my companies worldwide. Can you tell what their message or gimmick was just by looking at the photos? Beau Rivage Resort and Casino uses the baggage claim belt at an airport to advertise a lazy river or other calming pool imagery.

Ketchup packets raise awareness for countries across the world still plagued by frequent landmine explosions. Discovery Channel raises awareness for its upcoming 10th Anniversary Shark Week, an annual celebration of these sea predators that has become a sort of ritual to shark enthusiasts worldwide. Washing your hands regularly is a great way to avoid getting the flu.

Kleenex took advantage of this truth by using soap dispensers to visually portray a man sick with the flu, reminding them both to practice good health and hygiene, while also advertising its tissues.


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  • Copenhagen Zoo advertises its wild animals with this realistic image of a snake wrapping itself around a bus. Nivea implies its ability to smooth out cellulite in skin with the use of a half-smooth, half-tufted leather couch. Folgers paints over a manhole to make it look like a cup of morning coffee is steaming on the ground. Do you have any favorites that we might have missed? Or has your organization put out a campaign worth sharing? A lot of guerrilla marketing is about taking risks and not being afraid to try something.

    As one of my idols, Ms. But no good marketing campaign is without strategy and foresight. As we spoke of earlier, one seemingly innocent attempt at advertising for an animated film was wrongfully perceived as a bomb threat, and is to this day referred to as a bomb scare.

    I am of the opinion that we can learn as much from unsuccessful campaigns as we do from those that excelled. McGowan was put off by the fact that she had neither responded to the pitch nor disclosed her home address. While the startup founder who sent the package likely thought they were being personable and thoughtful, McGowan perceived the situation completely differently: as a pushy attempt to gain her attention, and an inappropriate use of personal information.

    As another female professional, I can agree with her that receiving unsolicited mail from an unsolicited male at your home address is a fairly invasive tactic. This is challenging because we only see the world from our singular perspective. Had this particular startup founder spoken to a few female cohorts, they may have predicted this reaction and avoided the burned bridge.

    According to the founders, they were about stickers along when an unmarked cop came along and arrested them. The two spent the evening in jail and were eventually released with a sentence of 21 hours of community service. Tu said he enjoyed completing the community service, and the whole story has at least been an anecdote to bring publicity to Pozzle. Pozzle has tripled its users and recently signed partnership deals with a large event management company.

    Partaking in illegal methods to advertise your business does not have a guaranteed positive outcome, so do a good deal of research in advance to be certain you have nothing to worry about. The team ambitiously aimed to set up the popsicle on a June day in the middle of Manhattan, causing the popsicle to begin melting before it could even get lifted upright. The popsicle is said to have flooded the streets of Union Square while those walking in the city scrambled to escape the gooey path.

    Firefighters were called in to hose down the streets and ended up closing off a few streets to do so. Can you imagine how big of a disaster this must have been for Snapple? It was trying to beat the record for largest popsicle, which had been set at 21 feet in Holland in The company had been assured the scheme would work, only to have the prop begin to self-destruct before it could ever get it upright. This campaign was more so an issue of logistics. The environment simply did not agree with the product.

    Organizers were expecting the popsicle to be able to withstand the heat, and were not able to pinpoint where they went wrong. What does this attempt teach us? Expect the unexpected. Even if all of your research points one way, prepare for the possibility of adverse circumstances or reactions.

    Sensitivity to your audience is also important when preparing a guerrilla marketing campaign. The film Forgetting Sarah Marshall tells the story of a man recovering from a difficult breakup. Or was he trying to get her back? In this scenario, producers failed to consider the impact their campaign would have outside of the world of this film.

    While it was aimed at a fictional persona, imagine a Sarah Marshall seeing that sign and not understanding what it was for. Was their boss mad at them? Is their partner angry? Seeing your name plastered on a wall with no context is concerning, at best. Producers should have considered the far-reaching effects of their campaign. Gain perspective by consulting a diverse range of people.

    Overlooking the law and assuming your practices are above it can result in some surprise scenarios.

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