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Guerilla marketing collaborations to inspire your brand

April 12, 2022

Guerilla marketing is described as a cost-effective and unconventional marketing technique whose prime aim is to be memorable and create impact. It involves making use of high-visibility public spaces to expose people to a brand in creative ways. Some of the most incredible guerilla marketing campaigns have happened as a result of a collaboration between two brands that share the same goals and vision. 

Before we get into our list of top guerilla marketing brand collaborations, let’s have a look at the types of guerilla marketing that exist. 

Types of guerilla marketing 

The four main types of guerilla marketing include indoor, outdoor, experiential and event ambush. 

Indoor guerilla marketing

This type of marketing uses indoor spaces to capture the attention of people and promote a product or service. Closed spaces like universities, shopping malls, train stations, and airports are a few examples of places where indoor guerilla marketing can take place.

Outdoor guerilla marketing

This type of marketing includes placing unusual and eye-catching objects in areas with a significant amount of foot traffic. Think ‘something that will make them stop and stare!’

Experiential guerilla marketing

This is a form of marketing that aims to provide an interactive experience for customers. It can happen in a variety of settings.

Event ambush guerilla marketing

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Event ambush guerilla marketing involves gatecrashing an existing event to promote a product or service. The result is capturing the attention of people attending the event, creating conversation about the brand after the event and being memorable. 

Examples of guerilla marketing collaborations 

Now that we’ve gone over the various types of guerilla marketing, let’s take a deep dive into the best examples out there.

Coca Cola, Manhattan and a graffiti artist

A Manhattan murial of Coca Cola written 'Paint the town RED,' which shows one of many guerilla marketing collaborations

Manhattan East Village, Taken by Gregoire Alessandrini.

Our first example is a blast from the past. It’s a street art mural from the 90s which was a collaboration between Coca Cola, the city of Manhattan and a number of graffiti artists. This street art drew attention to Coca Cola as a brand and encouraged people to buy it, it beautified an urban space, and also brought attention to the graffiti artist who was commissioned to create it.  

Discovery Channel and Austar for Shark Week

A shark week surf board with a cut out that emulates a shark bite, which is considered one of the msot creative guerilla marketing collaborations

Photo cred: Shark Week

For Shark Week’s upcoming 10th year anniversary, the Discovery Channel teamed up with Austar to promote the TV program in one of the most creative guerilla campaigns ever seen. We think the shark bite shaped cutouts on these surf boards are very convincing and definitely persuaded beach-goers to tune into Shark Week. 

Red Bull, GoPro and Felix Baumgartner Stratos Skydive 

A man in a Red Bull suit jumps from a space capsule into the stratosphere

Photo cred: Red Bull

On 14 October 2021, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner was flown approximately 39 kilometers into the stratosphere over New Mexico. He then free-fell in a helium balloon and a Red Bull pressure suit, after which he parachuted to earth. This incredible feat was captured on seven of GoPro’s HERO2 cameras. 

The price for the campaign was a whopping $30 million, but with millions of views from social media virality and free press, including $500 million in sales, one can absolutely say the investment was worth it for all the brands involved!

Hyundai and NFL

An American footballer in blue gear runs next to a red Hyundai

In 2016, Hyundai embarked on a 4-year sponsorship of the NFL. Some of the most noticeable guerilla marketing that they did includes experiential activities like allowing the public to interact with local NFL legend for meet and greets, autograph sessions, green screen photos, giveaways, interactive vehicle displays, and a concert.

Breaking Bad and Denny’s

Breaking Bad lead Walter White speaks to a waitress at Denny's

Photo cred: Walter White | AMC

With up to 10 million viewers, Breaking Bad is one of the world’s most watched series. This is why it comes as no surprise that a few brands, including the well-known diner Denny’s, are strategically placed throughout the series in what is known as stealth marketing. 

This product placement is seen when Walter White visits Denny’s for a solo birthday breakfast. 

Refinery29’s 29Rooms featuring various artists and brands

A man takes a picture of 2 women standing next to a colorful background

Annually, Refinery29 hosts an experiential marketing event which allows attendees to immerse themselves in 29 different spaces that have been carefully curated by other brands, non-profits, celebrities and artists.

The purpose of 29Rooms is to foster community and culture in a creative and memorable way — beyond just a shareable Instagram moment. 

Those are just a few examples of guerilla marketing partnerships. Let’s delve into other great examples of guerrilla marketing that aren’t necessary collaborations, but show just how effective this form of marketing can be. 

Examples of guerilla marketing

GoldToe’s Giant Takeover 

The Wall Street bull with white GoldToe briefs on

After releasing a new line of underwear, GoldToe wanted to advertise it and encourage people to purchase their underwear line. What better way to do it than to attract attention by putting underwear on the famous Wall Street Bull? 

It may have taken a lot of material to make, but the guerilla campaign was simple and ultimately, it was a success because it captured the attention of many which led to them taking pictures of the bull and moving the conversation online. 

McDonald’s Crosswalk

A McDonald's themed crosswalk

Known as the “MacFries Pedestrian Crossing’’ Campaign, this McDonald’s crosswalk is a clever and creative use of one of their most popular fast food items. It’s a simple idea, but it’s attention grabbing and surely had this fast food giant top of mind for pedestrians, bikers, drivers and passengers. 

Kit Kat

A man sits on a KitKat themed bench that looks like it's been unwrapped halfway
3 women sit on a KitKat themed bench

Launched in the Philippines, KitKat’s guerilla marketing campaign involved creating 500 park benches that were designed to look like the wafer chocolate and were strategically placed in some of the busiest areas in the country. Some of the benches were even fitted with cool functions such as see-saws and piano keys, making this an artistic way of raising brand awareness.

Frontline’s ‘Flea’ Floor Ad

A Frontline floor ad depicting a dog scratching fleas off its body

This is such a great example of guerilla marketing that uses existing elements in its environment to send a clear message to the audience. Frontline used a huge floor ad in a busy space and contrasted that with the people walking in the space who created the illusion of fleas on the dog. This really drives the message of using their product to protect your furry friend from pests.

Dracula 

BBC's Dracula billboard
BBC's Dracula billboard

The BBC’s Dracula ad is an excellent example of an unconventional and memorable way to advertise a product. This billboard was created to look simple during the day (with wooden stakes that had ‘blood’ dripping from them) and transform into Dracula himself by night by casting a shadow of a vampire on the billboard. This ad is proof that billboards don’t have to be typical and boring — you can make use of other materials to capture attention.

Coca-Cola’s Gripping Bus Stop Ad

Coca-Cola's velcro ad which sticks to people's clothing, emphasizing their new grip bottle

This guerilla marketing campaign is attention grabbing… Literally. Launched in France in 2009, it was created to advertise the brand’s new grip bottle which offered a better hold and was much easier to open. 

Velcro strips were placed in Coca-Cola themed bus tops which grabbed onto people’s clothing, prompting them to look at the ad about the new grip bottle when they tried to release their clothing from the velcro. 

Guinness' Custom Pool Cue Wraps

Guinness branded pool cue in front of a green pool table and pool balls

Guinness' creative marketing camapaign included them adding small custom wraps to pool cues across various bars. This was a smart way of directly reaching their target audience, since people who play pool are most likely to do it with a drink in their hand. What better time to remind them to purchase a bottle while they're in the an environment where alcohol is sold?


All they'd have to do is walk from the pool table to the bar. The best part is, this was a low cost campaign since all Guinness had to factor in was the custom wraps which were placed on existing pool cues.

Bounty's Giant Popsicle

Bounty's Giant Popsicle in the streetsof New York

Bounty's giant popsicle has to be one of the most innovative guerilla marketing campaigns ever created.

They installed life-sized items throughout New York City to advertise the effectiveness of Bounty products, which are one of the most well known paper towels and napkins in America. Unlike using traditional marketing methods, such as advertising on a billboard, this type of creative marketing is more likely to grab attention and be memorable.

It also created opportunities for viral moments since many people took photos next to the items because of how unsusual they were.

American Cancer Society's Coffin Shaped Beach Towels

A woman lays on a black towel on the beach. The towel is in the shape of a coffin and is raising awareness for cancer for the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society gave out black towels in the shape of coffin to beach goers to raise awareness about skin cancer. The towels had the following words embroided on them: "Over-exposure to the sun causes skin cancer killing 20 people every day. Protect yourself."

These types of guerilla marketing tactics are shocking, but they get the job done — which is to effectively bring attention to the fact that sunbathing can lead to death.

Colgate's Cover Marketing

guerilla marketing examples: Colgate’s Wooden Sticks in Ice-Cream Bars

During Oral Health Month, Colgate decided to promote oral health by giving out free ice-creams. The ice-cream sticks were shaped like tooth brushes, which people only saw once they'd finished their ice-creams.

The ice-cream sticks were branded wih the Colgate logo and the words 'Don't Forget," which really drove the message home that people should remember to brush their teeth, not just after eating the ice-cream, but also regularly.

This is an example of one of many unconventional methods of advertising.

Mr. Clean's White Crosswalk

A zebra crossing with one stripe painted very white as a guerrilla marketing campaign for Mr. Clean

Many guerilla marketers use crosswalks to creatively advertise their brands. Mr. Clean's use of this crosswalk is a great example of that. The marketing team found a great way to show off the cleaning power of Mr. Clean in a simple yet effective way.

Barbie’s Pink Bus Stop

A pink Barbie bus stop with a pink couch inside it.

Mattel, the toy company that owns Barbie, decorated a bus stop using Barbie's famous pink color and added seating with bold messaging on all sides of the bus stop. This was done to create awareness and get people in the area to speak about brand online.

Ikea's Staircase Drawer

IKEA's guerilla marketing staircase which mimics their furniture/cupboards

IKEA used stairs to to promote the how their chest of drawers helps with saving space. The ad included pictures of shirts being placed on a flight of strairs, which made them look as if they were neatly organized in a drawer.

This is type of creative thinking is a great way to catch people's attention and inspire them to take action and purchase from your brand.

King Kong 3D Beach Promo

creative marketing examples

Universal Studios promtoed King Kong 3D in a creative way to generate buzz ahead of the movie's release. They created giant footsteps and placed a crushed car in the middle of Santa Monica Beach to immerse people into the world of King Kong and promote the 3D aspect of the movie.

The campaign was very successful because it had people taking photos and sharing them on their social media platforms.

Copenhagen Zoo Tour Bus

A bus painted to look like a boa constrictor is wrapped around it

This type of guerilla marketing strategy is becoming increasingly common among companies. The Copenhagen Zoo made good use of it when they customized their tour bus by adding a large print out of a snake that looked as though it was constricting the bus.

This bus caight the attention of everyone who came across it and was a successful way of driving foot traffic to the Copenhagen Zoo.

OldTimer Rest Stop Billboard

OldTimer restaurant guerilla marketing billboard in Austria depicting a woman with her mouth open

Even though billboards are a traditional marketing form, they don't have to always be typical and boring. Take this OldTimer billboard for example. OldTimer is a highway stop restaurant chain in Austria and this billboard, which use imagery and humor, promotes them in a memorable.

The best part is the placing of the billboard. Since OldTimer is found along highways in Austria, customers are reminded of them when they might need a meal the most (while driving), which means they'll easily drive foot traffic to their restaurants.

Fiji Water at the Golden Globes

A celebrity poses at the Glden Globes red carpet while being photo bombed by a woman in a blue dress holding Fiji water on a tray

Fiji Water made use of event ambush guerilla marketing when they gate crashed the 2019 Golden Globes.

Models who were dressed in Fiji's brand colors stood in strategic places on the red carpet while holding trays of branded Fiji water for red carpet attendees. One model, named Kelleth Cuthbert, made sure to include herself in celebrity photos by standing in the background, making the photos go viral iunder the hashtag #FijiGirl, which gave the brand the publicity and awareness it was aiming for.

Conclusion

These are just a few examples of incredible brands coming together to create eye-catching guerilla marketing campaigns. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll most likely enjoy reading about the world's most epic brand partnerships and the impact they made in their respective industries.