Guerilla marketing collaborations to inspire your brand
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 and inspire you with great guerilla marketing ideas, 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.
Although not the most creative guerrilla marketing ideas, these are thought by some as being the most effective.
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 guerrilla marketing examples out there.
Coca Cola, Manhattan and a graffiti artist
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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' creative marketing campaign 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. That's one of the more cost effective guerrilla marketing ideas deployed by a major brand that we've seen.
Bounty's Giant Popsicle
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
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
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 guerrilla marketing campaigns.
Mr. Clean's White Crosswalk
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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
These are just a few examples of incredible brands coming together to create eye-catching guerilla marketing campaigns. Some of these guerrilla marketing campaigns obviously had large budgets but I think you can see that to deploy guerrilla marketing tactics you need creativity more than you need money. Event ambush can be very cost effective and the Guinness pool cue wrap was probably the cheapest marketing campaign Guinness had ever done.
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.
If you're inspired by how brands can work together you should also learn more about how brands use cross promotion to accelerate their growth.
What is Intribe?
Intribe helps brands partner up to enjoy collaborative partnership marketing opportunities. Our clients tell us this delivers 10x the conversions of traditional advertising channels.
We are currently running an early bird discount of 75% off our normal prices.Find your perfect partner today - no payment needed!