Unconventional Advertising in the new age

Advertising can be manipulated and interpreted throughout various mediums of marketing. However, in the current age of marketing, it is important to portray a level of originality and uniqueness when delivering your message and promoting your idea. When approaching marketing with a different path than the traditional way of advertising – as long as it has been presented in an effective manner, it is easy to create a feeling of interest within the consumer. As advertising technology and ideas are advancing, it is imperative for a firm to stay competitive in the fight to remain relevant, and while current traditional methods such as print, video, social media, and other similar strategies should receive the majority of focus, it is important to occasionally explore the unconventional – methods such as guerrilla marketing.

Guerrilla marketing:

Inspired through use of irregular battle tactics and strategies from civilians to overthrow opposition in urban warfare is the term guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla marketing uses techniques such as the element of surprise including ambushing, sabotaging, and raiding; similar to the elements commonly seen within guerrilla-styled warfare (Creative Guerrilla Marketing, 2014).  The idea behind guerrilla marketing is to use the unconventional approach of advertising to catch the consumer off guard, creating an impactful impression that will work to spread awareness through its own being. In comparison to traditional forms of advertising, guerrilla marketing, “aim[s] to strike the consumer at a more personal and memorable level” (Creative Guerrilla Marketing, 2014). However the act of playing to a consumer’s personal side comes at a high risk. Guerrilla marketing is often a bold advertising technique that can be manipulated and implemented by all sizes of firms, but remains relatively cost efficient.

In a real world environment, guerrilla marketing takes its form through creativity and originality. A few examples include stealth marketing, flash mobs, sticker placement, graffiti, reality manipulation, and numerous different methods of product placement (Marrs, 2014).

Guerrilla marketing has become increasingly popular across North America, and has been picked up by notable brands such as Coca-Cola (Tugayeva, 2015). Coca-Cola has reached success through guerrilla marketing a few different times. In this article we take a look at one of their more recent uses of the technique that received air time in 2014. The team implemented a Coca-Cola wall-like structure with curvature that would naturally fit to that to a skateboard, and over a period of time, trial, and error the consumer’s caught on and began to use it as a ramp to skate off of.  This was an effective method as Coca-Cola created a connection between consumer and business through the passion of sport.

Another successful use of the technique was in BlinkBox’s advertising of the hit TV series, Game of Thrones. (Miller, 2013). Back in 2013, the marketing team for an on-demand streaming service in the UK called BlinkBox took the unorthodox approach of manually sculpting the skull of a dragon, and placing it within a beach that is known for its geological findings (Ad Age, 2013). The skull was inspired by a scene of the show where a character stumbles upon the remains of a dragon.  The remains were then captured on video, camera, smartphone, and devices alike by the public, immediately spreading the word and becoming viral. BlinkBox’s guerrilla marketing had been transmitted and delivered effectively.

BlinkBox's Game of Thrones Dragon Skull Sculpture

BlinkBox’s Game of Thrones Dragon Skull Sculpture


Advertising Age. (2013, July 17). In ‘Game of Thrones’ Stunt, Dragon Bones Wash Up on Beach. Retrieved from AD Age: http://adage.com/article/creativity-pick-of-the-day/game-thrones-stunt-dragon-bones-wash-beach/243144/).

Creative Guerrilla Marketing. (2014). What Is Guerrilla Marketing? Retrieved from http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/what-is-guerrilla-marketing/

Marrs, M. (2014, Sept 22). Guerrilla Marketing: 20+ Examples and Strategies to Stand Out. Retrieved from Wordstream: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/09/22/guerrilla-marketing-examples

Miller, M. (2013, July 19). Game of Thrones Stunt on British Beach Attracts Gargantuan Attention. Retrieved from Brandchannel: http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2013/07/19/Game-Of-Thrones-Dragon-071913.aspx

Tugayeva, M. (2015, January 15). Coca-Cola Creates a Logo You Can Skate On. Retrieved from Creative Guerrilla Marketing: http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/ambient-advertising-2/coca-cola-creates-logo-can-skate/

An introduction to the world of guerrilla marketing | Nick Wesley, January 19th 2015.

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