Warning: Donkey Kong Loses His Pants

Ok, so maybe the title was slightly misleading. Nevertheless, it’s possibly the reason you decided to read more by either clicking through or scrolling down. Intrigue is a powerful feeling. It’s what makes us ‘push the red button’ when told not to. It also lends itself well to a concept called guerrilla marketing which is the subject of today’s article.

A term defined by Jay Conrad Levinson, guerrilla marketing (aka gorilla marketing) is a way of promoting products and services in surprising, original and unexpected ways. It leverages from creativity and alternative thinking and relies more on unconventional marketing strategies, time and energy as opposed to big budgets.

Favoured by small business, this type of marketing allows companies to create exciting and fresh campaigns that are designed to cause a buzz. For businesses that employ this type of marketing, a well crafted and executed idea is just another opportunity to go viral. By using imagination to connect with customers in new ways, brands can be remembered and associated with potentially ‘bizarre’ situations. This in turn can give rise to continued ‘word of mouth’ advertising. Great when it all comes together!

A Diverse Attack on the Unsuspecting

Incorporating a number of marketing methods including the use of digital mobile devices, social media and street campaigns, businesses can create highly interactive programs in order to maintain interest and continued communication with customers and prospects. With the focus being on individuals and small groups, businesses make the experience more personal which is always going to relate better to prospects.

Having said this, it’s not just for small business. Some of the big boys like Microsoft and Apple have employed these tactics. Companies are always on the lookout for new and unusual ways to attract and retain customers.

But Tell Me More!

A simple example of guerrilla marketing is this article’s headline. Was it highly relevant to the content? No. (Although it did play on words with the whole Donkey Kong — guerrilla — ape idea!) Did it grab your attention or raise your curiosity? Possibly. The point is that some viewers, like you, would have read on which is a good start.

But What Are Some Other Examples?

Another more exciting and larger scale advert featured in the US where the marketing team of the new Jackass 3D movie decided to make things interesting. Instead of your stock standard movie billboard, they expanded on it by incorporating a full 3D ski-style ramp. As it led up to the billboard, onlookers would divert their eyes across the 15 foot gap to find a jet skier half embedded (along with Jet Ski) in the wall ad. Needless to say, the concept made people stop in their tracks and no doubt got them talking. The marketing brains did something a little different while playing on the ‘3D’ aspect of the film.

You may also have heard of ‘flash mobs’ which can be used as a technique of guerrilla marketing. Essentially, this is where a group or ‘mob’ of people suddenly flood an area, perform an act of some kind and then disappear. If you’ve ever seen this occur, you’ll understand. The commotion it can cause is quite comical. While some people curiously watch and laugh, there are those more cautious who prefer to vacate the immediate area in a speedier fashion than the mob. However, done well, it can have a strong and immediate impact on brand and business awareness.

Punch Line

So while butchers don’t necessarily have to go out dressed as a cow holding a piece of meat in order to create lasting impressions it will surely raise an eyebrow if they do.

Have a crack and start the process by jotting down random ideas with the ‘words’ relevant to your campaign. You’ll be surprised just how many come to you when you open your mind to the absurd!

Oh and apologies for all those Donkey Kong lovers. No offence was intended!

Michael Soininen

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