By: Madeline Rose
For all the money spent on TV spots and print ads what someone sees on route to work leases a shallow impression compared to what a friend tells them about the same product. Word of mouth is invaluable in brand marketing and recognition, and to get people talking about a brand advertisers often need a little extra creativity. Guerrilla marketing is alive and well and as more typical advertising campaigns grow more pervasive in society the guerrilla tactics used grow steadily more outlandish.
This past Summer, Y&R Dubai took an outside of the box approach when trying to increase subscribers and social media traffic for Gulf News-an English daily paper. Upon analyzing consumption habits and linking a daily paper to a morning cup of coffee, the agency structured an innovative campaign around another client and international coffee chain, Tim Hortons. The advertising medium they developed to target consumers during that vital time of day was ‘Headline News’ coffee cup sleeves. Special printers were used by select Tim Hortons locations to print the most recent headline news tweet from the Gulf News Twitter account as the consumer orders his/her cup of coffee. Walking away with a news tweet from within the hour a consumer can get an immediate dose of the news with a cup of coffee and read more on the story at the paper’s website, as encouraged by the URL on the sleeve. The results spoke for themselves as within the first two weeks of launching the tactic the News Gulf twitter attained almost 3,000 new followers and increased traffic on their main site by 41%. Having had a booming start the sleeves continue to expand in influence and location.
Recently one campaign has taken to the streets- and the parks and the offices. Some Twitter followers of the Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers chain have had the favor returned to them, but not just on twitter. Mel and Dude, giant mushroom mascots, have been seen stalking their Twitter followers, and generally taking them out to pizza once they’ve finished terrifying them. By contacting friends and family of Twitter followers through Twitter and Facebook the minds at Fitzgerald and Co. devised situations where the mascots could access and stalk their followers, along with a camera crew. The videos produced are set to horror music and meant to amuse consumers with the threatening tagline: Follow Us and We’ll Follow You.
One of the most successful recent PR stunts is also the most forward thinking. After a seven month long campaign Red Bull tested human capability by facilitating Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere. Following his 24 mile tumble Red Bull took a huge public and financial risk, and it paid off. The company amassed major social media attention, and Felix made it safely to the ground after falling at 800 mph.
Not all successful guerrilla marketing tactics require a company spend as much as Red Bull did, because generally the subversive methods include flash mobs and graffiti. However the money may be well spent as the sleeves, the stalking and jumps are coming up with quantitative results, and going miles further than a billboard.