How Guerrilla Marketing Can Save You Money
Updated: Feb 18
It’s no secret that running a business can be expensive, especially when you’re first starting out.
But marketing doesn’t have to be another drain on your budget.
Companies big and small have used creative ways to make the most of their money using guerrilla marketing.
Guerilla marketing is a nontraditional form of marketing that uses alternative techniques to compensate for a small budget.
There are many ways this can be done, and it may take some experimenting to find what works for your brand. While you’re figuring out what works for you, let’s look at successful guerilla marketing campaigns that have worked in the past.
1. Reddit’s Stickers
Although Reddit has now become a popular media platform where people create communities to discuss shared interests, it would surprise many people to know that the company only ever spent $500 on marketing. But Reddit didn’t invest this money in online ads. No, they got creative.
According to one of Reddit’s founders, Alexis Ohanian, they spent this money on stickers. The Reddit logo was printed onto stickers and handed out everywhere, from events to people in the streets. They even stuck them up in public places.
Soon, the internet began to take notice. A viral trend emerged of people taking pictures of Reddit stickers in random places.
Many other businesses have also turned to stickers as a cheap way to raise brand awareness.
2. IT’s Balloons
Nearing the release of IT, the movie made headlines for its eye-catching promotional stunt in Sydney, Australia. Red balloons tied to storm drains were spotted all over the city with the words “It’s closer than you think.” spray-painted next to it.
For those of you who don’t know, IT is a horror movie about a clown who lives in the sewers and attacks the children of a small town every 27 years. Knowing this, the sight of the iconic red balloon is quite chilling.
The campaign was a simple, yet clever way to raise attention to the movie.
3. Troy Public Library Counter Campaign
Back in 2011, the city of Troy was facing budget cuts and was planning on closing the local library. Before it was decided, the library was given a last chance at life through a vote to either increase taxes to fund it or to shut it down for good.
A local anti-taxation group, Troy Citizens United, opposed the tax raise (although it would only require a .7% increase) and advocated for the closure. As it neared the election date, another group joined them out of the blue. This organization called themselves Safeguarding American Families.
Safeguarding American Families began putting up signs encouraging the closure of the Troy Public Library, saying they were going to have a book burning party to celebrate. The campaign soon gained media attention and sparked online outrage. Nevertheless, the group continued to organize its book-burning party.
Right before the vote, the Book Burning Party posted to their website, saying “A vote against the library is a vote to burn books.” Thus, it was revealed that this was a campaign to save the library all along. The vote ended up being in favor of saving the library.
Without the campaign, the Troy Public Library probably wouldn’t have gotten the media attention or emotional support of the public that it did.
4. Prison Break Cake Promo
Another media stunt was pulled by the television show, Prison Break. The show used celebrity marketing by sending cakes with a stick in the middle announcing the upcoming date for the new season. The intent was for the stunt to make its way onto social media and give free advertising for the show.
5. IKEA’s “Everyday Fabulous”
In 2006, IKEA ran a campaign called “Everyday Fabulous” where they turned everyday public spaces into decorated areas with their products. They decorated bus stations with tables and cushions and put curtains on train windows.
The campaign not only showcased how their products can transform a space but also brightened up public places.
Now that you know about past successful campaigns, you can start thinking about how to use guerrilla marketing to promote your own brand. This style of marketing has so much room to be creative and experimental. The key is to find what works best for you.