All About Guerrilla Marketing – with examples!

Leave a lasting impression in YOUR consumers’ minds by using non-traditional marketing that is creative and original without spending a large amount allocated from your marketing budget.

6 Amazing Guerrilla Marketing Ads

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla Marketing is the creation of unconventional methods to boost product/service sales or attract interest in a brand or business. It is often low to no cost and involves the widespread use of more personal interactions or viral social media messaging. Back in the 1960s, the average person back then was exposed to around 560 advertisements a day yet on average only noticed 76. With Guerrilla marketing, customers can have higher chances of noticing a brand’s advertisement, offering new and unusual opportunities to counter the increasing consumer aversion to advertising.

The term “guerrilla” had originated within the military, diminutive of the Spanish word for war “Guerra”. Guerrilla refers to a non-tactical army, loosely organized, fighting a bigger and more organized force whose goal was to weaken the stronger opponent in certain spots⁸. Marketers used a similar approach to implement advertisements in their unconventional nature to pursue conventional goals of reaching a larger target audience⁹. Instead of fighting against a bigger and more organized army force, marketers are metaphorically against competitors with similar forces as they have bigger budgets and have establishments themselves in the market.

Heineken Boxes Walk-in Fridge

4 Types of Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing takes place either outdoors, indoors, or during an event with strategies and tools that aid the implementation of their campaign.

1) Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing

Adds something to pre-existing urban environments like putting something removable onto a statue or putting temporary artwork on sidewalks and streets

2) Indoor Guerrilla Marketing

Similar to Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing, only it takes place in indoor locations like a train station, shop or University Campus Building

3) Event Ambush Guerrilla Marketing

Leveraging the audience of an in-progress event (concert/sporting game) to promote a product or service in a noticeable way, usually without permission from the event sponsors

  • Direct Ambush Marketing
  • Indirect Ambush Marketing

4) Experiential Guerrilla Marketing

All of the above, but executed in a way that requires the public to interact with the brand

These marketing tactics fall under earned media concepts as it is free publicity generated by consumers, PR, and influences who share, mention, or repost the brand’s event or product. Guerrilla Marketing can take on smaller brick-and-mortar strategies like Viral Marketing (EWOM), Stealth Marketing, Ambush, Graffiti, Stickers, Undercover Marketing, Clickbait Ads, Flash Mobs, Publicity Stunts, Treasure Hunts, and Urban Environments.

A personal favourite Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing of mine is in an urban structure format that shows McDonald’s fries on a crosswalk, demonstrating outdoor Guerrilla street marketing. This takes place outdoors bringing street elements into play while also providing value to consumers as it provides them a safe space to walk.

McDonald’s Fries Painted on Crosswalk

Three General Categories of Guerrilla Marketing

1) Infectious Guerrilla Marketing

  • Viral Marketing
  • Guerrilla Mobile

2) Surprise Guerrilla Marketing

  • Ambient Marketing
  • Sensation Marketing

3) Ambush Marketing

A popular tool used in addiction to Guerrilla Marketing is Ambient Marketing where a business disrupts the flow of things by placing ads at unconventional places to increase brand awareness creatively.

These 2 Examples clearly illustrate this Ambient Marketing tool:

BIC’s Razor in the Middle of a Field

Dracula Billboard Ad After Sunset

Why Does It Work?

Three Dimensions evoke motives for consumers to share which are self-enhancement, affinity, and emotions. Some consumers might repost a Guerrilla Marketing Event because they want to achieve impression management or obtain approval or membership cues, allowing people to self-enhance from motivation sharing in viral marketing.

The Dracula Advertisement above motivates sharing as people are glad to experience and share with others what they see on the Billboard Ad after sunset. It shows impression management as consumers appreciate the time and effort used to create this art. Moreover, there is a storytelling part in this advertisement as Vampires do not come out in the morning as well so there is cognitive arousal as consumers have to understand why.


There are 4 Types of Guerrilla Marketing that can be implemented with tools to increase various dimensions of customers’ motivations to share about a particular product or service to achieve either self-enhancement, affinity, or other emotions.

By having more creative freedom and unpredictability in your advertisements, you challenge consumers who desire some fun in their products or services.

Kayla Chong
Kayla Chong

Kayla is a passionate digital marketer, the social media manager of Gotcha Fresh Tea Clayton, Previous Publicity Director and Marketing Officer of Malaysians Of Melbourne University (MoMU), one of the largest Malaysian Student Associations in Australia & Founder of Diamond Marketing Co. She has always aimed to drive brand awareness through integrated marketing campaigns, help build brand equity and offer quality consumer experience. Kayla brings a diverse number of certifications and 3+ years of experience to every role where she's dedicated herself to convincing consumers the brands' products help solve consumers' problems.