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News Flash: Guerrilla Marketing Is NOT Show Business

In the chapter “What Guerrilla Marketing Is Not” in The Best of Guerrilla Marketing: Guerrilla Marketing Remix by Jay Conrad Levinson, he pointed out one very important idea that Guerrilla Marketing is NOT: Guerrilla Marketing Is NOT Show Business. Yes, the viral social media campaign may work. Yes, the social experiment may touch hearts. But, will they get people to remember your product? Guerrilla Marketing is not just about catching the target market’s attention. It is also all about finding strategies that will get them to remember the most important thing, the thing that’s central to all your efforts: your brand, your product, your very important offer. Your offer is central to everything. So, if the ad or marketing strategy you create forgets the cardinal rule that your brand or product should be remembered, then the campaign strategy has been useless.

Okay, we actually pointed out how memorable Uniqlo’s ads are. However, their viral ads missed out one thing: they failed to inform the market that they are a clothing brand.

Yes, the public may get curious about what Uniqlo is about and start googling the brand. But most will just enjoy the ads and forget about them. And so, this is the perfect example of how guerrilla marketing may have been used to get viral material out there. But, it is also the perfect example of how guerrilla marketing was applied in a manner that was pure show business and, ultimately, had vague results especially in terms of a product recall.

By contrast, let’s look at Dove’s marketing campaigns. The Real Beauty series certainly affected hearts worldwide. It drove home good values and redefined what “beauty” means. It reminded people, men, women, and everyone in between alike, that “Real Beauty” isn’t an airbrushed magazine cover. It reminded everyone that those they love are the most beautiful. It reminded women to stop being harsh to themselves. And it actually brought in brand loyalty as well.

Why was Dove’s campaign, intense and intensely interesting as it was, more of a better Guerrilla Marketing example compared to Uniqlo’s?

  • Because Dove sought something deeper than mere entertainment.

    Dove’s commercials drove home values that touched a chord deep in the hearts of their audience. The attack was very visceral, very emotional, and so, the effect was intense. The result was brand loyalty that was deeply rooted in people’s values across the globe.

  • Because Dove made their social experiments relevant to their products.

    Unlike Uniqlo whose ads made people laugh, and even sit up and take notice, but didn’t really connect the gimmicks to the actual products, Dove stuck to its line of specialty: beauty. Dove products are all about beauty, and their campaigns were also about beauty. People easily connected the campaign to the products.

  • Because Dove was already an established cornerstone in beauty.

    Let’s face it: Dove has built decades of efforts and brand and product reliability on its core products, their hypoallergenic soaps. With decades of product recall behind the relatively recent viral and guerrilla marketing social experiments, they have transcended entertainment simply because they already built trust and recall.

And so, in order for you to apply Dove’s best practices to your own brand, here are our tips:

  • Ensure that your guerrilla marketing campaign strategy connects the strategy to the product.

    Don’t make Uniqlo’s mistake to angle only for entertainment. Rather, go for finding the right mix that will allow your target market to connect your strategy with your products themselves.

  • If your product can benefit from something that strikes your market in a visceral way, choose ads and strategies that hit the gut.

    Something touching, something that reminds people of deep-seated values, something intense are all good for rooting brand and product recall deep in your market’s psyche.

  • As the book recommends, find a combination of two or more strategies, and do not just stick to one that works.

    As The Best of Guerrilla Marketing: Guerrilla Marketing Remix pointed out, it is a matter of finding the right combination and not just finding one strategy and running with it. Allot time to experiment and tweak your strategy over time.

Wow, this may sound all overwhelming, and you’re probably wondering how you can apply this to your business. Well, that’s what we’re here for. So contact us today, and we’ll help you build a perfect brand and product recall rooted in tried and tested, guaranteed effective Guerrilla Marketing strategies.

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About the Author Jesse Byron

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Guerrilla Marketing Tip:

One of the most widely distributed marketing pieces is a simple business card. Business cards date back to the 15th century in China. Take a look at your business card and ask these questions: #1 Can someone tell what you offer within a second or two? #2 Does your card stand out from the crowd? #3 Are you using the back of the card? #4 Do you have a specific call to action that is traceable back to the card?

If you answered no to any of the four questions, you have some work to do. Some Guerrilla Marketing business card tips: pick an odd shaped card or style. Plastic cards, even metal cards really stand out from the crowd. Re-design your card with the end prospect in mind. What value can you provide by transferring your business card to them?

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