Through channels like YouTube or Facebook, companies can prepare information in an entertaining way and draw user attention.
In today’s world, neither punching, stabbing or firearms are required to defeat an opponent or competitor. Rather, a lot of money and reasonably original ideas are necessary for a “great war”. With little money, only “small wars” can be waged – whereby the prospect of success depends directly on the quality of the ideas. The most important thing in guerrilla marketing is creativity. A lot has changed here in recent years.
When Jay Conrad Levinson, the intellectual father of guerrilla marketing, published his book “Guerrilla Marketing – Offensive Advertising for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises”, the World Wide Web was still in its infancy. No trace of Facebook & Co. His suggestions were correspondingly conventional, for example tips on designing newspaper advertisements, advertising letters or radio spots. Today, on the other hand, social networks and online communities are the ultimate in guerrilla marketing: many millions, usually consumer-friendly, advertising-relevant users who can be reached virtually free of charge.
However, the network as such is only the transport medium for the message. Basically, a sensational action is required, which is reported in texts, photos or videos. If the user feels entertained and informed, for example through a video on YouTube, he will pass on the link – and trigger a PR avalanche that classic word-of-mouth propaganda cannot achieve so quickly.
Information through entertainment
The question remains: what are these actions, the publication of which in social networks and communities provide topics of conversation and advertising impact? The simplest and at the same time the most cost-effective are, for example, quotes from famous personalities, in keeping with current events and backed up with effective photos. The images can be uploaded to the company’s Facebook page at regular intervals. If the statement and quality are correct, there are a number of users who like and recommend this page.
Actions that involve the user individually in the action are significantly more effective, but also more expensive. One of the pioneers here is the Swedish company Tackfilm. The visitor to the website uploads his portrait photo, and a few minutes later it is an integral part of an advertising film. In their current campaign, this also works with a webcam connected to the PC.
The webcam or a small video camera (the image quality is of secondary importance) is already well suited for the production of popular videos in the style of “caution camera”: the device is installed hidden and documents the reaction of the audience to unusual, even provocative actions. The films are then uploaded to YouTube and linked via Facebook. An example that caused a sensation in the United States:
A long-legged model with a very short skirt strolls along a shop window (with appropriate advertising posters from the company, a laundry shop) and is occasionally blown up from below through a grate shaft in the floor. The Marilyn Monroe effect also caused funny reactions for the bystanders – and for the author of the YouTube video for a strong increase in sales.
The action of a music shop, which was disadvantaged in a shopping center by a high staircase to the sales rooms, was similar:
The owner bought a cheap electronic home organ, glued the pressure sensors on the buttons to the stairs, put black and white painted aluminum sheets on top of them and reconnected the sensors to the organ and an amplifier. A webcam broadcast the reaction of the people who suddenly used the musical stairs in droves to the Internet. The webcam page has been viewed several million times.
The subliminal advertising effect is essential for audiovisual guerrilla campaigns that aim to pass on links. If the product or service does not match the content of the message, the shot can backfire. If companies plan such a measure themselves, they should carefully consider what their target group is most interested in. And remember that the level between embarrassment and acceptance is often very narrow.