Definition of Guerrilla Advertising

Guerrilla advertising, also known as guerrilla marketing, is an unconventional and low-cost promotional strategy that aims to create a memorable and impactful message for a brand or product. It often involves the use of surprise, creativity, and limited targeting to engage consumers both mentally and emotionally. This type of advertising relies heavily on innovative techniques and non-traditional channels, making it more effective for small businesses with limited budgets.


The phonetic transcription of “Guerrilla Advertising” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is:/ɡəˈrɪlə ˈædvərˌtaɪzɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Guerrilla Advertising is a creative and unconventional marketing strategy that focuses on low-cost promotions to reach target audiences in innovative ways.
  2. It aims to create memorable experiences, generate buzz, and stimulate word-of-mouth marketing, often leading to increased brand awareness and consumer engagement.
  3. Guerrilla Advertising may include tactics such as public stunts, viral campaigns, street art, or unique partnerships, often leveraging social media and other digital platforms to maximize reach and impact.

Importance of Guerrilla Advertising

Guerrilla Advertising is an important digital marketing term because it represents an innovative, unconventional, and cost-effective approach to promoting a product or service.

This marketing strategy allows businesses, especially those with limited budgets, to make a significant impact on their target audience by using creative, memorable, and often surprising tactics.

Guerrilla advertising enables companies to stand out from their competitors, create buzz, and generate viral engagement.

It not only helps in increasing brand awareness and fostering positive associations with the brand but also has the potential to achieve higher return on investment (ROI) due to its cost-effective nature and long-lasting impressions on consumers.


Guerrilla Advertising serves as an unconventional marketing strategy that aims to seize the attention of consumers through innovative, often unexpected, and cost-effective tactics. The primary purpose of this approach is to maximize exposure, create memorable brand experiences, and foster positive associations with the target audience.

This form of advertising seeks to capitalise on the element of surprise, as well as harness the power of creativity in order to make a lasting impact on consumers, generating buzz and effectively differentiating the brand from its competitors. Guerrilla Advertising is often employed by businesses looking to achieve a high return on their modest marketing investments, particularly those with limited budgets or those seeking to target niche market segments.

By utilising unconventional methods such as street art, flash mobs, or viral videos, brands are able to foster organic conversations and effectively engage their target audience without relying on expensive mass media channels. By doing so, Guerrilla Advertising not only swiftly raises brand awareness but also generates emotional connections with consumers, sparking word-of-mouth marketing and establishing brand loyalty, all of which are invaluable assets in an increasingly saturated and competitive marketplace.

Examples of Guerrilla Advertising

UNICEF’s Dirty Water Campaign: In 2010, UNICEF created a guerrilla advertising campaign to raise awareness about the lack of clean drinking water in developing countries. They set up a vending machine in New York City that sold ‘dirty water’ in various flavors such as malaria, cholera, and typhoid. Each bottle was priced at $1, which represented the cost of providing clean water to a child for 40 days. This campaign caught the attention of passers-by and generated significant social media buzz, leading to increased awareness and donations to support the cause.

IKEA’s ‘Be The Everyday Hero’ Campaign: In 2010, IKEA launched a guerrilla marketing campaign in Paris where they installed fully furnished living spaces at high traffic metro stations. This campaign aimed to show the benefits of IKEA products in optimizing small living spaces. Commuters were able to sit, relax, and interact with the displayed furniture. Photos of the installations spread quickly on social media platforms, and the campaign was considered highly successful in showcasing IKEA’s smart and functional design solutions.

Coca-Cola’s ‘Happiness Machine’: As part of their global ‘Open Happiness’ marketing campaign, Coca-Cola placed a vending machine on a college campus that handed out free products and surprises to students. When a student selected a drink, the machine would dispense not only the selected drink but also additional Coca-Cola products, pizza, sunglasses, or a 2-meter-long sandwich. The students’ reactions were recorded and turned into a viral video on social media, generating widespread positive buzz about Coca-Cola and their campaign message of spreading happiness.

Guerrilla Advertising FAQ

What is guerrilla advertising?

Guerrilla advertising is an unconventional and creative marketing strategy that aims to reach the target audience in unique ways with a low budget. It often relies on elements of surprise, shock, and humor to make a strong impact and generate word-of-mouth publicity.

What are some examples of guerrilla advertising tactics?

Examples of guerrilla advertising tactics include graffiti, flash mobs, PR stunts, free samples, ambush marketing, viral videos, pop-up shops, and street art. These tactics aim to create memorable experiences for the audience and encourage them to share their experience with others.

What are the benefits of guerrilla advertising?

Guerrilla advertising can be cost-effective, as it often relies on low-cost promotional methods that can still generate a high level of awareness and engagement. It can also help brands stand out in a crowded market and create lasting impressions with memorable campaigns. Additionally, guerrilla advertising has the potential to go viral and reach new audiences organically through social sharing.

What are the risks of guerrilla advertising?

Guerrilla advertising can be risky because it often uses controversial or disruptive tactics that may not appeal to everyone, potentially leading to negative publicity or backlash. Additionally, some guerrilla advertising methods may cross legal or ethical boundaries, and fail to deliver the desired results. It’s essential to carefully plan and consider potential outcomes when implementing a guerrilla advertising campaign.

How can I integrate guerrilla advertising into my marketing strategy?

To integrate guerrilla advertising into your marketing strategy, start by identifying your target audience, goals, and budget. Next, brainstorm creative ways to reach your audience that are unconventional and embody the essence of your brand. Finally, execute your campaign with a focus on creating engaging experiences and monitoring the campaign’s results. Be prepared to adapt your approach as needed and take calculated risks to create memorable marketing moments.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Publicity Stunts
  • Experiential Marketing
  • Ambient Advertising
  • Subvertising
  • Wild Postings

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