Definition of Unconventional Advertising

Unconventional advertising refers to a marketing strategy that utilizes non-traditional or unconventional mediums and tactics to communicate promotional messages. It aims to pique audience interest, engage consumers, and create buzz with the unexpected. Examples include guerrilla marketing, experiential marketing, and viral campaigns.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword “Unconventional Advertising” is:/ʌnkənˈvɛnʃənəl ˈædvərˌtaɪzɪŋ/You can break it down into separate sounds as follows:Un-con-ven-tion-al: /ʌn-kən-ˈvɛn-ʃən-əl/Advertising: /ˈæd-vər-ˌtaɪz-ɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Unconventional advertising is attention-grabbing, as it utilizes out-of-the-box ideas and creative concepts to reach target audiences in surprising and unexpected ways.
  2. It offers cost-effective solutions for businesses, as it can rely on non-traditional and low-cost advertising channels, as well as generating organic engagement through word of mouth or viral content.
  3. Unconventional advertising can better resonate with audiences by evoking emotions, creating memorable experiences, and tying the brand to meaningful social causes or events.

Importance of Unconventional Advertising

Unconventional advertising is an important digital marketing term because it encapsulates the various creative and innovative techniques that marketers use to capture their audience’s attention and differentiate themselves from competitors.

These methods often deviate from traditional advertising channels, allowing marketers to create unique and memorable experiences for their target audience.

By leveraging non-traditional platforms or formats, unconventional advertising has the potential to engage consumers on a deeper level, making a lasting impact on brand perception and fostering brand loyalty while cutting through the ‘noise’ of the crowded advertising landscape.

Ultimately, unconventional advertising is an invaluable digital marketing tool that helps businesses stand out in the market, drive consumer engagement, and generate long-term ROI.


Unconventional advertising, as the name implies, diverges from traditional marketing approaches and embraces innovative strategies to capture the attention and imagination of the target audience. The primary purpose of this form of advertising is to break through the noise and clutter of conventional marketing messages, evoke strong emotional responses, and create a lasting impression on the viewers. This type of advertising often makes use of guerrilla marketing, viral campaigns, and experiential marketing techniques to achieve remarkable results with low investment.

It goes beyond product promotion and seeks to build a memorable association between the brand and the audience, fostering long-term customer loyalty and engagement. Unconventional advertising proves highly effective because it resonates with today’s fast-paced and highly-saturated media environment. Traditional promotional methods like print ads, billboards, and TV commercials are becoming increasingly ineffective due to their overexposure and consumers’ diminishing attention spans.

Unconventional advertising serves as an antidote to this advertising fatigue, utilizing unexpected platforms, tactics, and unique storytelling methods that drive consumers to engage with and share the brand message. This ultimately leads to increased brand awareness, improved customer retention, and amplified organic reach. The true power of unconventional advertising lies in its ability to harness creativity and inspire word-of-mouth marketing, empowering brands to truly stand out from the crowd.

Examples of Unconventional Advertising

Guerrilla Marketing: This form of unconventional advertising involves creating surprising, memorable, and innovative marketing campaigns in public spaces. Examples include the 2007 “Adult Swim” campaign in Boston, where LED displays of characters from the TV network were placed around the city, sparking curiosity and conversation. Another example was when a Swedish shampoo brand called Apolosophy used subway trains to create a live display by placing an ad on the subway wall with a woman’s image whose hair appeared to be blowing in the wind as the train arrived and left the station. The unexpected ad placement caught the attention of commuters and went viral online.

Social Media Influencers: This unconventional advertising strategy involves partnering with popular social media influencers to promote a brand or its products. A real-world example is the collaboration between Lord Timepieces, a watch brand, and Scott Disick, a reality TV star and Instagram influencer. Scott Disick regularly featured Lord Timepieces watches in his Instagram posts, resulting in a significant increase in sales for the brand. Another example includes the partnership between Daniel Wellington, a watch brand, and numerous Instagram influencers who would often post about the brand with a specific hashtag, resulting in widespread exposure and an increased customer base.

Ambient Advertising: This tactic involves integrating ads in unexpected areas of the environment. A real-world example is when Coca-Cola placed their “Happiness Machine” in a college campus, which was a revamped vending machine that dispensed free Coca-Cola products, t-shirts, and even pizzas, to delight and surprise students. Videos of the event went viral, generating significant buzz around the brand. Another example of ambient advertising was when IKEA, a Swedish furniture company, transformed a subway station in Paris into a makeshift showroom by decorating the space with their furniture. Commuters could not only view but also try out the furniture, which created curiosity and market interest for the brand.

Unconventional Advertising FAQ

What is unconventional advertising?

Unconventional advertising, also known as guerrilla marketing, refers to the use of creative, unexpected, and often low-cost methods to promote a product or service. It relies on surprise and unconventional tactics to engage consumers and create buzz around a brand.

What are some examples of unconventional advertising?

Examples of unconventional advertising include flash mobs, graffiti, stickers, interactive installations, and product placements in unusual locations. These methods often blur the line between advertising and art, making them more memorable and engaging for the audience.

What are the benefits of unconventional advertising?

Unconventional advertising can be more cost-effective compared to traditional advertising methods, as it often relies on creativity and grassroots efforts rather than large budgets. It can also create a lasting impact on the audience due to its unique nature, helping brands to stand out in a crowded market.

What are the drawbacks of unconventional advertising?

Unconventional advertising can sometimes be perceived as intrusive or disrespectful, particularly if the method of promotion is not aligned with the targeted audience’s values or preferences. It also carries the risk of the message getting lost or misunderstood amongst the unconventional tactics used.

How can I implement unconventional advertising for my business?

When considering unconventional advertising for your business, start by identifying the message you want to convey and the audience you want to reach. Then think creatively about ways to deliver that message in a unique and engaging manner. Consider partnering with local artists, influencers, or community groups to help bring your idea to life. Remember to closely monitor the results and feedback from your campaign to ensure that your unconventional advertising efforts are effective and well-received by your target audience.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Guerrilla Marketing
  • Experiential Marketing
  • Viral Marketing
  • Ambient Advertising
  • Stealth Marketing

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