Best Guerrilla & Ambient Marketing 2010

Picking up where my last collection of Guerrilla Marketing ended in late November / early December last year, here’s 52 examples of some of the best Guerrilla Marketing that have appeared since then.

In the last six months beer brands and car manufacturers have been increasing their use of such tactics to rise above the marketing noise. Tactics have been small scale such as unusual business cards, large scale such as the Heineken Champions League stunt involving over 1,000 people, while social marketing (the selling of a change in attitude as opposed to products or services) continue to use guerrilla marketing as a way of making an impression on the viewer.

While few marketing campaigns are truly original, everything has its roots somewhere (that Heineken stunt is an elaboration on Candid Camera stunts that date back to the 1950′s), it is how they are applied to communicate the brand message is new and clever.

Here’s the list, in no particular order.

German Wings
This is taking the Guerrilla aspect of the marketing deep behind enemy lines. This video below German is for low cost airline German Wings and was shot on a rival Easyjet flight where they make fun of the no frills aspect by the UK carrier.

Quebec’s Ice Hotel
To promote this newly opened hotel in Quebec snowmen with the hotel’s logo began to appear around the city. The hotel is a sustainable business and so the owners wanted to go down an eco friendly route with their marketing. All with the support of city officials

Cargo Business Cards

I’ve featured clever business cards here before, the best ones are ones that get a sense of the business across in a stand out way. This example is for Tam Cargo in Brazil and folds into a small package.

Massage the Message

Business cards for a masseuse. The details remain invisible until gentle massaged.

Kenwood Car Stereo
A burning car placed in the centre of Milan still manages to play music thanks to the kenwood soundsystem

ChicagoTown V Dominos
No visual material for this, but I felt it was worth including. In Liverpool last December the frozen pizza co. followed Domino’s delivery drivers to their destinations. Once the Domino’s driver headed off a ChicagoTown rep would call to the door and offer the customer their money back and a ChicagoTown Takeaway frozen pizza instead. This was to reinforce the frozen pizza’s triumph in taste tests when pitted against Domion’s and Pizza hut.

Heineken Walk In Fridge

To support the TV ads featuring their walk in fridge, Heineken placed this giant boxes on the streets of Amsterdam to insinuate the giant fridges existed.

Mini Cooper

To show just how compact these cars are, Mini placed giant cardboard boxes on city streets made to look like the packaging off a new mini.

Mini Trooper

Mini continues its love affair with Guerrilla Marketing and erects a giant billboard to warn drivers of cops looking for traffic offenders

Mini V Porsche
Keeping with their Guerrilla theme Mini challenged Porsche (a much higher spec car) to a race on June 21st. The challenge wasn’t only made in this video, but on Facebook, in the New York Times and in several trade magazines. Below is the original challenge. In the end Porsche didn’t show, so mini provided their own Porsche. You can check out the race on their Facebook page.

Campaign Against Vandalism
Citizens in Pamplona in Northern Spain woke one morning to find city furniture covered in giant magenta price tags. This was to highlight the financial cost of cleaning up after vandalism and anti social behaviour in the region. Full size here.

Similar again, the online insurance firm bubble wrap the most accident prone street in Britan and renamed in Accident Avenue.

Cancer: Coffin Towels
How about this idea to highlight the dangers of over exposure to the sun – coffin shaped towels. It really drives home the point, but so not to ‘kill’ the mood at the beach the organisaers, Friends of cancer Patients, also gave out free sunscreen.

Cancer: Toe Tags
Keeping with the cancer theme these Toe Tags were attached to sunbathers who had fallen asleep in a park in Zurich on the hottest day last year. With the addition of a toe tag, the sleeping people looked like dead bodies in a morgue.


Gillette Bloody Tissue
Similar to the Twilight fangs idea of an earlier post this idea is for Gillette, where they placed what looked like a piece of bloody tissue over existing ads to promote their better quality blades. They did receive permission from the marketers to place the bloody tissue on the ads.


Stihl Leaf Blower
After every day, each page of this Autumn calendar automatically falls to the ground, just like a leaf. So buy Stihl Leaf Blowers.

Volkswagon Fast Lane Slide
Not to let Mini corner the marketing vehicular fun Volkswagon make their claim for the fun tag. Why take the long and boring route when you can have the faster and more fun route? In this video a slide placed beside a set of steps acts as the fun versus boring or the volkswagon way versus the others.

Nationwide Auto Insurance
A nice optical illusion advert that really stands out.

Framed Side Mirror
Instead of leaving a flyer on the windshield this company that specialises in framing, decorated the wing mirrors of cars.

McDonalds Steam
From January I found this to late to go into the McDonalds post from a while back. Nice and inventive again from the McD crew, see how the steam in the bus shelter ad reveals a hidden message?

McDonalds Steam 2
In a similar vein the fast food giant used steam from cooking its Angus burgers to project images onto it, on the roof of one of its stores in Puerto Rico – thus claiming to have created a new advertising medium.

McDonalds Paddy’s Day
Already featured elsewhere but its from 2010 and more than deserves its inclusion again.

Burger King
A nice idea from Burger King in Brazil. To prove burgers are made to order it comes with your face on it.

Ant Protest
I have featured fly’s being used for marketing in the past. This ad below features ants who are protesting against the Baygon incesticide product. The placards read ‘Stop the Killing, Stop Baygon’. The second video shows just how they got ants to protest.

AOK Germany
A German health insurance company installed these into their offices. Based on the proverb an apple a day keeps the doctor away, these are giant tubes with an apple corresponding to each day of the month. At the end of the month it gets refilled. Not sure if I’d really want to be trying the apples after the 2nd or 3rd week.

Toilet Advertising: Stickers
Usually toilet advertising appears in public bathrooms. However one book publisher took to putting stickers on the back of bottles that would normally appear in home toilets. The mesage? If your reading this, maybe its time to read a book?

A Thief in The House

Dos En Uno Gum
This Chilean chewing gum brand, known for its big bubbles flew this giant bubblegum balloon, with attached kid, over several cities in the country

Dutch Railway
To highlight to drivers stuck in traffic jams they might be better off taking the train DDB Amsterdam came up with this clever idea – to stick a short story on the back of a bus. Playing up just how long the driver is stuck behind the bus, when trains don’t have traffic jams

Dubai Metro
Still promoting public rail transport, these messages were left in dust on cars left at Dubai Airport

Universal King Kong Ride
To promote Universal’s new King Kong ride these massive King Kong like footprints and trashed vehicle were found on a nearby beach

Visa Pompei
Luggage carousels are popular when it comes to marketing, this one is made to look like flowing lava.

Gorrilaz in Belguim
To promote the recent Gorillaz album giant decals of the cartoon band memebers were palced at various locations around Belgium. Fans were then encouraged to go and get pictures taken with the band and to send them in, in return they were entered into a competition for tickets to a Gorillaz gig.

Alfa Romeo
Billboards turned into classified ads things.

Alfa Romeo Shopping Cart

Alzheimer Society
To highlight the plight of those with Alzheimer’s tourists and Hamburg locals were confronted by these a city map without any street names.

Dinosaur Meat
Look how powerful the Vitafresh technology is in this Bosch freezer, it has even kept Dinosaur meet fresh!

Hung New Zealand
Using billboard stands as part of the ad is nothing new, but this is a new twist on that again. Its for the HBO show ‘Hung’ about a high school teacher who uses his talent to become a male prostitute. Whats that ‘talent’? have a guess from this

KLM Comfort
This is from Manchester where KLM launched their economy comfort product with this…

Unusual Job Search
That famous Google job search from earlier this year is an instant classic. Here’s the video if you somehow missed it

Unusual Job Listings
Shield Security wanted to hire new staff with industry experience, so they went about this by advertising to staff at existing security check points. They did this by embedding steel letters into custom briefcases, which show up as a hidden messasge when run through an x-ray machine. Clever stuff

Ketchup Landmines

World Cup: Bavaria Beer
True Guerrilla Marketing – a small player with a tiny budget taking on the big boys with equally big pockets. When Fifa turned away 36 women from a Dutch game for wearing orange clothing because their clothes could infringe on Budweisers position as official sponsor of the world cup, little did they realise the whirlwind of publicity they would generate for the Bavaria Beer brand. Read more here.

World Cup: Kululu Air
The low cost South African airline Kululu Air is flying Sepp Blatter all around the country. It’s just a marketing stunt to drill up some free publicity for the airline. it’s not the real Sepp but a dog with the same name. Not to be confused with the real Sepp Blatter.

Kit Kat Chair
From Auckland these Kit Kat ad’s can be re-assembled into a chairGreenpeace at Nestle Shareholder Meeting

To highlight the plight of Orang-utans at the hands of Nestle, Greenpeace came up with this idea;

The Zoning Plan
This is Greenpeace taking a flashmob and turning it on its head to highlight what would happen if a nuclear cloud spread over a country – people would literally drop. Of course those not in on the flashmob are suddenly shocked when everyone around them drops to the ground as if dead. I’m not 100% sure but I think something like this happened recently in Dublin.

13th Street Interactive Horror
This is kind of clever an interactive horror cinema trailer to promote a horror film channel in Germany.

Nissan Micra Sunroof Cinema
There’s been a shift towards getting more adventurous in cinema advertising, the above example shows how ads are trying to break through any noise or clutter to connect with the viewer in new ways that will generate buzz. Another example was this from Ikea (No 15 on my list of Ikea marketing from here). Now Nissan do something similar with a projection onto the roof of a cinema to emulate the opening of a sunroof on their Nissan Micra. I guess when you look at the environment of a cinema it does have certain boundaries within which brands can play – Ikea used the screen, 13th Street Horror used audience participation and this plays with the darkness and the shape of the cinema. It’s not clear what is on the cinema screen as the sun roof opens, video shot from the drivers point of view would work well. Either way this increased test drive requests by 19% in Germany.