We've talked before about how color can be an extremely powerful and effective tool to help stand out from the clutter and noise of our visually-oversaturated culture. That is why phenomenon known as "ghost bikes" are becoming the center of attention. Although the nature of this guerrilla case study is a bit grim and somber, the simplicity and intensity of the now-iconic bikes has been extremely successful at raising awareness for bicyclists and their rights to share the road with motorists.
The first ghost bike showed up in St. Louis in October of 2003 and was the product of a man by the name of Patrick Van Der Tuin after he witnessed a bicyclist get struck by an automobile. Feeling compelled to demonstrate to motorists their role in the spike of bicycle accidents, Van Der Tuin painted a skeleton-like bicycle a shivering shade of white and placed it at the scene of the accident to which he bore witness. A white sign with hand-drawn red letters that spelled out "Cyclist Struck Here" was then placed on the bike to serve as a reminder that safety should come first on the road.
Van Der Tuin, with the help of some friends, then erected more ghost bikes around St. Louis at sites where people on bikes were struck. The phenomenon gained lots of attention, and in the past five years ghost bikes have spread to 42 cities in eight countries worldwide, with an especially active group in New York City.
Despite the fact that these bikes are more of a political statement than a memorial, they are nonetheless extremely effective as a visual manifestation of a cause. The best guerrilla and marketing campaigns are those that are simple but striking. This campaign definitely embodies both. Clean, simple items are a great way to get your company noticed, especially in today's overwhelming visual culture. Products that are iconic, durable, and that possess style, like promotional sunglasses or promotional water bottles give companies an extra leg-up on the competition and keep the brand at the forefront of the consumer's mind.
Photographs by Christopher Griffith, in conjunction with New York Magazine.
Via: Boing Boing.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
In order to promote "The Dark Knight," the follow-up to "Batman Begins" from back in 2005, a national pseudo political campaign was launched to create buzz for the opening of the movie on July 18. For the past several months, the street team road tour traveled to 33 different cities across the United States, including Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle and everywhere in between.
In each city, rallies were held, petitions were signed, and people were allowed to indulge in the politics of Gotham City. Promotional stickers, promotional t-shirts and promotional buttons--among other promotional items--were handed out at each stop across the U.S. These items were an effective way to tap into a sense of patriotism and political action of this election year and definitely garnered awareness of the movie and its upcoming release. This just goes to show that the right promotional products used in the correct circumstance and for the proper brand or event can be an extremely effective and successful means by which to increase a company's return on investment (ROI).
Thursday, June 26, 2008
If the Hulk were to take the form of an automobile - this would be it. No - just kidding...but seriously, these cars take the word "green" to the next level! Cars in both the United States and Europe have recently been outfitted with furry green exteriors. Now, I'm not sure if they are using astroturf or real grass, but I think the concept is similar to a Chia pet. Part of me also wonders what sort of adhesive is used to bind the greenery to the cars; but the point of this wacky promotion is to promote awareness of the environment and the impact that we have on our surroundings.
Although this type of promotion has been used previously, for other purposes, it is undeniably attention-getting and a clever way to break through all of the visual clutter that we experience on a daily basis. Think about it: what sort of reaction would you have if you saw one of these cars driving down the street? It certainly gets people talking and generates word-of-mouth, which is what truly successful guerrilla marketing campaigns accomplish.
With the resurgence of environmentalism and rise of organic and "green" products, it can be difficult to position one's company as environmentally responsible and not simply a business that has jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak. In the end, though, every little bit counts. Think of original ways to use environmentally-friendly promotional products and organic promotional products imprinted with your company's logo as a means to showcase dedication to the environment in a fun, personal way.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's one thing to promote a brand through the clever use of guerrilla marketing. On the other hand, it's completely different to enact something so bright and drastic that it changes an entire town. The latter is what happened in the town of Drachten in the Netherlands. Artist Henk Hofstra painted one kilometer of a street in the town a light blue color. Despite the slogan painted into the street itself - "Water is Life" - the purpose of painting the road was not to raise awareness of conserving water, but rather to help citizens of Drachten to visualize what the area will be like when the street is converted back into its original state - a canal. Take a look at the pictures above - it's amazing what 4000 liters (~1057 gallons, U.S.) of paint can do to raise awareness for an event.
Although the painting of streets has been done before, the color and expanse of street were truly relevant to demonstrate to the citizens of the town the changes that will take place because of the reinstatement of the waterway. This creative guerrilla promotion goes to show you that a little color goes a long way. For your next promotional venture, consider colorful products like promotional pens or promotional tote bags with your logo that will stand out from the drab and mundane. This will ensure that your brand gains visibility and recall - two extremely important factors when one wants to purchase a product.
Via: Vanksen Culture Buzz.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Lego enlisted the help of the Publicis Mojo Brisbane advertising agency in order to generate buzz for the grand opening of the Lego Education Center in Brisbane, Australia. The creative guerilla campaign that took place used the bubble safety mats located around the city as a place to put colorful promotional stickers that made the bubble mats appear as if they were legos.
This was a quick, clever, and simple way to associate the product with a realistic environment. The colorful and environmentally-friendly products used to turn the bubble mat into legos surely drew attention and generated the buzz that Lego desired. This genius use of promotional stickers could be successful and effective for other brands as well, as long as the stickers were used in the right manner and not simply handed out.
Via: I Believe In Advertising.
Monday, June 23, 2008
This guerilla promo is in the same vein as the guerilla case study on Ikea's grand opening in Brooklyn, which we covered last week. To raise awareness and generate buzz for the April 14 grand opening of a new Ikea store in Port Island, Japan, Ikea gave the Kobe Portliner Monorail a trendy furniture makeover! Complete with couches, upholstery, and curtains, the trains became moving showrooms for the furniture giant. With a decorated exterior, it would certainly be difficult to not see the train coming!
As we discussed before, Ikea is a great example of a company that is able to connect to its customers, allowing them to interact with the product. Hands-on experiences like this are essential in the minds of some customers, and this gives Ikea a physical presence outside of their stores, connecting to the everyday lives of individuals. This is also similar to the Hugo Boss subway takeover that we covered previously, which was also extremely effective.
Because of the nature of the subway as a vehicle to transport mass amounts of people, these marketing efforts are smart and simple ways to increase the number of possible impressions for your promotional plan, therefore increasing its impact. Ikea's genius use of the space and interactivity of furniture on a subway train makes this a clever guerilla promotional effort. The key to any effective guerilla marketing campaign is to relate your product with a specific environment. This type of lifestyle branding has a strong emotional connection with consumers that attempts to establish long-term relationships that are fruitful to both parties involved. Hence, this could be done with promotional reusable water bottles, or custom promotional t-shirts. In the effort, a subway--or another high-traffic location--could be turned into a kitchen or closet to create a pseudo product environment where consumers can interact with your brand and build emotional connections with it in the process.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Last week, from June 7-10, fake Canadian bills were randomly placed around the Canadian National Council for the Advancement of Education's 2008 conference in Kelowna, British Columbia. As conference-goers went about their daily activities as planned, they stumbled across the fake Canadian bills and thought they had a stroke of luck. In reality, on the back of the bills the contact information of the Vice President of External Affairs for SAIT Polytechnical in Canada.
This creative and clever use of fake money, along with the slogan "apparently you have a knack for finding money" were extremely effective as a way of advertising SAIT Polytechnical's search to find a fundraising person for the school. For other companies that are also in the business of money, it's a popular trend to utilize money-themed promotional products, such as promotional money bags stress balls and promotional money clips to create visibility and awareness for their brands through giveaways and corporate gifts.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This recent campaign by Pieter-Jan Fraussen, a Belgian designer on behalf of the "stop poverty" campaign in Belgium, showcased 60 pillows with the slogan "still too many people sleep in the street." The pillows were located on the Meir, a main shopping street in the city of Antwerp.
Although this reminds me of the Israeli Food Bank Campaign, the focus is slightly different. The slogans are very similar, but they are simple and powerful. As you can see above, people stopped and interacted with the pillows, spreading awareness for the cause. The pillow directs people to sign a petition at this website as a means to make a change.
This clever guerilla promo was effective because it received coverage on several Dutch blogs and other media, and definitely got people talking about the cause. It might be a good strategy for a business to try using promotional pillows or even promotional travel kits as a practical promotion that can be creatively tied into a guerrilla marketing effort.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
By the time you read this, the two-day-long lines of people waiting outside of the new Ikea store in Brooklyn will have had their wait come to an end. The grand opening of the Ikea in Red Hook, a Western port neighborhood in Brooklyn, occurred today, June 18, at 9 AM; but the hype around the store's opening has been building for some time.
Over the past couple of weeks, Ikea constructed mini "pop up" apartments that were placed all around Brooklyn to create buzz around the store's grand opening. The exterior of the pop up aparments was literally a box with "unpack June 18" printed on it to remind passers-by and those interacting with the sets of the date of the grand opening. This was also done in accordance with their traditional media advertising campaign, as you can see in the video above.
Although Ikea has utilized this same clever and creative guerrilla promotional technique in other countries, and the same guerrilla principle has been used for other campaigns such as one for Amnesty International, this is an extremely effective way for Ikea to reach out to the citizens of New York City--Brooklyn in particular--and get them involved with the brand and the product. Points of interaction like this are crucial in establishing long-term, fruitful relationships with customers, and are great for building hype for grand openings.
Businesses frequently use miniature versions of their product to allow customers to sample it before purchasing--for example, mini Sharpie ® permanent markers, or mini fans. Consider mini-giveaways to build awareness and visibility for your brand on a budget, similar to what Ikea was able to accomplish on a larger scale.
Via: Marketing Alternatif.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
To generate buzz for the season premiere of Lost's Third Season, a life-sized tail section of an Oceanic Airways plane--an exact replica of the one on which the show is based--was placed in the tropical garden of Madrid's Atocha train station.
The guerilla campaign, which lasted 15 days, accomplished its mission by receiving 100,000 impacts on a daily basis, 40,000 visits on YouTube, and coverage on blogs, as well as in newspapers, TV, and radio. The way they related the campaign to the way the show started--with a plane crash on a tropical island--was a creative and successful way to make the topic relevant to the season premiere. An excellent way that businesses make their promotions relevant to the audience is simply to adapt its shape to reflect an icon or logo--for example, through the clever use of promotional stress balls or promotional stickers.
(Via: Direct Daily)
Monday, June 16, 2008
P.W. Botha and Thabo Mbeki. These names ring a bell for many, and represent so much more to others. To raise awareness for the Johannesburg Apartheid Museum, Draft FCB designed this clever guerilla campaign involving the use of Botha and Thabo - two names that ironically contain the same letters, despite their nearly opposite symbolism. P.W. Botha was the last South African president under whom apartheid reigned. On the other hand, Thabo Mbeki is the current president of South Africa and an extremely influential man and politician both in Africa and internationally.
The Johannesburg Apartheid Museum guerilla campaign was extremely effective in that the anagram used truly captured the essence of what the museum is about - remembering a haunted and dark past, but also knowing that now South African civil rights have expanded and improved. With a line like "experience the shift in power," this campaign should be used as a basis for your next marketing effort, as the usage of promotional posters here was very successful.
Friday, June 13, 2008
The Secretary of Health (Secretaria da Saúde) of the city of Porto Alegre in the Rio Grande do Sul region of Brazil recently conducted a guerrilla marketing campaign visually showing the direct link between condom usage and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
The outdoor billboards-of-sorts were placed around the city as a part of World AIDS Day (December 1st) and each had over 500 condoms that comprised the word AIDS. More than 8000 people saw and became involved with the interactive ad, and as each condom was taken down, the word AIDS began to disappear. The campaign, created by Escala Communication and Marketing, utilized a "Take out a condom and help the fight against aids" slogan and used ads on posters, tv, radio, and stickers.
This is an excellent example of a creative use of promotional condoms. The only thing I wonder, though, is should those condoms be placed outside in the heat and sun of Brazil? Who knows...
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In honor of the release of its new cologne named Pure, Hugo Boss bought out entire subway trains in New York City. The one pictured above is a subway car at a stop in Times Square and the campaign is clearly meant to get a lot of impact and awareness of the new product.
The ads are meant to resemble a wall of water, and with the subway cars engulfed in them, it feels as if you're riding in a tunnel of water. Jet Blue has done similar purchasing patterns - buying all the ad space in whole subway cars - but has never actually decorated the whole subway car for the purpose of advertising, like Hugo Boss did in this case.
The campaign is effective because of the high-traffic lines on which this particular subway car runs, as well as because of its obvious presence in the subway car. People riding on the subway are simply in transit with the advertising message directly in their faces.
Use this as inspiration for your next promotional campaign. Promotional posters and promotional stickers, when used in the correct location and manner, can be extremely effective at capturing and maintaing the attention of the target audience, and driving awareness as well as sales.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
In a guerrilla marketing stunt for 13th street, a suspense television channel in several different European countries, visitors to a nightclub in Hamburg, Germany, were given a shocking experience. When washing their hands in the bathroom, the lights went out on the club-goers and a blacklight came on, showcasing what looked like a brutal crime scene. To tie the scene to the brand, the tv station put their logo on the wall in the same liquid that they used to create the fake scene.
This was an excellent use of glow-in-the-dark tactics, of which I have seen very little until now. To creatively attract attention to a brand, promotional products that light-up or branded products that glow are great attention-getters especially for evening or lights-out corporate events.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Though this kind of stuff has been done before - Land Rover launched a guerrilla campaign in Europe (this picture was taken in Slovakia, hence the sign) to play to its strengths as an SUV by having the airport baggage claim belt act as a conveyor out of the back of the vehicle.
This was a clever use of the visual, but sadly not an entirely original idea. For some creative promotional ideas, try other automotive products that perhaps other companies have not used before.
Ravensburger puzzles, a company with over 120 years of experience in the gaming and entertainment industries, recently conducted a guerrilla marketing campaign on demolition sites in Germany. Ravensburger carefully placed huge replicas of their puzzle boxes with highly recognizable buildings on them next to rubble at several domolition sites as a means to promote putting the pieces together, so-to-speak - a great way to promote their puzzles.
Use this as creative and fun inspiration for your next promotion by using puzzles and other games with your brand on them.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Soap is well known as a promotional product, a common site in hotel bathrooms. However, soap promos are moving outside of the hospitality promotions market and being used as a tool for guerrilla advertising.
Television show, Prison Break, left bars of soap in public restrooms all over
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Barnes and Noble, the bookstore giant, is reaching into the digital world with its new Quamut how-to website. The website has guides that cover five different categories, including technology, mind & body, business, and leisure.
The marketing campaign to promote Quamut is not only extensive - covering major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco - but includes question-begging displays that prompt the person to have a desire to visit Quamut to find out the answer. For example, one display has a hub cap with the question "how do you fix a tire?" draped across it, while another one displayed a dismantled bike. These displays are being reinforced through in-store signs, packaging at Barnes and Noble cafés, weekly e-mails to customers, and two branded trucks that are driving around various locations in Manhattan.
Lime PR + Promotion handled the sweepstakes and local market activity and Cliff Freeman + Partners executed the advertising. You've got to hand it to them - the campaign is extensive and will definitely catch peoples' attention. Whether or not it will drive traffic and subscriptions on the website, only time will tell.
In a recent campaign, the Israeli Food Bank--or Bank Mazon--placed brand new plates in steel sewer grates on sidewalks and streets. The promotional plates were labeled with "too many people eat on the streets" and were meant to give the striking illusion of a kitchen plate dryer - an image that is standard in Israeli homes.
The campaign was meant to hit home that poverty and homelessness have reached staggering numbers in Israel. It was successful in that it got people talking and drew awareness to the issue at hand. Using promotional house and kitchenware is an interesting way of thinking outside of the box.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
In order for Stihl to promote their new professional chainsaws, they put up a huge billboard displaying a cut-ready coupon and an actual chainsaw. After a couple of weeks the promotion became interactive when a guy showed up one morning and picked up the chainsaw, cut out the coupon and left with it. The board stayed up with the hole in it for a few more weeks.
Promotional decals such as the "$50 OFF STIHL PROFESSIONAL CHAINSAWS" shown above can be used to promote any product or service in any location. Easy to use and setup, just pick a clever spot that relates to your product and put-up your ad for guaranteed exposure.
Chrysler's recent European campaign to market the 2008 Jeep Liberty - which in Europe is known as the Cherokee - used wild tigers, leopards, eagles, and owls in the advertisements. Chrysler then hired hundreds of people across many different European countries to post comical, guerrilla "missing pet" flyers and posters on utility poles and walls, asking people to visit a website in order to return the respective wild animal to its owner. Each country had its own website specific to the culture and language there, which has allowed Chrysler to track how many unique users are visiting the websites for each respective country.
The purpose of the campaign is to drive sales of the "Cherokee" in Europe, which failed to meet 7,000 units sold in 2007. With the price of gas equating to 10 United States Dollars per gallon and the trend of smaller cars in Europe, it's a wonder they are pushing so hard to sell this model. However, the campaign is a very creative way to promote the brand by using an unconventional poster topic - a missing pet.
Monday, June 2, 2008
*Note: At the heart of guerilla marketing is the concept of receiving maximum returns from an unconvential use of a minimum budget. As such, this isn't true guerilla marketing as we know it, but it is clever promotion, and good public relations damage control. Plus, I never get to talk about gorillas and promos in the same post, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
Ever thought of visiting Rotterdam in the Netherlands? Maybe you should - or perhaps not if you're afraid of gorillas. Bokito, a gorilla at the Rotterdam Zoo, escaped on May 18th and reportedly attacked a female visitor of the zoo who had maintained direct eye contact with the gorilla - something that the animal interprets as a "threat gesture". Thankfully for us, we can learn from her mistake as a part of National Safety Month!
As a response to the attack, FBTO health insurance handed out "BokitoViewers" - pairs of promotional glasses with eyes that are looking away on the front of them. Clever, huh?
Thankfully, no further gorilla attacks occurred since the glasses were dispensed. Crisis averted.