[Reading time: 5 minutes]

Or ‘A reason why unconventional marketing campaigns are so involving’

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article on how the creation of Anti-European movements is affected by aggressive marketing campaigns.

While wondering which topic could I treat in this week’s article, I figured out I never gave the reason WHY I’m so into the marketing field, overall the unconventional one.

Why am I so involved, so?

Basically, because anyone can be potentially involved in unconventional marketing campaigns! I mean, really ANYONE.

Let’s be honest: unconventional marketing is definitely insane! It can be gross, politically correct (or not), scary, familiar, giving a sense of membership and belonging, social.

It can assume so many facets, and so I decided to share with you the huge admiration I have for this (not only) economic field.

Week by week, we will define and analyze together some of the most impressive campaigns (obviously, impressive to me!) of the latest years, giving opinions on their global resonance, on their capability of achieving results or not.


As my first experiment, in this article I will focus on my favorite unconventional marketing way, which is also the most straight-forward, expecially nowadays: guerrilla marketing.

STEP 1: definition and some historic nods.

‘Guerrilla marketing’ (Jay Conrad Levinston) is a promotion mean which is always thinking outside the box; I mean, it’s a way of promoting products, service, social issues by breaking up with tradition, aiming to directly penetrate cities and to meet people in a provoking and baffling way.

In fact, guerrilla reaches the potential customer in moments and places in which advertising consciousness is not active, which indeed is activated when customers are sitting in front of their Tv, watching traditional advertisements, or while they’re driving in their car and publicity comes on the radio.

Customers are, so, defenseless, and, thanks to it, guerrilla is able to provoke in them contrasting feelings, and, obviously, involvement, so they are seen as ‘victims’ of an ‘aggression’.

Guerrilla can be found in the streets, on the walls, on a bench in the park, in fake conversations between actors, on money, food, even on toilet paper! Basically, anywhere.

Guerrilla is made to hit the single customer, mainly generating confusion and aiming to cause a viral word of mouth of the message in between the population.

The strengths of this sort of promotion are the following:

  • Low budgets, balanced with high costs in terms of time, energy and creativity.
  • Non conventional ‘weapons’
  • Not making the brand/company be recognized (at first)

What is the target?


blog luiss

So, guerrilla marketing can be seen as assemblying various non-conventional comunication tecniques, permitting to obtain the maximum visibility with minimum investments.

It contributes to the development of market strategies, through putting ‘on screen’ pseudo events concept as integration of the company image.

Guerrilla also responds to the need of novelties in promoting, since its mechanisms can almost program and inoculate in customers, and so in the system, sorta of viruses which have the capability of replicate in autonomy in people’s mind.

First things first.

The product/service must fit in a guerrilla marketing campaign, otherwise the whole effort is going to result in a FAILURE (and we don’t want to fail, do we?)

Moreover, the P/S can be original itself, but fundamental is the originality of the idea to be transmitted; the idea needs to have the capability of attracting curiosity, it has to be seen like a little revolution in the sector, since the final aim is to make people talk about the company THROUGH THE IDEA.

Assumed that, the operative part of the campaign is based on the creation of a teaser, making the idea concrete, just like a value proposition. It’s definitely the most efficient and impressive way to get to customers; teasers need to be evocative and allusive, knowing when and where to hit the customer.

If these conditions both exist, game, set and match!

The result is going to be a viral effect; the case will spread from mouth to mouth.

Once obtained a viral diffusion, and if the campaign has been successful, the whole thing needs to be managed in a few days or weeks, because the teaser needs to be unveiled.

The final evaluation of the campaign is made by profit criteria and by counting the new established relations, not by checking out sells like in traditional campaigns. This happens because another aim is to increase the number of existing contacts.



To sum up the whole thing about this wonderful way of promoting ideas, I chose some of my favourite campaigns.





The so called ‘attack of the Mooninites’ occurred in 2007 in Boston and in two other cities in Massachussets.
The aim was to prepare the public to the release of ‘Aqua teen hunger force’ on Cartoon Network, and so strange leds, the Mooninites, were installed in many spots of the cities. These only were weird cartoon characters showing their middle finger.
In Boston chaos happened: bomb alarms started to be diffused because these figures were treated like unexploded bombs, and so police and bomb squads were alerted; also, CNN and BBC sent their troupes to document this horrible terrorist attack.
What happened next? The two artists who created and installed Mooninites have been arrested, Cartoon Network was sued and had to pay a fee of 2000000 $ and its CEO has been forced to resign.
Well, at least they had the visibility they aimed to! #powerful



Campaign ‘Fitness first’ aimed to raise awareness among obesity and illnesses linked to it. Which better way than hiding scales on the seats put under bus shelters, so that anyone can see how much do you weight? #weird



Also in this case, the aim was to raise awareness on overexposing human body to sun radiations. The cool thing is that this association, in order to obtain a result, distributed to people enjoying sunbathing beach towels looking like.. COFFINS. #gross.



Copenhagen’s zoo was in rough times after its reopening, so it contacted a newborn publicity agency, since their promotion budget was short. This is the result. #empowering

 What about you all? Have you ever felt involvement for a guerrilla marketing campaign? If so, which one/ones?
thanks for reading me!

Ludovica Serafini


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