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The Best Guerrilla Marketing Examples: From Apple Store Lines to Richard Branson Stunts

If you search online for guerrilla marketing examples you will find a lot of stunts done by major brands like McDonalds, Adidas, and Kit Kat. They are merely one off stunts, which do not rely on guerrilla marketing principles. From our post what is guerrilla marketing, we determined this is a strategy for small businesses that use their time, resources and imagination to come up with unique and unconventional ideas instead of using large marketing budgets. Below you can find examples that can be applied to small businesses.

guerrilla marketing examples

A real example of guerrilla marketing, one that is applicable to small business owners, is one that is told by Jay Conrad, during a short interview with Inc. Magazine:

What’s a classic example of the genre? 
“Instead of using a 32¢ stamp on direct mail, putting 11 stamps — a 6¢ stamp, two 4¢, two 3¢, and six 2¢ stamps — because I think it’s impossible to ignore a letter with 11 stamps. It’s pure guerrilla marketing; it doesn’t take as much money as it does time, energy, and imagination.”

Other Examples of Guerrilla Marketing

The Apple Line

When Apple launches a new product, people will line up for hours, even days outside of their stores. This creates a large line of people who are a captive audience. There is even a media presence as they want photos and videos of people with the new products. As a result, a number of Apple related small businesses (app makers, cases, etc.) have created guerrilla marketing campaigns targeting these lines.

OtterBox: OtterBox creates a range of protective cases for phones, including the iPhone. So there is not a better place or a better time to talk to potential customers than in an Apple line during the launch of their new phone. They gave out a survival kit to people waiting in the line that included granola bars, ponchos incase it rained, and beach balls for entertainment. They even handed out pizza.

The Milking App: The Milking App is a game made for the iPhone in which you get to milk a cow. For their launch they brought 2 cows to different Apple stores during the launch of the iPhone 4GS to interact and engage with the people in the lines. They handed warm cups of milk and promotional cards that had a QR code that took you straight to the app store where you could buy the app. This is great targeting, as people around the Apple store at the time would most likely already have an iPhone, and since they were waiting they would likely scan the QR codes into their phones.


The Magic Touch Of Richard Branson

There are a number of examples of Richard Branson pulling of stunts to gain publicity for one of his ventures. But Richard Branson is a great example of a person who embeds the guerrilla tactics not just into the marketing but also into the business culture at Virgin. The company goes into industries where there a big businesses that do not provide a great service or product. They take on these large businesses and look to disrupt the market. And because they are the new business in town, and don’t have the large marketing budgets like the other players do, Virgin has to use unconventional marketing strategies.

The best guerrilla marketing examples from the Richard Branson playbook, all of which gained publicity for the related ventures are:

  • Repelling down the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas celebrating the launch of Virgin America flights from San Francisco to Las Vegas.
  • Riding a tank through New York City for the launch of Virgin Cola.
  • Air ballooning for the launch of Virgin Atlantic back in the 1980s.

Adopting a Social Cause

Adopting a social cause or integrating a social cause into your business model (what is social entrepreneurship) can benefit the company in a number of ways. Not only does it create a strong vision for the company, it also creates valuable word of mouth marketing. Take ‘Give’ drinks for example. They have built their business model around 4 different colored water bottles. If you were to buy a blue Give water bottle at your grocery store, a portion of the sale will be donated to children related charity. Buy a pink bottle, and a portion of the sale goes to breast cancer. This social entrepreneurship model creates a lot of buzz, and loyal customers. You can find more case studies here: social entrepreneurship examples.

Looking for ways to implement guerrilla marketing strategies into your business? Have a look here: guerrilla marketing tactics. For ideas that you can use have a look at our post here: guerrilla marketing ideas and techniques.