If you have ever seen Shepard Fairey’s ‘Andre the Giant’ inspired mural or sticker, chances are you are interacting with one of the most well-known guerrilla marketing campaigns in our modern time. In essence, guerrilla marketing dives into the reactiveness of its audience to convey a message through unconventional tactics. The message or imagery can be either cryptic or relatable, but it must always be creative and thought-provoking.
When one achieves this effectively, the messaging and its medium become a platform for the artist or brand to speak to its audience—old and new. Once Fairey’s artwork became the trending topic of choice in the right circles, he repurposed and created an auxiliary art piece inspired by the campaign that consequently became the ‘OBEY Giant’ clothing label.
In special cases like this when a successful campaign receives widespread positive feedback, it tends to become part of the community’s cultural keepsake. Within the street art and skateboarding community, the ‘Andre the Giant Has a Posse’ campaign had this impact because Fairey cleverly used a recognizable medium (street art) in a creative and unconventional way to disseminate his art in public spaces where anyone who passes through can see it. These are important notions for any brands to implement within their strategy of launching a guerrilla marketing campaign.
Don’t forget that the driving strategy behind guerrilla marketing is to be creative—get your target audience (and beyond) to think about what they are seeing and have them desire to learn more about what they are seeing. Strategic messaging and clever, creative content allow brands to spark curiosity and interest for themselves if they can tap into these qualities that make guerrilla marketing a fresh and compelling experience.
One important thing to keep in mind is not to break any laws while doing a compelling guerrilla marketing campaign. Many anonymous street artists who participate in guerrilla marketing do it with the understanding that backlash from authorities and their audience are sometimes inevitable. So, if you are a public facing brand with tangible products and services to sell, chances are you will need to balance creativity with legality.
Overall, guerrilla marketing is a great creative marketing strategy for smaller businesses to implement. But be sure to have these three important qualities in your campaign checklist: innovative messaging, unconventional medium, and a low-cost model.