Guerilla marketing examples or how to turn the environment into a giant ad

Guerilla marketing examples or how to turn the environment into a giant ad

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If marketing is, according to Philip Kotler, the science and art of convincing people to buy, then guerilla marketing is a unique way of getting their attention using unconventional means and natural elements of the surrounding landscape. If you haven’t heard of this type of marketing before, chances are you’ve at least seen it.

How so? Because guerilla marketing is basically an ensemble of spontaneous promotional activities meant to surprise and engage the customer and its primary characteristic is the fact that it uses public spaces. In other words, advertisers turn the environment into a giant ad.

Whether you’re trying to take your marketing strategy one step further or just learning about this manner of promoting your goods and services, I’ve prepared a selection of the best guerilla marketing examples out there to help your inspiration flow. So, take a seat, grab your popcorn and let’s watch the world unravel into an advertising paradise.

Guerilla marketing - less talk, more show

1. McDonald's helps you cross the street whilst making you crave carbs

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The first in our list of guerilla marketing examples is this clever ad by fast food giant, McDonalds. Why do we love it? Because McDonalds took advantage of an element of the outside environment – a zebra crossing – and cleverly transformed it. Since a zebra crossing is in an open space, frequented by a large number of people daily, the possibility for exposure and retention of the ad increases significantly. If when watching TV we can anticipate an advertising break coming up and we can immediately switch to another channel, with guerilla advertising, we can’t. Advertising becomes a part of our environment and McDonalds sure used that to its advantage. Well played, golden arches!

2. Milka acing both sales promotion and guerilla marketing

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Moooo! It’s your favorite purple cow in an urban setting! She even brought her own patch of grass and a magic, neverending chocolate milk dispenser! This ingenious campaign by Milka manages to ace guerilla marketing in a non-invasive way while also stimulating customers to buy. Through the use of this clever tactic, customers are invited to interact live with the well-known, well-loved Milka mascot (or should we say brand ambassador?) and get a taste of the Alps in their very own urban setting.

3. That moment when you forget to trim your nose hair for a picture...

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Poor guy, right? It happens to the best of us. To be fair, this Tondeo Trimmers ad is a truly fantastic example of guerilla marketing precisely because of that. We all have nose hair so the overexposure of this problem kinda normalizes it, right? Is advertising finally taking a major step forward and making us accept our flaws instead of trying to correct them? Maybe so, maybe not.

However, this type of ambiental marketing is not just funny and creative, it also succeeds because it incorporates elements of the outside world in the best possible way. This ad will surely turn a few heads while most of us will casually grab a mirror as quick as we can to make sure our nose hair hasn’t started to grow THAT big..

4. Who doesn't love man's best friend?

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Truly one of the best guerilla marketing examples out there, proving that sometimes simple is better. Created by the Frontline company, this clever ad taps into our undying love of man’s best friend whilst also attracting the attention of the target audience to a pesky problem our furry buddies are all too familiar with – fleas.

Through the use of human activity, the brand manages to communicate its message in a very compelling way, turning advertising from the classic unidimensional communication to a dynamic process we can all be a part of.

5. Mr. Clean, keeping our houses and our streets spotless

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What’s with advertisers and using zebra crossings? We have yet another example of advertisers branding a place of high traffic with promotional messages in a very sneaky but impressive way. Most of us use Mr. Clean at home but who would’ve thought this brave hero also took care of our streets? Real heroes don’t wear capes..

6. and sewers

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You’d think it’s not a good combination and, of course, you’d be right. Though that doesn’t apply to advertising, as this unconventional example proves. This kind of unique campaign not only advertises the city that never sleeps, as the copywriting suggests, but also manages to use an element of the environment not many advertisers would think to use to promote a product, in this case a delicious coffee. This proves that there are no limits to creativity and this clever juxtaposition of elements manages to make you want to go for that cup of joe rightaway.


These interesting guerilla marketing examples surely prove that creativity can make a brand communicate its message in a new, unconventional way whilst managing to engage customers or even make them directly interact with the message. Both big companies and small ones can benefit from implementing this innovative way of promoting goods and services, as it can also be done with a small budget.

Do you believe in the potential of using the environment to turn it into your very own advertising playground? Share your thoughts!

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