The Guerrilla Marketing Alphabet: from Assvertising to…

Home The Guerrilla Marketing Alphabet: from Assvertising to…

A good Guerrilla Marketing campaign can ignite a great conversation about or even with your brand. With the right creativity even Guerrilla campaigns with a small budget can result in an excellent word of mouth effect. In this article I’ve collected a great set of Guerrilla Marketing campaigns for you. Not a strategic high level article, but just a great collection for your inspiration. It starts with Assvertising (no this is not a typo) and it ends with… well you’ll see 😉


Example of Assvertising

I don’t think that I have to explain what the main object is in this kind of advertising. First examples of Assvertising appeared in 2004, but more recent examples can be found on Flickr, Trend Hunter and Adrants. Advertisers using this form of Guerrilla Marketing range from artists to an online shop for tires. Kodak used it in 2005 during a trade fair in Kiev.


[slideshare id=1274754&doc=bagvertising-090411050627-phpapp02]
The next time a shop assistant asks you “Do you want a bag?” take a good look at what’s printed on the a bag. Otherwise you might walk away with a weapon because you’ve bought a book by a Belgian crime writer or you might have a bag with bloodstains. More examples of bagvertising in the SlideShare above.


In 2003 bravertising was spotted in the US for the promotion of a Japanese basketball team. Burger King also used bravertising according to this image on a dutch blog.Lingerie maker Triumph Japan has made recently a special bra for the promotion of tourist attractions.

Beach & Trackvertising

The sands of a pristinely clean and smoothed beach can be the perfect place for your promotion. But specials shells with an advertisement might work too.


Beamvertising is advertising by beaming your promotion on objects like buildings. A great example is the promotion of the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Brasil in 2007. Interactive agency Ginga Agência Interativa beamed a 3D video Teaser of the movie on a building in Sao Paolo. And even two buildings near each other can be used to share your promotion in a creative way as seen in the video above
In 2005 Lexus used lasers for the introduction of a new car model on Times Square in New York. No lack for attention! Final example is this tiger running through the streets. Cars are projecting the video on the street and the speed of the car corresponds with the speed of the moving animal. If the car stops, the tiger stops.


Based on my own experience I can tell you that, if you have kids, a cargo bike is very handy, but not cheap at all. Sponsor Bakfiets offers in the Netherlands a solution by making your bike a moving billboard with some revenues for you. An idea of the Dutch firm Bakplakkers who offers special stickers for this.


Imagine: You need to park your car. In front of the parking-barrier, you take the parking ticket and the barrier opens. Where do you leave to ticket? Right! You put the ticket in your mouth. This observation resulted into the world’s first flavoured parking ticket. Wrigley made tickets with a very thin layer of mint. So when driver places the ticket in his mouth, he tastes the fresh flavour of Wrigley’s Extra Polar Fresh gum. During a test-run the promotion was a succes with increased sales of Wrigley’s in stores close to the parking lots.


Bodyvertising is one of the most common forms of guerrilla marketing. Assvertising (see the beginning of this article) and headvertising belong to this category also. Billy Gibb, also known as The Human Billboard started with some tattoos on his body to finance the operation of a friend a couple of years ago. At this moment he has 16 advertisements on this body including 5 on his head. There’s still some space left, but your promotion on his head will cost you 20.000 dollar. saw in all this an attractive opportunity and offers tattoos for marathon runners for showing their running schedule on the lower arm. The tattoo is temporarily and the instructions for applying and removing are very simple. Marathon organizations can offer a personalized tattoo to the runners with the logo of the sponsors.


A bridge deck is a nice and large area for advertising. In the 1993 a Dutch Lottery used bridgevertising and won a Dutch advertising award. When the bridge was open and the boats passed, the bottom of the bridge deck showed “Here are some winners of the lotteryâ€.

In 2006 agency TWBA used bridgevertising for Adidas. A huge billboard with the German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was mounted on an existing bridge on the road to and from Munich Airport. The campaign received a great amount of free publicity.

Another example with less free publicity, but with a good copy based on the location and the audience, is the campaign above on a bridge in Amsterdam in 2007.


All rights reserved. Image of Emily Berezin.

In 2005 BoingBoing spotted these bugs with corporate logos painted on them. Emily Berezin created the beautiful serie Parasitic Advertising with a Pepsi ladybug and even a Volkswagen Beetle.


Advertising on the bus is nothing new except these examples. Based on research that ‘word of mouth referrals’ was necessary to obtain new customers, ING Direct in Italy did an awareness campaign with the use of human billboards. The video above will explain everything.

Dutch Insurance Company Centraal Beheer used in a striking way a bus as an advertising object in 2008. The campaign developed by DDB suggested that the bus droves backwards and won a Golden Lion and ADCN Eurobest Grand Prix.

To promote the zoo in Copenhagen a Boa Constrictor was placed on a bus in Copenhagen. No child will miss this snake on the bus! More great examples of advertising on buses can be found here and here.


We often take a look at the clock to see what time it is. So a simple clock can be a nice advertising object especially if you adjust the message . The left clock was used for a NRDC campaign and has the text â€Stop hunting. No time to delay.†The right clock is used by GABRIELA is a Filipino organization that advocates for women’s issues â€Every hour, a woman is abused.â€


In 2007 the World Wildlife Fund used dating site Mundo for a campaign to get attention for the Amazon. Jaguars Jack and Jacky had an account on the datingsite and were looking for a new place to stay. At the Dutch social networksite Hyves Leonardo di Capibo (a Capybara) was looking for friends who wanted to stay in touch with nature.


In 2006 CBS used eggs as an advertising object. Slogans for Crime Scene Investigation like â€Crack the Case on CBS†and other variants were printed on eggs to promote the CBS program.

While CBS used the eggs only as a location, razor manufacturer Wilkinson went a step further. The medium (eggs and it’s color and shape) was part of the message.


Due to the small space and the movements the elevator is a popular location for Guerrilla Marketing campaigns. Right Guard used the elevator to promote the use of deodorant among office workers.

Volkswagen also used the elevator in their Fast Lane campaigns. Fast Lane was dedicated to everyone who loves to go beyond the regular, who is curious for new stuff and who simply enjoys to speed it all up a little. So as part of the campaign a slide helped commuters to get downstairs faster and a skateboard attached to a shopping cart helped to increase the pace in unexpected places.

You’ll definitely get a fresh shot of adrenaline when the door of your elevator opens and you see this ad. Probably the same effect of drinking a cup of Maxwell House coffee.

More creative elevator advertisements at


The movement of the escalator is a property that is frequently used in guerrilla marketing campaigns like the campaign above for DHL. Other examples of Kleenex Tissues, Gillette Venus and a theme park in Brazil.


As a marketer you would like to brand your brand in the brains of your target audience. BMW did it almost literally! Watch the video it’s a must-see and judge for yourself. A surprising and very clever guerrilla marketing campaign in my opinion.


In October 2007 Ad-Air launched an advert at Dubai International Airport which was (with 20,000 sq metres) also a new Guinness World Record for Advertisement Banner size. Due to the downturn in the global economy Ad-Air had to close their business. In 1998 the German firm Artfield made a large ad in the field near Airport Munich.


I have some doubts about the effectiveness of bugvertising, but this example of flyvertising received a lot of attention at a book fair in Frankfurt. An ultralight banner was attached to 200 flies. By using wax the flies lost the banner after a couple of hours. The cost of just 500 euro for the publisher Eichborn resulted in more than 800,000 clicks to a 90 seconds of video on YouTube in the first Month.


Marketing just a bubble? In this case it is! 🙂 Foamvertising is creating logos from foam (called flogos) by a special foam printer. Guerrilla Marketing agency Azilis used this form of advertising to promote a new fragrance of The Body Shop in Paris. In Denmark foamvertising was used during the 70-th anniversary of the Queen. The cutting of logos with helium filled foam looks pretty simple, but it’s a patented invention. More info at


Heineken is well-known for a couple of great campaigns. Just take a look at this video of a really excellent campaign in Italy or the 1st and 2nd Walk-In Fridge commercial. But did you you know that garbage is a great location for a guerilla marketing campaign?

Heineken’s agency TBWANEBOKO proved that it was possible. During the day that the garbage was picked up in Amsterdam, they placed a large box near the garbage in several locations in Amsterdam to give the feeling that the Walk-In Fridge of Heineken was actually for sale. And for some extra exposure they made some funny jokes with the Walk-In Fridge.


No, I do not mean advertising on blades of grass that Sky+HD and Stoke City FC have developed 😉 This is a case with normal grass used as a photographic medium. By letting grass grow in a dark room and illuminate it for 12 hours a day with a negative of an image they were able to create an image in grass. A unique way to highlight the fact that at Wimbledon tennis is played on grass.

Don’t under estimate this kind of advertising. GrassAds made it their primary business.


A nice campaign of IKEA to the prove the quality and durability of their products. Four subway stations in Paris were fully furnished with sofas and lamps to promote the new IKEA collection. More photos of this campaign on this blog.

Nikon mounted an interactive billboard in a subway station in Seoul displaying a crew of paparazzi. When you passed by the billboard you triggered the flashing cameras. Following the red carpet all the way out of the station as the latest superstar you ended in…. the Nikon store.

An other example in this category is the NYC subway takeover campaign for â€Mad Menâ€. Using stickers, the whole cabin of the Underground was turned into the style of the ‘50s for the promotion of Season 2. More detailed photos on Flickr.


Mirrors are a popular item for advertising because you can place the person in the mirror into your campaign. In example for recruiting staff, the promotion of jewelry or even the promotion of Playboy. Even mirrors of cars can be used for advertising. More examples under ‘Toilet Advertising’ .

With the recent development of this interactive mirror with the look of a big iPad we’‘ll probably see more mirrorvertising in the near future.

Peep Hole Advertising

The image explains it all. Saatchi & Saatchi Peru made this ad for Pizza John and won the golden medal at Cannes International Advertising Awards.

You might know ads in urinals that light up. But goes one step further and offers (as you can see in the video above) a nice option to check either you need a taxi or not. And if you want this at home, here’s the making of video 😉


Photo: WWF/Lory Tan
Coca-Cola and World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines made a billboard with Fukien tea plants in recycled Coca-Cola bottles. The 3,600 plant which can each absorb an average of 13 pounds of carbon dioxide a year are placed in Manila’s busiest street. Great to see that the long-standing partnership between the two organizations to make a positive difference for the environment can lead to this kind of creativity.


Cramer-Krasselt created this nice campaign for COA Youth and Family Centers . To raise awareness of the positive impact parents’ involvement can have on their child’s education they created a playground where parents can interact with their children with large puzzles, word searches etc. around the streets of Milwaukee in “guerrilla classrooms”. More info and images in this blogposting.


According to this video Hamburg is famous for 3 things; Fish, Prostitutes and… Rain. Visitors know where to find the first to things, but what if you need an umbrella? So German agency JWT developed a guerrilla marketing campaign for the local umbrella shop Schirm & Co. Budget: 130 euros.


Scaffolding is often used as a big billboard. Megamedium, one of the suppliers for these so called swanks, has a nice list of examples. Although the site is in Dutch the video/images will explain enough.


“The latest low-technology billboards along highways in the Netherlands are startling enough to prompt motorists to indulge in U-turns.” although said in the New York Times that didn’t quite happen, but yes sheepvertising in the Netherlands received a lot of international exposure. In 2006, a Dutch online reservations company, began displaying its logo on blue blankets worn by sheep. The mayor fined a 1.000 euros a day for putting advertising on livestock, because it violated the ban on advertising along the highways.

Later on the mayor increased the fine to 50.000 euro. Thanks to this fine received a lot of exposure and their reservations increased 15%. They ended the campaign with 60 extra sheeps wearing the text “Thanks Mayor”.

Loupes, a German startup, placed their logo on 2.000 cars in Germany during the winter. Budget 50 euro. Although you need snow for this kind of advertising, but even with a temperature of 36 degrees you can use snow for promotions.


Okay, I call it Stairvertising. It’s a nice campaign of Volkswagen dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun, is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Just watch the video. More information on the special Fun Theory site.


Earlier in this article I talked about pissvertising, but the toilet has more options for advertising. The Interactive Urinal Communicators “can talk, sing, or flash a string of lights around a promotional message when greeting aâ€visitor”. The large anti-glare, water-proof viewing screen is strategically located just above the drain to ensure guaranteed viewing without interruptions. Using the elements of surprise and humor in a truly unique location will, in combination with your ad, make a lasting impression on every male that sees it.†Nothing more to add to that 😉
An other option is the mirror. The Magic Display mirror has a built-in motion sensor that can detect anyone approaching. The mirror either displays advertisement or turns the advertisement off so the consumer is faced can see is miror image. As soon as the consumer moves away from the unit, the advertisement lights up again.

In Melbourne the Hand Dryer has a LCD screen for showing advertisement. Also toiletpaper can be used for advertisement even for the promotion of Windows Vista! More information on

Finally a campaign that turns the light off and changes the toilet into a bloody crime scene with the words â€See what others don’t see. 13TH STREET. The Action and Suspense Channelâ€.


Put several images on the wall in a tunnel that light up according to the speed of the train and you get a commercial at a moment you didn’t expect at all. According to the comments on PingMag this kind of advertising was allready used in 1996 in Washington DC and Chicago. What started with a child’s toy and an idea has turned into a new advertising medium that has entertained nearly 3 billion subway riders from every continent said Submedia who also has some additional video examples on their site.


Even water can be used to advertise. Researchers of Akishima Laboratories and professor Shigeru Naito of Osaka University van Osaka developed a device for displaying text and images on the surface of the water. Gizmodo explains it

â€The device consists of 50 water wave generators encircling a cylindrical tank 1.6 meters in diameter and 30 cm deep (about the size of a backyard kiddie pool). The wave generators move up and down in controlled motions to simultaneously produce a number of cylindrical waves that act as pixels. The pixels, which measure 10 cm in diameter and 4 cm in height, are combined to form lines and shapes. The device is capable of spelling out the entire roman alphabet, as well as some simple kanji characters.â€

Even displaying text or images in a waterfall is possible as you can see in the video above. The Museum of Modern Art used it during an exhibition in 2008 and Jeep used in during an autoshow.


Advertising agency Jung von Matt launched a new advertisement campaign for SIXT in 2008 on the airport of Hamburg (Germany) using the Wi-Fi Network to promote their offers. They used Wi-Fi Access Points to advertise to people searching for internet access with their laptop or mobile phone by renaming the network with an attractive name. After getting free access people got to the SIXT landingpage. The Coffeecompany did the same in 2008 and used networknames like BuyCoffeeForCuteGirlOverThere? and BuyAnotherCoffeeYouCheapkate.


A few years ago these posters were placed on car windshields in New Zealand to encourage safe driving near schools. A pretty shocking image if you ask me, but it might start the right conversation about safe driving.


As you can see, wind can add something extra to your advertisement so it might become the talk of the town 😉 With the Nissan Note car manufacturer Nissan aimed at people with kids. A simple kite added to the billboard attracts the kids and.. their parents.


Dutch agency Lowe en Draft made a guerrilla marketing campaign for Delta Lloyd Asset Management. When the traffic light turns red the Delta Lloyd promotion team showed their billboard on the middle of the way to the waiting drivers.

During the Zurichfest, one of the biggest festival in Switzerland, McDonalds has temporarily a lot of extra competition by independent food stalls. During the festival no cars are allowed in the center of the city so McDonalds reshaped the zebra crossing in front of their restaurant into a portion of french fries for some extra exposure.


This article was written with the help of Digital Media Consultant Paul Veenendaal (@yizmo) and Dutch Guerrilla Marketing Expert Cor Hospes. Hopefully these examples inspired you to develop extraordinary campaigns that ignites conversations about your brand. It’s possible even with a tight budget.

In case you missed an excellent Guerrilla Marketing Campaign, just add it in a comment. Thanks for sharing!