What’s wrong with guerrilla marketing

OfficeMax is rolling out their new logo – a giant ball of rubber bands – and part of the exercise is a “guerrilla marketing campaign” touted in AdWeek. I think perspective is being lost here. Any sort of “guerrilla” action requires stealth, a willingness to break with convention and an innate knowledge of your surroundings and your target area.

I offer some signs that you’re not so “guerrilla” after all:

    • The creative director on the campaign wears an ironic Che Guevara tshirt
    • You actually needed to have your ideas validated by a creative director.
    • Your client uses the words “best practice” and “experiential” to describe your work.
    • The money was signed off by two executives – in different cities.
    • The idea was tested with focus groups. Guerrillas don’t do focus groups. They drop bags of rice from 3000 feet.
    • Somehow, a custom painted sports utility vehicle was involved. If it doesn’t have more than 50,000 miles on it, you can rightly be accused of corporate hypocrisy.
    • You had a discussion with a lawyer about insurance premiums.
    • A lawyer was actually involved. Guerrillas don’t consult lawyers: they avoid them.
    • The street materials clearly draw from a corporate identity.
    • A permit was filed and the Mayor’s Office was consulted.
    • Your street materials were printed in China. Not at Kinko’s, or by your ex-girlfriend who knows how to silkscreen.
    • No college buddies were involved in the actual execution.
    • Crosspromotion? Only if it involves another band/artist/performer/spoken word  performer/knitting collective appearing at the same vanue.
    • You even know what a planogram is.

    [tags] guerilla marketing, word of mouth, WOM [/tags]

2 thoughts on “What’s wrong with guerrilla marketing

  1. You know you just can’t do true guerrilla marketing anymore. Either you are getting arrested for being a terrorist or you are being fined by the city for littering. A ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ expert in my neighborhood plastered notes all over everyone’s mailbox for his new fitness center – turns out he got a lot of calls. Over 50 people called him. Pretty effective right? Nope – they called him to make sure he was coming back to clean up the neighborhood after they blew all over the street. Good try, next time leave an email address.

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