giving out free ice cream for Klondike
September 27th, 2023 | 5 min read
  • Guerrilla Marketing

5 Guerrilla Marketing Techniques to Increase Brand Awareness

You’ve heard of guerrilla warfare — a strategy in which a smaller, weaker force uses resourceful, low-cost tactics like ambush, sabotage, and raids to make an impact against a more powerful army.

What does guerrilla warfare have in common with marketing? Well, Guerrilla marketing is a creative marketing strategy that is resourceful, cost-effective, and relies on the element of surprise. Guerrilla marketing relies on generating shock, wonder, and delight among people who experience it in an unexpected public space.

What Are Some Guerrilla Marketing Examples?

The term guerrilla marketing — also known as ambush marketing — encompasses a lot of different marketing strategies, from flash mobs to street art. Examples of guerrilla marketing campaigns include flash mobs in public spaces, viral videos, street art installations, clever and unexpected advertisements, and unconventional use of social media platforms to engage audiences in your marketing campaign. The goal is to create a memorable and shareable experience to generate buzz, create awareness, and ultimately builds consumer interest and engagement.

Why is Brand Awareness Important?

Raising brand awareness is crucial for your business because it serves as the foundation of your marketing efforts. Having a strong brand awareness strategy means your target audience will recognize and trust your brand, and they’ll be more likely to choose your products or services over those of your competitors. This brand recognition also paves the way for brand loyalty, amplifies the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising, and can even allow you to set higher prices than less-known competitors. Essentially, brand recognition and awareness isn’t just about making sales today — it’s about securing your business’s future.

How Could I Use Guerrilla Marketing to Create Brand Awareness?

Unlike traditional marketing methods, “The real investment here is a creative, intellectual one,” according to a HubSpot article on guerrilla marketing. Think of guerilla marketing as “repurposing” your audience’s environment in ways that surprise and delight them, while making a positive association with your brand. Here are five guerrilla marketing approaches that could work for your business.

1. The Element of Surprise in a Guerrilla Marketing Campaign

Elements of shock and surprise in a guerrilla marketing campaign create content customers will want to record, photograph, and share. This increases word of mouth and social media buzz. Think about where and how customers expect to encounter your brand — and look for ways to mix it up.

If your business is a restaurant, a guerrilla marketing tactic might be to offer free food samples in a place where options are limited. If you’re stuck on what to do or how to pull it off, hire an agency like Promobile Marketing. They’ve done this before, and they have the expertise to help you pinpoint what will accomplish the most for your business.

2. Unconventional Advertising Methods

Guerrilla marketing tactics like temporary graffiti — yarn bombing and sidewalk chalk are unconventional methods of advertising your business in unusual locations. Another guerrilla marketing idea is to power wash your company’s name or logo onto a dirty city sidewalk using a pressure washer and a stencil to promote your power washing business. Create a scavenger hunt where potential customers follow clues directly to your business — and receive a small prize for their efforts.

3. Offer Free Samples or Set up a Public Demonstration

Think about how consumers use your product, and do it in a public space. Guerrilla marketers can organize a food truck or cart to offer free samples of your food or beverage products. One Chicago meal delivery service set up 250 slow cookers in Union Station during morning rush hour, cooked meals in them all day long, and then served free samples to commuters on their way home at 5pm as part of their Crock-Pot Cuisine Initiative.

Recently, Promobile Marketing teamed up with Klondike to give away free ice cream sandwiches in three cities — Austin, Pittsburgh and New York City — where fans completed group challenges and entered into their sweepstakes.

Klondike marketing campaign

4. Organize a Flash Mob

Flash mobs are a guerilla marketing tactic where groups of people who come together suddenly in a public space, complete some performance like a dance or a pillow fight, then disperse just as suddenly. They were everywhere in the early 2000s, and for good reason: they worked, and were low-cost.

One such example was a 2009 flash mob organized by T-Mobile for their “Life is for Sharing” campaign that racked up 3 million views in two weeks and increased T-Mobile sales by an estimated 52%.

A flash mob doesn’t need to do anything complicated — even a large group of people simultaneously removing their hoodies to reveal your company’s T-shirt could make an impact.

5. Create Viral Social Challenges

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from the summer of 2014? Participants recorded themselves dumping buckets of ice water over people’s heads, then posted the videos to social media to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a neurodegenerative disease. This viral marketing tactic got more than 2 million people to record themselves getting soaked, and the Ice Bucket Challenge raised about $220 million worldwide for ALS research.

Viral videos are also a type of stealth marketing — or undercover marketing — where brands market their products or services in a subtle, undercover manner, without consumers realizing it.

However, if discovered, a stealth marketing campaign can erode trust and damage your brand’s reputation. So proceed with caution and consider the long-term impact on your brand’s integrity if you plan a stealth marketing campaign.

Similar efforts work for small businesses. A restaurant in Canada called Burger Revolution who ran a guerrilla marketing campaign called “comment of the day.” Patrons left comments on sticky notes in the store, and each day the Burger Revolution team chose a favorite to post to social media — creating content that customers could like, share, and comment on.


Promobile Marketing is a dynamic experiential marketing agency based in New York City. For over a decade, Promobile Marketing has collaborated with a range of brands—from budding startups to major CPG brands—on immersive marketing campaigns. Get in touch to discuss your next project.