the art of hype


Guerrillas in the Midst

 

ENDANGERED SPECIES

Small business owners who haven’t familiarized themselves with 21st century technology are quickly moving toward extinction.  While they spend all their profits running exorbitantly expensive advertisements in multiple media [print, radio, cable], their more creative competitors are gaining fame and fortune using the much more effective [and fun] tactics espoused by such advertising giants as Coca-Cola, Nike, Yahoo!, Adidas, Subaru, Google, ChupaChups and FritoLay: Guerrilla Marketing. You’re in the midst of a marketing revolution.

NATURAL HABITAT

The true guerrilla marketer is found most frequently in urban environments, but can survive in almost any terrain.  He can tolerate extreme climates.  He lives off the curiosity of the general public and feeds on their propensity to gossip.  Unlike the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch, he thrives on attention and often goes out of his way to make his presence known.  He has been spotted in outlandish costumes as well as standard-issue blue jeans, but he is always memorable for his head-turning PR stunts and jaw-dropping antics.  If he’s good, you’ve seen him clowning around on YouTube, The Daily Show, or your favorite news channel.

DEDICATION

In order to successfully execute guerrilla marketing campaigns, you must believe in your cause and know your enemy.  Your business is your cause; failure your enemy.  You must be willing to dedicate your time and devote your energy to make the impact necessary for your message to be heard by its intended audience.  Your passion will inspire those around you [associates, colleagues, clients and online ‘friends’] to take up your cause and  launch your concept into outer space or – more importantly – into the hearts and minds of your audience.

INSANITY

Now comes the fun part.  Put on your thinking cap.  Or that silly jester’s hat everyone remembers from your last party.  Or a foam replica of Lady Liberty’s crown.  [Hey, it worked for a well-known tax service.]  Pull out all the stops and start planning your next crazy marketing adventure.  What can you do to get noticed?  Where can you stage an eye-catching event that will get your message out?  Think Road Runner versus Wyle E. Coyote.  Then make it happen.  Now.  Before your competitors do it.  They might call you weird or crazy, but they won’t call you stupid.  You can laugh about it all the way to the bank. 

SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES

That Pepsi ad where Michael Jackson’s head was on fire?  1984.  The Goodyear Blimp?  1925.  Ozzy Osbourne and the bat?  1982.  Madonna’s “book” entitled Sex?  1992.  Richard Branson as Wonder Woman?  2009.  The OJ slow-speed chase? 1994.  The Olympic Torch relay? 1936.  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? 1924.  Tour de France? 1903.  Richard Branson in bridal drag? 1998.  Blair Witch Project?  1999.  Ozzy Osbourne and the dove?  1983.  Borat at the White House? 2006.  Heidi Klum’s $5M bra by Victoria’s Secret? 2008.  Madonna and Britney kissing? 2003.  Prince’s name change? 1993. Richard Branson, astronaut? 2005.  Just about everything PT Barnum ever did.  Even the FBI’s Most Wanted List [1949] started as a publicity stunt.  How long will your guerrilla marketing antics live on? 

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