Have you noticed that we used only one ‘r’ in guerilla? There is a very good reason for that. Guerrilla marketing started off as this unconventional way of doing marketing. It opened up a new world, where opportunities were endless. Marketers started promoting their brands outside TV and print media, something that is part of today’s normal daily life.
You might think that because we are bombarded with advertising and promotion, we would hate it and most of us dream of an advertising-free reality. Interestingly enough, most of us don’t hate advertising, we are just picky with the way we receive it, according to a study made by MarketingSherpa.
Some brands are smart and they know this about us, we all need attention but exactly the way we want it, right? so now they adapt to us. Witty brands create a relationship with their audience and marketing started being interesting again, cause now it is more about us, it is about our needs and our opinions started to matter, yet being profitable for our favourite brands.
Advertising is everywhere now, we know there is a clutter, we acknowledge there is a clutter and we accept the clutter. Wow! at one point we were so against advertising, it felt like aliens invaded Earth but now we learned to cohabit. Bright minds in marketing had a lot to do with it, and for some of us it all started with the guerrilla way.
This concept introduced the ‘different’ into marketing, and of course as anything else in this World, it came with a dark side as well. Do you remember ambush marketing? It was used when brands associated themselves with an event that they were not officially part of. Was this something unconventional back then? Of course! Was it illegal? Of course! other brands paid money to be officially part of the event. This marketing tactic being different, it made people relate it to guerrilla marketing, which stained the concept, and with time people started associating the term guerrilla more and more with illegal activities.
Marketing or advertising agencies stopped using the term as their customers were afraid that they might get into trouble if they go for such tactics. So what happened? Guerrilla marketing was a vague term for the unconventional tactics, so every type of guerrilla activity was baptised with a new name, you might have heard of some of these: ambient marketing, stealth marketing, content marketing, viral marketing, experiential marketing and of course ambush marketing. There are other terms for it as well and they all represent different aspects of the original guerrilla marketing. Giving each unconventional form of marketing a shape and a name boosted the use of unconventional tactics, but the word guerrilla has started slowly fading away from our daily usage. You would be surprised how many people don’t know about guerrilla marketing and how many agencies avoid using the term because of its reputation.
Guerrilla marketing is still present in many of the marketing agencies, in most of them mainly in spirit. The ones that still use it, tried to differentiate it from the illegally perceived guerrilla, so they dropped an ‘r’, hoping that people will know the difference and client’s won’t run in the other way when they read GUERILLA on their webpage.