Why Use Guerrilla Advertising?

Guerrilla advertising has grown increasingly over the last 10 years, as technology has seen consumers split into many different groups divided across the internet, TV and outdoors. Guerrilla advertising is including many new technologies, changing the way adverts are seen and how people interact with them. Prospective customers walk past vast quantities of adverts every day, but may only be able to recall the subject one or two adverts and their messages. Integrating interactivity into advertising gives the consumer more to remember, Dale’s Cone of Experience shows how people remember 90% of what they do compared to 10% of what they read. There is growing debate around whether or not TV adverts are still effective, and it is the author’s opinion that TV adverts’ effectiveness has declined in recent years. TV shows have increased tenfold and new technology which allows the audience to bypass adverts is becoming progressively popular. Through research it has been shown that advert breaks are used for a multitude of different activities – from leaving the room to make a drink to flipping through channels to a programme that is still showing until the adverts finish on another channel (see page 16). This illustrates how TV is failing its advertising customers.

TV channels (such as ITV) depend on advertising income to fund their own programmes. In 2009 advert revenues for the channel were down 11%, which is a significant amount of money. In 2010 it is predicted that the revenues for ITV will grow 8% year on year, but this is aided by the World Cup being shown, a major event for advertisers, so it charges more money. Without this the outcome may have been very different.

Guerrilla advertising is an alternative form of advertising which uses various means of creating sales and creating a ‘buzz’ for the brand. Unusual adverts that catch people’s attention often create their own media coverage; as adverts are read and talked about more and more people are exposed to their messages this is called the amplification effect. Compare the Market’s campaign that includes Aleksandr Orlov the meerkat is a good example of this, the campaign has been so popular with the public and the advertising industry it has generated profit for the company.

Adverts now need to stand out from the competition. People have seen billboards and posters too many times; they are boring and are generally the same or similar in format when selling products. Guerrilla advertising allows a whole other level of advertising, such as the flash mob used by T-Mobile, the people viewing it are more than likely to tell others about it, be it by e-mail, spoken word or posted on a social networking site. They have all witnessed something new and interesting and this makes them feel good – it makes them feel a part of something special; something that traditional means are now noticeably lacking.

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