William, one of the Mortar’s fine account execs writes:
TV, radio, print, and online advertising … none of these capture the ‘wow’ of a well-executed guerrilla marketing campaign.
Enlisting the help of poor college kids to hand out t-shirts and brochures while wearing chicken suits can technically be considered guerrilla marketing, but it doesn’t turn as many heads as it used too.
Not so for the outrageous stunts of guerrilla troupe, Improv Everywhere: The NYC-based group dedicated to causing "scenes of chaos and joy in public places through radical and creative public stunts."
Now that’s my kind of guerrilla action.
Do yourself a favor and watch their pieces of art.
Take their recent "No pants on the subway" campaign (pictured).
Their stunts prompts me to offer some ideas for budding guerillas:
1. Power in numbers: Improv’s executions work so well because of the sheer number of agents involved. Don’t limit your exercises to just a handful of people, get out there with lots and lots of co-conspirators. (BTW Craigslist is a super venue for recruiting talent with time on their hands and low public decency standards…).
2. Randomness is in: Develop a truly original (and preferably random) concept. The way I see it, guerrilla marketing is all about the person, what he/she does, and what their actions stand for. The exercise itself shouldn’t be so narrowly focused on the products or services being advertised; successful guerrillas will receive attention. Focus on provoking discussion – publicity will surely follow.
3. Manage the Program: Not surprisingly, Improv Everywhere ‘s programs are extremely well organized. Chaos is best managed by professional moderators. Don’t forget to synchronize your watch.
4. Do it, just do it: Don’t hesitate, take the campaign and run with it. Don’t hold out trying to finesse the little details. The best campaigns often produce unpredictably amusing results.
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