Bill Hunt Public Relations

Guerrilla marketing

What would have been considered daring and adventurous marketing a couple of years ago now seems slightly passé, now that every Tom, Dick and Harry is trying to jump on the guerrilla bandwagon.

Which makes me happy that I've worked in house with the acknowledged masters of stunt, Cunning many times over the years. You'll probably remember their projection of Gail Porter on the side of the House of Commons.

I believe guerrilla marketing is like comedy - if something seems not quite right, it makes the whole thing completely wrong. Which is probably why so many companies attempt it but don't succeed. Last year I saw a group of promotional people pretending to be 'aliens'. Dressed in green leotards they walked around Soho Square picking out who they assumed were homosexuals and gave them laundry detergent samples. I was agog.

For me, the point of guerrilla marketing as making an impact on media-savvy, cynical bright young things who usually have a distinct sense of humour. It has be 'different' and designed so that people don't know they're being marketed to.

Some brands are not suitable to be promoted by guerrilla marketing. If they are, it needs to be well thought out. Don't risk mimicking anything that has been done before, and don't leave it in the hands of non-specialists. Do it badly and you lose an audience, your brand loses credibility and the only question on people's lips will be 'who in God's name did that?'. Trust me.