Interview With Sam Ewen, Founder of Interference Inc.

Interference Inc. is a guerrilla marketing company based in New York City that specializes in unconventional marketing strategies. Founded in 2001 by Sam Ewen, Interference Inc. has worked with several big clients including General Electric, Citigroup, HBO and Cartoon Network. His agency is responsible for some of the most creative unconventional marketing campaigns. For example, they had a 30-foot shark fin pulled up and down the Hudson River to promote Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

His marketing strategy is anything but conventional and he is not afraid to test the limits. You can learn more about his company by visiting www.interferenceinc.com or by visiting his blog, On The Ground Looking Up.

How did you get started in guerrilla/experimental marketing?

My beginnings in Guerrilla Marketing started in the 1990s in the music business. I worked at a variety of music labels and video promotion companies and saw firsthand that the power of word of mouth and how information was passed from person to person was how many new artists broke. The more I saw and read about the subject, the more I saw the power of creating unique opportunities to create experiences that would facilitate this. After cutting my teeth in marketing at a variety of companies I started doing offline guerrilla marketing in 1996. I opened Interference Inc. in 2001 to offer this discipline directly to brands.

Could you tell us a little more about your company Interference Inc?

Interference Inc is in it’s 13th year. When we started, there weren’t really any companies out there who were focused on Guerrilla specifically. Our initial tagline was ‘Unparalleled Guerrilla and Alternative Marketing.’ At the time, I believe we were the only company who focused on the guerrilla marketing segment exclusively. Over time and after working with many of the largest brands in the world we evolved to offer more than just guerrilla but our core offering has always been focused on the unique idea that will get the most attention and the most pass-along.

Why do you feel that this form of marketing is successful?

The story around mainstream advertising over the last 20 years is that it is less successful than it ever was from an attention perspective. With the exception of a few large events (Superbowl, Presidential Election, Oscars) most people were doing their best to avoid advertising. When done right, non-traditional gets attention, creates interest and turns the consumer into someone who approaches the campaign instead of avoiding it.

What would you say contributed to your success?

I think the most important element to my success was the ability to sell creative ideas to people and have them trust me that attempting it was worth doing. Part of guerrilla marketing is that sometimes it takes you out of your comfort zone. And media types, really like feeling comfortable. We had to convince them that doing something different was worth doing. I am pretty good at that.

Is there a particular kind of client/campaign you like to work on? Why?

I get asked this type of question a lot, and while there are products or services that are easier to create for than others, I think most brands can find unique ways to market via experiential and non-traditional ways. We have done our fair share of campaigns for TV Shows, Toys and Sugary Drinks, we have also done many campaigns for brands in Financial Services, Home Nursing, Car Rental and Food Delivery. I am of the mindset that if you are creative, you can come up with the right message, utilizing the right creative vehicle for any type of brand.

So we’re curious, what is The Supertouch Group?

For years we have had creative ideas that have involved technology as a facilitator of the experience. But only about 5 years ago did we see a fundamental shift in how one could use creative coding and creative uses of hardware to physically create what existed in our minds. So The Supertouch Group (www.supertou.ch) was born. We refer to it as live event technology or experiential technology. We believe it is a very fast growing segment and from the amount of phone calls we get on it, I think the industry agrees. Currently, Supertouch has done work for GE, AT&T, Pfizer, Showtime, Gawker Media and obviously Cartoon Network (among a bunch of others). I am really enjoying this idea of creating wonder and awe in technology and bringing those experiences to branded settings.

In your blog, you often mention tear-off campaigns. What about it excites you?

I guess this goes back to my roots. When people could self promote and still make someone take an action. One of my first campaigns for Discovery channel about 10 years ago was a tear off campaign around the Found Tomb of Nefertiti. I printed up over 90,000 tear-off pages and we had them placed in 10 cities. It felt so eye level and was worth it alone for the impression numbers not to mention all of the emails from people who wanted to claim her remains for themselves. I guess what I like most is that anyone can do it, it is very cheap to execute, and people can get a laugh. We are always fighting the idea that good guerrilla marketing is cheap, it is not, but there are a few examples that really get to the history of the medium and when you back over a hundred years, people were still stapling paper to poles in order to get someone to read something.

Where do you see marketing/advertising in the next 10 years?

Experiential is really hot right now. If you look at the popularity of SXSW and Comic-con as examples, there are so many brands creating spaces for people to visit and come into, and these become the hubs for community at the shows. If you overlay this with  how social everyone is these days, you inevitably get people positively associating themselves with your brand (“Thanks Amex for letting me see Jay-Z @ SXSW2012!”). I think this is a direction that anyone in brand marketing needs to pay attention to closely. Our goal is to be able to take those types of events, and through creativity and creative uses technology, engage and encourage those conversational actions more than ever before.

Photo by Michael Schmelling

Interview With Nicolas Bouvet, Founder of Une Agence Américaine

Une Agence Américaine is a communications agency based in Paris, France that specializes in RFID marketing, public events, street marketing and road shows. The agency is relatively new being a little over 2 years old, but they have big ideas. A pioneer in the deployment of RFID, a Une Agence Américaine thrives on new technology to amplify buzz.

Founded by Nicolas Bouvet, Une Agence Américaine has captured the attention of several large brands such as: MINI, AXE and Ben & Jerry’s.

You can learn more about the company and their services via their website at www.uneagenceamericaine.com.

Nicolas Bouvet, President & Founder of Une Agence Américaine

How did he get started?

Bouvet started at a marketing agency and worked with several big clients including Unilever, the parent company of several well known brands such as Dove, Lipton and AXE. After working there for several years, he later decided to create Une Agence Américaine.

What’s the deal with the name?

Bouvet was playing around with several company names based on several of his favorite songs; however, he settled on the name Une Agence Américaine as it had a certain ring to it.

“It’s unique,” said Bouvet. “When I tell people I work at an American Agency, I always get strange looks.”

Bouvet went on to explain that the ‘Une’ makes all the difference. For those who do not speak French, Une is the equivalent to the letter ‘A/An’ in English. So when he tells people that he works at An American Agency, they get confused and ask, “ok, but which one?”

“It’s like an inside thing,” he said. “People remember us because it’s a unique name. It’s quite funny.”

Bouvet also mentions he would like to expand his company to New York in a couple years and he has a love for the United States.

What are his thoughts on RFID?

Une Agence Américaine has been the pioneer for RFID use in marketing within Paris.

RFID, or Radio-frequency identification (RFID), is the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking. Some tags require no battery and are powered by the electromagnetic fields used to read them. Others use a local power source and emit radio waves. The tag contains electronically stored information which can be read from up to several meters (yards) away. Unlike a bar code, the tag does not need to be within line of sight of the reader and may be embedded in the tracked object.

In Paris, RFID use is most commonly known as being used in the public transportation pass, ‘le pass navigo.’ Bouvet started bringing the same RFID technology into his marketing campaigns.

Bouvet believes that RFID technology will become more popular in marketing and went on to say that it will become more integrated with our daily lives.

“People are catching on to RFID technology. They know what it is already and expect it to be used,” said Bouvet.

How did he use RFID for the AXE Boat?

To promote the launch of AXE’s new product, Une Agence Américaine threw a 200 person party on a boat. The agency used RFID technology to allow people to check in to certain locations on the boat and have their photo uploaded directly to Facebook.

Much like what you’d see at a nightclub, cameras were placed at special booths on the boat that would take a photo of your and your friends. By using RFID technology, a person would simply swipe their card and the photo would be instantly uploaded and posted on their Facebook wall.

Each partygoer would also be assigned with a specific number. People could ‘flash’ a certain person which would give them one point. A person could only ‘flash’ the unique individual once. At the end of the night the AXE party boat announced the top ‘flashed’ man and woman. Going along with the brand message that AXE would attract the opposite sex, this concept definitely reinforced the brand messaging. Awesome!

The Results:
8 parties thrown
1224 people used the RFID cards
6199 publications to Facebook
5140 interactions
325,571 people reached.

The agency just finished their 2012 AXE party boat. It was much bigger and better! Results and video to come.

Check out the video below from last year’s AXE Boat campaign!

You can learn more about the company and their services via their website at www.uneagenceamericaine.com.

Why Should Lottery Affiliates Promote Jackpot Sizes?

Using your creativity at full volume while building your marketing strategies is a must, no matter what type of service or product you might need to promote. Needless to say some industries and niches seem to be a little more advantageous than others when it comes to marketing. For example, the lottery industry and its affiliate lottery niche seem to be attracting clients faster than other fields. And the explanation is simple: people want to play the lottery thinking they will win life-changing jackpot prizes or at least prizes that will help them pay off their loans and turn over a new leaf in life. Marketers who work in the affiliate lottery niche therefore know that the number one solution to increase revenue is to increase the size of the lotteries' jackpots. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, here are a few inspiring ideas within these next few lines. If you need emergency help with your marketing strategy, we invite you to get in touch right now and let us handle your issues with professionalism and expertise.euromillions-lotteries.com offer huge jackpots

How To Know Which Lotteries To Promote?

This is the ultimate secret and at the same time a very basic decision you will need to make as an affiliate promoting lotteries. Since you will have zero chances of taking control over the actual size of the jackpots, you can ensure your success by knowing exactly which lotteries to promote. Since each lottery comes with its own baggage filled with good and bad features, you will need to turn into a fine connoisseur of these elements:

  • Rely on specialized lottery comparison tools you can find online; these programs can do automated comparisons between various features, including size of jackpots, odds, periodicity of draws/wins, and so on. Take a look at the top three or top five lotteries that are ranked the highest by these websites and choose them as the next object of your promotions.

  • One of the critical factors to consider when choosing between one lottery or the other is the size of the jackpot they have to offer. Most people play the lottery in hopes of hitting the big jackpot one day, so the bigger the amount they could win, the more eager they will be to buy tickets week after week. And this is good news for lottery affiliates selling tickets or promoting these games online or offline and getting paid for it.

  • Some of the most popular lottery games such as Euromillions, a pan-European lottery that involves the participation of several European countries feature huge jackpots. An all-time jackpot that this particular European lottery gave away to a lucky winner was worth €183.5 million! If you want to learn more details on this lottery and the size of its jackpots, check out this link here https://www.euromillions-lotteries.com/jackpot-prizes and get all the information you need.

Jackpots Have Never Been Bigger!

Unless you have been living under a rock so far and you are clueless when it comes to the size of today's lottery jackpots, it's time to change all that. Today's lottery jackpots are reaching considerably important sizes all around the world. The biggest jackpot yet to be awarded worldwide came from the Powerball lottery game played in the U.S. and it was worth one billion five hundred million dollars.

In other words, now is a very good time for lottery affiliates to promote the world's biggest lotteries, as the tickets practically sell themselves!

Agency News: Interview with Ray Wali, President of Mango Moose Media

Mango Moose Media is a guerrilla advertising agency that has served Canadian businesses since 2001. They have succeeded in executing campaigns for clients such as Nike, Levi’s, Warner Brothers, Proctor & Gamble, and Alexander Keith’s. You can learn more about the company and its services via their website at www.mangomoose.ca.

Ray Wali, President & Creative Strategy Officer at Mango Moose Media

Now meet Ray Wali. Ray is your quintessential entrepreneur, who launched his first business (CarWraps.ca) at the age of 21. His love of start-ups and business model innovation has led to the successful launch of a series of new products, brands and ventures.

With over 12 years of experience behind him, He has developed a unique skill set that spans every area of business with core strengths in Marketing, Management, Strategy, Creative, & Innovation.

How did you get started in guerrilla / experimental (experiential) marketing?

We started in 2001 focusing on Car Wraps (www.CarWraps.ca) exclusively and we quickly found our clients were asking for more turn-key street level campaigns. In 2004 we spun off a new venture called Mango Moose Media which allowed us to add a broader range of non-traditional products. We still run Car Wraps as a separate but related venture.

Could you tell us a little more about your company Mango Moose Media?

We specialize in creating and executing creative brand experiences using non-traditional forms of media. Our 4 core services are Campaign Creation, Guerrilla & Ambient Campaigns, Production & Street Teams. We positions ourselves as the “Go To Guys” when you want add something different to your traditional advertising campaign. You can see some of our past campaigns on our blog www.guerrillaadvertising.ca.

What advice could you give to someone who is looking to get started in the industry?

I would recommend they read blogs like Creative Guerrilla Marketing to get a feel for trends and the type of campaigns that worked and why. When people hear guerrilla marketing they think of someone running across a baseball field naked with a logo on their back. They tend to discount the strategy that needs to be in place to effectively tie-in the experiential to the brand.

What would you say contributed to your success?

My team and I are not afraid to roll-up our sleeves to get sh*t done. Guerrilla Marketing is a very hands on type of business, It’s chaotic at times but we enjoy what we do here and that is the most significant factor to Mango Moose’s successes over the years. There is also a trend now from major brands who see the value in dedicating a percentage of their overall ad buy to street level campaigns. This is our niche.

Do you have a favorite form of non-traditional marketing? If so, what is it and why?

When done right experiential should support traditional media and vice versa. Besides our staple Car Wraps and Street Teams I am a big fan of brand installations. These creative spaces provide great engagement opportunities as well as a great viral effect. When done right experiential should support traditional media and vice versa.

Could you speak to some of the results of doing this form of non-traditional marketing?

Since Car Wraps is what we founded this company on it is integrated in to a lot of our campaigns. It is an extremely effective guerrilla marketing tool with a great ROI. A Street Team will reach 10% to 30% of attendees at an event but a Car Wrap is seen by everyone. The combination of the two create a great can’t miss experiential initiative.

Agency News: Interview with Calum McGuigan, Founder of Fervent Events

Fervent Events is a Toronto-based marketing company launched in 2009 by Calum McGuigan. The company is focused on guerrilla marketing and brand ambassador staffing for corporate and not-for-profit clients. In addition, Fervent Events also offers corporate and social events management. The company aims to offer its clients creative, engaging and affordable guerrilla marketing and event planning. Fervent Events originally planned for the client portfolio to be predominantly corporate event planning. McGuigan spent the first three months of operation organizing social events and prospecting corporations about event planning. However, when the guerrilla marketing began generating more attention, the company’s focus shifted. As of June 2011, 90% of Fervent Events’ portfolio is devoted to guerrilla-marketing contracts.

Calum McGuigan Fervent Events
Calum McGuigan, CEO & Founder of Fervent Events

How did you get started in guerrilla marketing?

In all honesty, half chance & half opportunity. I studied Events Management at university and worked as an Event Officer at a reputable charity in Toronto from 2007 – 2009. When I launched Fervent Events in September 2009, the plan was for Fervent to predominantly be an events company, with a dash of guerrilla marketing. I quickly realized within a few months the events business was saturated in Toronto, but that more and more companies seemed interested in utilizing our guerrilla marketing strategies. In hindsight, the recession was the perfect time to launch a guerrilla marketing company, as everyone still wanted to put dollars into marketing, but budgets were tighter. I realize now the economy played a huge part in getting my foot in the door with potential suitors. There is no school for ‘guerrilla marketing’, the industry is about taking risks and assessing creative opportunity, so I think the way I found my place in the market is fitting. Guerrilla marketing is now 90% of our portfolio.

Could you tell us a little about your company, Fervent Events?

We’re non-traditional in every sense of the word. We create, customize and develop eye catching marketing campaigns from scratch, for any budget. Our whole ploy is that we’ll get water cooler talk going, and leave a memorable impression and help raise immediate brand awareness. I’m sure one day we may consider expanding our horizons, but at present none of our campaigns integrate print, TV or radio advertising. All our campaigns use brand ambassadors and promo reps, and are about reaching out and engaging with the consumer and leaving positive emotional experiences.

What is it like to work at a Guerrilla Marketing Agency, more specifically Fervent Events?

Our company, like the industry is evolving every day. We work in an industry where the key term IE…guerrilla, non-traditional, alternative, experiential, buzz….changes every 6 months! We’re innovators and creatives, so an embedded culture is perhaps not what we’re about. I don’t want someone to always know what they’re going to get with Fervent Events. I want a client to get the same excitement from our concepts the tenth time they used us as the first time, otherwise we’re failing somewhere. What I do want however is to grow, and to grow with technology, and be known as tech savvy guerrillas. Right now we’re not on the ball in that department, we’re a step behind, but we know that, and that’s just me being honest.

What are your thoughts on Flash Mob Marketing?

Firstly, stop using the term flash mob! Flash mob is almost seen as a sales term now in our industry, if pitching to a client I would call it something different for starters and try and revamp the general concept in some way. Or make it a type of flash that nobody has seen or considered before. For example 100 people singing is old hat, but 100 people walking like monkeys hasn’t been done, and would seem fresh and fun. To actually describe start to finish would be very long winded, and I doubt readers would make it to the bottom! Another time maybe!

Why do you feel guerrilla marketing is unique? More specifically, what makes a street team a unique form of marketing?

Guerrilla marketing reaches smaller more concentrated groups than traditional methods, but leaves more memorable impressions. It’s unique because it plays with the laws of human behavior. If you walk to work every day and see the same things, read the same newspapers, see the same advertisements, then your ‘impression’ awareness is numb. We’re inundated with adverts nowadays, we live in an age where we channel flick during commercials. So that one day you walk to work and you see something peculiar like a tug-of-war, a flash mob, chalk art, a free sample, a Guinness world record attempt etc…you take a second and then perhaps a 3rd look. You’re intrigued, and hopefully it’s left a positive emotional experience with you. Guerrilla marketing reaches smaller more concentrated groups than traditional methods, but leaves more memorable impressions. Street teams engage directly with people, they can answer questions, give an immediate face to a brand, and target specific demographics.

Have you ever encountered legal issues with your guerrilla campaigns?

No comment! It’s funny you ask, in 2 years we’ve only been shut down by the City of Toronto once, which was 2 weeks ago, running an event for Oxfam. We had treadmills set up in the middle of the sidewalk, so stationery equipment like that I completely understand the city shutting us down. We were given 1 hour to tear down or we would have gotten a fine. Generally it’s all about your cities by-laws. Toronto’s are pretty lenient and all about freedom of speech etc, so guerrilla marketers can push the boundaries relatively far and get away with it.

What recommendations could you give to our readers on how to get a job in this industry?

Become a brand ambassador for a company to get experience on street level, and see if you like it. When working on campaigns, become analytical, think how you could do it better, what are campaigns missing. The beauty of the industry is there are not high barriers of entry; the key barrier of entry is your imagination. Should someone want to invest time and energy, there’s nothing to stop you getting involved as a freelancer and offering services to companies.