Creating a Concept: Thinking Like a Guerrilla Marketer

It is believed that on average an individual will come across upwards of 10 guerrilla marketing advertisements in a single day. A direct mail piece in your mail, your morning paper has a free coupon, the bus your riding has an advertisement along the side, a promo rep at the subway distributing product samples. Four instances and it’s still only 8.55am.

What is therefore important for any guerrilla marketer is the pre-event process, creating your strategy and identifying how you will stand out from the crowd. Guerrilla marketers are now not only competing with traditional marketing methods, but an abundance of other guerrilla methods.

A unique and cost effective strategy is acting out a public stunt. Public stunts enable a company to turn heads in a creative manner, whilst touching on their image and identity. For any businesses wishing to plan a public stunt, here are a few factors to carefully consider.


Set your budget…….and then half it. Don’t start planning with a $$ sign as your boundary. Often the money allocated is all you can think about. Challenge yourself to think about your options with a smaller budget first. This will enable you to think more about the purity of the stunt, and what could really turn heads. When you have a rough idea, open your full budget up again to continue planning, it will be a luxury!

Don’t force it

Creative juices often flow at the most obscure times, let it come naturally it’s not time sensitive!

Feeding the creative juices

When you have started to roll a few ideas around, make a conscious effort to open your peripheral vision. Look at how people interact and consider how you could incorporate your brand into an everyday aspect of life, with a fun and innovative twist.

Take a day off

Let your brain rest for a few days, often a guerrilla thinks about an idea for too long and becomes emotionally attached to it, believing it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Have a few days of non-brainstorming, and when you revisit your idea(s) you’ll have a clearer head, and be able to make a better judgment. In addition to this, there is every chance it will be during your ‘day off’ whilst relaxing you miraculously have that final moment of inspiration you’ve been looking for to make your stunt go from good to great.

Don’t be too conservative

The beauty of the industry is that it is one of the last standing that encourages the outrageous, the fun and the general outside the box thinking. If you’re going to adopt this method of marketing don’t be afraid to push the limits.


Make sure you have a good balance of stunt and distribution. A public stunt will definitely lour the public in, but without a ‘takeaway’ being distributed, awareness of the product is really not being generated. Having staff split into both a stunt team and a distribution team is a great way to ensure there is appropriate balance.

Written by Calum McGuigan

Calum McGuigan is the President of Fervent Events.

Fervent Events is a guerrilla marketing company based in Toronto, Ontario. Fervent offers strategically conceived B2C campaigns, for any budget. They explore, develop and implement engaging plans of action, designed to increase immediate brand awareness and leave a memorable impression.

Calum moved to Toronto in 2006 after graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BA (Hons) Events Management degree and previously worked as Special Events Officer at Daily Bread Food Bank for 2.5 years. -


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