Top 5 Guerilla Marketing Mishaps

In the never-ending quest for free publicity, guerilla marketers have gone through great lengths to try to make a big splash. Many guerilla marketers will often concoct stunts that are risky or illegal to grab the publics’ attention. Some stunts go over better than others while a few completely backfire. As a tribute to these foolhardy souls, WebUrbanist has put together their top 5 mishaps in guerilla marketing. The list, inside…

5. at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

A man donning a purple tutu with the words “” painted on his torso, jumped off of a high dive board into the olympic swimming pool. Greek officials were not pleased, slapping the man with 3 months in Greek prison. Ultimately, he was released and given a fine of a few hundred dollars.

4. Microsoft Zune at South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas.

At the SXSW, a man was simply posting bright large Zune posters in different locations, but it would seem that the hatred of Zune spreads far and wide. He was detained and handcuffed by police as onlookers were heard yelling things such as, “We’ll have none of your advertising for your DRM’d crippleware’d crappy MP3 player littering our town!”

3. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” movie poster campaign.

This campaign featured posters across the country that read, “You suck Sarah Marshall.” However, the real Sarah Marshalls’ of the country were none too pleased. In response, new posters went up that read, “You suck Judd Apatow,” a hostile salute to the film’s producer.

2. Nvidia manufactures hype with fake forum fanfare.

A few years ago, Nivdia was accused of making fake posts in forums to tout their new product. This is probably the most common guerilla-marketing tactic since it is so easy to do. Because Nvidia is such a big company with a ravenous fan base, their forum forgeries seem to be the most infamous. The Consumerist featured this story in early 2006.

1. Aqua Teen Hunger Force and the Boston bomb scare of 2007.

Approximately 20 glowing signs depicting a character from the cartoon series were mounted in strategic areas around Boston, including places around bridges and overpasses. The areas seemed a little too strategic for Boston officials who summoned the bomb squad to dismantle the innocuous signs. The stunt cost Turner Broadcasting Company $2 million which went to reimburse Boston PD and Homeland Security. Apparently, the city feared the dreaded “Lite Brite” bomb, so popular among terrorists.


Written by Ryan Lum

Ryan Lum is the founder and editor of Creative Guerrilla Marketing. He is passionate about creative marketing, social media and design. Connect with him on LinkedIn,Twitter or Google+


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