Guerrilla Ads

Laurence King/Chronicle Books

Advertising Goes Guerrilla

As consumers get desensitived to constant bombardment, companies are taking extreme measures to stand out from the crowd

By Reena Jana

These are hard times for traditional television advertising. Between commercial-skipping services like TiVo and the Web — the younger generations' news source-of-choice &mdash' television is losing its position as a powerful advertising medium. Consumers are growing desensitized to the constant bombardment of logos and ads emblazoned on everything from take-out coffee cups to movie-ticket stubs. What's a brand to do to regain attention?

In the book Guerrilla Advertising (Laurence King/Chronicle Books), authors Gavin Lucas and Mike Dorrian survey examples of the growing trend of imaginative ad campaigns staged outside of traditional or online media. The authors argue that when designed well, this new breed of "guerrilla" advertising offers big-brand companies from Microsoft to McDonald's opportunities to re-engage consumers, often connecting with them more directly than could be done in a 30-second spot. Guerrilla campaigns have the added advantage that they can generate media coverage (which amounts to free advertising) and word-of-mouth.

While they risk being dismissed as mere publicity stunts, guerrilla tactics are often less expensive than TV time or print space, and generate invaluable street buzz—delivering a return on investment that's hard to argue with. And with consumers' growing use of camera phones and online sharing sites such as Flickr and YouTube, companies using guerrilla ad strategies are poised to benefit from ongoing free, digital distribution of spectacular campaigns. Here, take a look at 10 notable examples of guerrilla ads poised to become classics of the genre.

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