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Using Guerrilla Marketing as Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising, you see it all around you and in all kinds of variants. The delivery bicycles that will knock you off your feet in every city, posters in bus shelters, advertising blocks on lampposts, sandwich signs along the road, illuminated messages in all shapes and sizes, wrapped and stickered cars. You find outdoor advertising under your feet on mats or ground stickers on the floor. And high above you on advertising masts along the highway. All these forms of advertising fall under the heading of 'outdoor advertising'.

In addition to the usual forms of advertising in the outdoor area, there is also guerrilla marketing, the more daring and naughty variant of the usual outdoor advertising campaigns. Guerrilla marketing consists of striking and usually tailor-made campaigns that are often temporary and sometimes even balancing on the edge of what is allowed by law. You can of course contact us for the use of traditional outdoor advertising campaigns and out of home marketing. Our passion and specialization lies more in devising high-profile guerrilla marketing campaigns out of the box, tailored to a service, location, target group or an event.

Guerrilla marketing can be used in many ways as outdoor advertising. For example to promote a brand, product, event, film or music album. But also as an awareness campaign, PR stunt, brand activation and field marketing.

How did outdoor advertising actually come about?

In old black-and-white films and also the somewhat older films in color, you see people selling the newspaper shouting. If you walk in a market these days, you can still hear the loud voice of the market trader who makes his offers, especially at the fruit and vegetable stalls and stand workers. That is also advertising and that is even the oldest form of advertising. Advertising is and has always been a form of communication to persuade people to do or buy something. Advertising murals were therefore also applied to old buildings, such as former laundries.

The French company JCDecaux is big in outdoor advertising. Although you may not know the name directly, you certainly know their advertising carriers. Founder JC Decaux launched the glass bus shelter with advertising in Lyon in 1964, the bus shelter. This concept soon spread throughout France, Belgium and later non-French speaking countries. It took until 1987 before the Netherlands dared to do so, with Amsterdam as the first city.

But it didn't stop at shelters. JCDecaux soon developed mupis, self-contained billboards with a city map on one side and an advertising message on the back. In the years that followed, placards were replaced by much easier to renew posters, rotating posters were placed in advertising columns, which in recent years have been replaced by digital and sometimes even interactive screens.

All advertising in the outdoor area is therefore outside advertising. In the introduction we already list some possibilities. In practice there is much, much more. Both in size, advertising medium and material. With a guerilla marketing campaign you try to get as much attention as possible in a short time. Often it is a short-term or one-off PR stunt. For Primark we once fitted 2500 bicycles with saddle covers with the message of the opening on it. That stands out!

Saddle covers as outdoor advertising for Primark

Saddle covers as outdoor advertising for Primark

Dimensions, carriers, the right time and the right place

Outdoor advertising, sometimes too field marketing, called Out Of Home Marketing or city marketing, can therefore be seen in different shapes and sizes. This also applies to guerrilla marketing campaigns. Bicycle seat covers are small, banners are large. Stickers come in all sizes. With beamvertising you can even advertise up to a size of approximately 1000m2. An advantage of guerrilla marketing, where you place messages where you normally wouldn't find them, is that you can control where you show how many expressions and with what message.

A client opens a pop-up store in the center of Amsterdam and requests a hundred temporary chalk expressions in the vicinity of the store. Another wants expressions in front of his competitor. You can and may think something about that, but yes, it is not called guerrilla marketing for nothing. With this form of advertising you can target very specifically to a precise target group or location. Or use it very broadly. The same goes for brand activation, action marketing, PR stunts, city marketing and brand activation.

Traditional carriers of outdoor advertising are bus shelters (bus shelters), masts, buildings, lampposts and traffic bollards, buses, banners, (digital) signs along sports fields, flags, freight traffic and so on. With guerrilla marketing, brand activation or field marketing campaigns, you do it just a little differently. Curious about which forms of guerrilla marketing we offer? View the overview of our outside advertising campaigns.

The preparation, planning and execution of guerrilla advertising is usually slightly different. Many actions are applied or performed at night. For example, if an entrepreneur chooses to place his message at prime locations in city centers or around stations. Or when we need the space in a pedestrian area to do our work. That makes the surprise or confrontation the next day all the greater. 'Suddenly' there is something different for the public to see!

How effective is field marketing?

The effectiveness of an outdoor advertising campaign is difficult to measure. Anyone who makes his marketing plans based on Return On Investment must let go of this type of investment. It is simply not as measurable and not as adaptable as an online one Marketing campaign. But with ad blockers and the like, the result of an online campaign is measurable, but not always what you hope.

However, the disadvantages that one sometimes sees in outdoor advertising (difficult to target, not easy to adapt and not easy to analyze) are only disadvantages compared to the digital campaigns. If you disregard the online resources, on which there is a lot of focus, and if you compare outdoor advertising with print or television, it turns out to be many times more effective, especially if you include the costs.

Ultimately, it comes down to where the target group is located and what you want to achieve with a campaign. Only online or only advertising in the street, it concerns the total marketing mix and outdoor advertising will play an important role in this. Whether it is an advertisement on the street, a bus shelter, an image on a bus or a public toilet, the possibilities are endless. And are you also looking at a custom spectacular, PR stunt or brand experience then you can go in all directions!

Using an aftermovie, online or on social media, is recommended in many cases. Not only of the end result and the reactions of the audience, but also of the preparation, which often takes place in the dark. A great way to bring people online who may have missed the action offline!

Colorful sprint track as spectacular in Amsterdam North

Colorful sprint track as spectacular in Amsterdam North

Sustainable forms of PR stunts and out of home marketing

With image and light you can make a huge statement and stand out in the outdoor area. It can be active and even interactive, relatively easy to 'apply' and you don't really change the outdoor space. As with wild beams, outdoor advertising by means of a powerful projector. Again, you can think from very large to very small. This form of outdoor advertising with light is only clearly visible in the dark.

We projected large snowflakes onto the back of the Van Gogh museum. Very large snowflakes. And we have deployed walking beamer campaigns for other clients. The walker in the city sees the message moving in front of his feet or on buildings he passes. It moves, can even chase the walker and thus attracts a lot of attention. With a clear and catchy message, an original memory is created for the public.

Get started with beamvertising or laser graffiti, then it is firstly important that there is a surface on which to project and secondly that it is used in the dark. Projecting outside in daylight or in a vacuum doesn't work. There are more forms of outdoor advertising that are sustainable, some of which even have a graffiti-resistant effect.

With reverse graffiti we spray a part of the surface, sidewalk or street, clean. For this we use a template in which the message from the client is processed. You don't need more than this mould, the stencil, the pressure washer and a filthy street. The result: a clear message on the ground that many passers-by will not miss. If the surface is not suitable for this because it consists of, for example, asphalt or natural stone, then chalk advertising can be chosen.

Chalk messages also fall under guerrilla marketing and are often applied at night. By means of another template and an environmentally friendly chalk product, the message becomes visible. How long it remains visible depends on the type of chalk chosen. Visibility can range from a week to semi-permanent.

In the present time you can do a lot temporary chalk expressions who meet the advised 1,5 meters away or, also because of the corona measures, indicate a walking route. However long it remains visible, the chalk products from Graffitinetwerk are not harmful to the environment.

Another sustainable and eye-catching method is the rain advertising or rain campaign. People usually look where they are walking and when it rains their gaze is even more downwards. In a rain advertising campaign, the message comes out when it rains. When the surface dries, the image or text disappears again. Durable, because only a template is needed that can be reused over and over again. There is enough rain in the Netherlands to consider rain advertising as a serious advertising option.

What exactly can you use guerrilla marketing for?

Draw attention to a new brand or product. The opening of a new store. Promoting a new music album or movie. These are obvious reasons for using advertising and marketing campaigns. But we as a professional guerrilla marketing agency we also provide many campaigns for municipalities and government agencies about behavioral change and awareness.

Think of the indications on the ground to keep a distance of 1,5 meters, to indicate walking directions or to make clear again which waste belongs in which container and not next to it. Where you should park your bike or where elections are imminent. Whatever you want to tell your target audience, guerrilla marketing, field marketing or a out of home marketing campaign offers plenty of options, there is always something suitable. Know more about guerrilla marketing?

Deploy a field marketing or brand activation agency

Guerrilla marketing as outdoor advertising is therefore daring, exciting and relatively new. It is often also on the edge of what is allowed according to the APV (General Local Regulation) and it comes in many forms. An advertising agency, field marketing agency or brand activation agency comes up with something fun around a new product or message and then a company is needed to implement the plan. Read an additional article about using a promotion team or field marketing.

Guerrilla marketing often requires specific materials and the spectaculars, stickers, bicycle saddle covers, chalk expressions, street paintings, beamers and all other forms are often applied and prepared in the evenings and at night. For this you need an experienced club of people. That experience is also necessary when the unexpected request comes from a city or municipality to remove the posted message.

Because we have knowledge of the products used, we can explain in great detail what it is, how long it lasts and what its purpose is. In many cases, they turn a blind eye. The times that something had to be removed can be counted on one hand. And we're talking about fifteen years of outdoor advertising experience. In short, guerrilla marketing, field marketing, action marketing and out of home marketing you can do anything with it. It is important to have an experienced agency that thinks along with you and carries out the campaign well for you. Then your message is not to be missed.

What about outdoor advertising permits?

In principle we can be brief about this: in most cases it is not crystal clear whether a permit would be necessary. But it is also not clear whether it is allowed. The General Local Regulation almost always states that nothing may be changed or applied to or in the public outdoor space. But do you change the outdoor space if you clean a part of the street by placing a reverse graffiti expression?

Or do you add something to the outdoor space when you project a message onto a building with a beamer? What about chalk that is washed away after a week? It is therefore situational and it can never be fully predicted whether complaints will arise, for example. We ask if guerrilla marketing agency for most outdoor advertising campaigns no license is required. If a message is subtly indicated and clearly temporary, it is often accepted. But there are no guarantees.

Optical illusion of a floating zebra crossing

Optical illusion of a floating zebra crossing

Artvertising through advertising murals

Where we mentioned earlier in this article that the old-fashioned and traditional advertising murals disappeared, you have seen a resurgence in this recently. We know the street art murals that you mainly see in the big cities, art forms to improve the appearance of a street or neighborhood. Or to make an art route through a city like in Heerlen of Rotterdam. But that's not what we mean by Artvertising.

Murals on large exterior facades are used more and more to announce something. Think of new films, events and festivals. But also an opening of a restaurant or the announcement of a new product. They are hand-painted images that draw a lot of attention just while creating them.

It is special to see, people take pictures of it and that creates interaction. This one advertising murals generally remain visible on the wall afterwards and are not removed. What's with a artvertising What happens in the project is that the messenger rents a piece of wall and can then put his message on it.

Want to know more about outdoor advertising?

Do you have questions about outdoor advertising and guerrilla marketing? Do you want direct use outdoor advertising? Or do you want to know more about the options and costs? Please contact one of our specialists and receive more information without obligation.

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