In 2017, when the farmers’ protest was happening, we debated the idea of giving out traditional clothes to people living on the road sides. We chose veshtis, shirts, and sarees and then put together a ‘Pongal Kit’ with a difference. One of the most important cornerstones of a successful guerrilla marketing campaign is the reach it has, both in a physical form and in the emotional connect.
Unlike traditional marketing on print and visual media that basically advertise a product and its features/ importance, the cost effective outlier marketing encourages thinking out of the box. What can be done to connect with the people’s pulse? The values that we are brought up with come in festivities, and the perennial celebrations that make us who we are. Each festival is our identity, for it showcases our culture and practices like no other medium.
It was with this idea that we targeted Pongal, an important festival in Tamil Nadu, for an interesting marketing campaign The kit consists of the dress set (as required for the men and women) along with sugarcane and rice, which are the standard requirements of the festival for people to make the essential sakkarapongal. The twist here was this: Our Surprise Ninjas would go all over the city and deliver this kit to the people directly.
MYTH #2 GUERRILLA MARKETING CAN’T BE USED IN A TRADITIONAL FESTIVAL SCENE 19 Our team went in search of Ninja costumes, and we got good ones from a costume rental place that suited our purpose. We also learnt the basic moves of ninjas to seem authentic, and got the 15+ Pongal kits ready in hand. Our enthusiastic team of guerrilla marketers dressed up as ninjas, and performed some amazing ninja moves too. We did somersaults, jumped about, did cartwheels and other interesting ninja moves, drawing the attention of the crowd. We selected bus drivers, auto annas, roadside vendors, food cart vendors, and other people from the general public for our outlier marketing venture, and our Surprise Ninjas delivered the Pongal kits complete with their elaborate ninja moves. A lot of people watched this unique idea, and a few took videos of our presentation, interested in what we were doing.
A few others chose to take selfies with us, for their part in our interesting marketing idea. This was just another way to create an interest, and people participated willingly, because they liked the concept and the delivery of the products even if they were not the recipients. This is the power of a good idea. People’s attentions are immediately captured by an idea if it is good enough. Our intended recipients – those who got the Pongal kit from us – were also happy and the smiles on their faces made us happy too. Guerrilla marketing examples often focus on spreading the cheer and positive feeling because this will retain the brand identity longer in the mind. If the marketing campaign made them smile and feel good, they associate the brand it represents with that same feeling, thereby making us more popular.
The general public also actively participated due to two reasons: the uniqueness of the idea, and the interesting presentation. The people who took videos and selfies with us were examples of our cost effective marketing campaign’s success. The story was shared widely on social media, and it created an emotional impact due to the way it touched the emotional chords of our tradition, and connected with people based on their cultural identities. The story was featured in DT Next and a radio station, who shared this along with the response we got for our interesting campaign.