How to Conduct Guerrilla Marketing in Singapore

how to conduct guerrilla marketing

The Singaporean business landscape is getting more competitive with every passing day, and businesses, as well as individuals, are looking for ways to gain the upper hand over their competition through marketing and advertising. In this article, we look at how to conduct guerrilla marketing in Singapore. However, before we discuss how to do it right, let us define what it is first.

What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

This is a cheap advertising strategy that businesses and individuals use to promote their products and services on the streets and other public areas. The goal of guerrilla marketing is to grab the attention of the public especially in parks, beaches, shopping malls, bus stops, train terminals, and the like.

Much like in the guerrilla warfare, guerrilla marketing also depends on the element of surprise. According to a post on HubSpot, there are several types of guerrilla marketing namely: 

  • Outdoor guerrilla marketing such as parks, on the street
  • Indoor guerrilla marketing such as in train terminals, inside shopping malls
  • Event ambush guerrilla marketing such as in a concert
  • Experiential guerrilla marketing

With the low costs associated with guerrilla marketing, both small businesses and established enterprises can gain the much-needed brand engagement with their consumers. But how do you do it?

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Guerrilla Marketing’s History

Additionally, it may be a lot more risky to get a huge business to perform guerrilla advertising strategies. Their own guerrilla stunts come to be a PR nightmare and can flop. Since folks will simply write it off companies do not run as much danger.

Many large corporations are jumping on the bandwagon by embarking on guerrilla marketing. However critics have hit out that because their brands are already so well known, whatever they amount to does not count as true guerrilla marketing because it does not have the “shock” and “steep climb” in brand recognition.

Companies approached advertising and began changing their methods of thinking. The idea of guerrilla advertising continues to grow and expand organically.

Campaigns focus on advertising spending in mass media channels like print and radio.
Marketing may be dated back to 4000 BC. That which we believe promotion and advertising developed over the centuries but not thrived until the early 1900s.

Agencies fought to create an impression on customers and customers have been tired of being promoted to.

It was that the objective of advertisements would be to teach the consumer about service or the product rather than to amuse and engage them.

In Levinson’s book, he suggests methods of combating and coming types of advertisements. The objective of guerrilla advertising was supposed to use unconventional approaches to market on a budget. In this time period, print, television and radio were on the upswing, but customers were becoming tired. Levinson suggests that attempts will need to be smart, unique, eccentric and shocking. It ought to make buzz.

Big Businesses Are Using Guerrilla Advertising Guerrilla advertising initially was a theory aimed towards small companies having a small budget, but that did not stop huge companies from embracing the exact same ideology.

It was not until early 1990s and the late 1980s that cable tv began seeing advertisements messages. The leader in this period has been MTV, where they concentrated on obtaining the consumer into the promotion message instead of it being the by-product of a series that is featured.

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How to Conduct Guerrilla Marketing in Singapore?

Here is a breakdown of how to successfully conduct guerrilla marketing. We will also include examples of Singapore companies that are using or have used this tactic to their advantage.

Make the Campaign Endearing

While you want to take risks with your guerrilla marketing, ensure that it is endearing to your consumers or the intended audience and tailored to your business. For example, Deliveroo Singapore, a restaurant in Singapore used the guerrilla marketing method to boost its sales.

They realized that most white-collar Singaporeans prefer to ask for lunch to be delivered into their offices. Deliveroo Singapore decided that every Friday afternoon, its staff would put on kangaroo inspired onesies and head out to the central business district.

How to Conduct Guerrilla Marketing in Singapore

They would hand out flyers, notebooks tote bags, and a multitude of other Deliveroo merchandise. The onesies created an awareness for the people working in the central business district that Deliveroo was the place to get lunch.

It Is Not About Traditional Media

One thing is certain, you cannot pull off guerrilla marketing using traditional advertising media such as billboards, or TV adverts. This is because instead of investing copious amounts of money that is synonymous with traditional media, you only need to invest your imagination, time, and energy into guerrilla marketing.

According to Jay Conrad Levinson, the person who coined the term, ‘guerrilla marketing,’ businesses have to maintain a devotion to customer follow-up and feedback after making a purchase. Besides this, Levinson continues to say that instead of focusing on single marketing avenues, guerrilla marketers use different marketing combinations to get the word out. 

Step Up and Take A Risk

Guerrilla marketing is nothing like traditional and digital advertising, and it requires that you take a gamble and risk it all for the sake of your brand. In addition, there are some industries where guerrilla marketing tactics will not work. For example, businesses in highly regulated industries such as insurance and the financial service providers, a guerrilla marketing tactic would be a risky undertaking.

It needs tenacity to pull off this type of marketing seeing that there is a chance that a guerrilla marketing campaign could rub off city officials and irk a section of your consumers. What this means is that if you cannot bend the rules, then guerrilla marketing is not for you.

This is what WePay did against PayPal. It is no secret that PayPal freezes accounts randomly, and this could leave you in a fix. WePay, that competes with PayPal, froze several hundred dollars in a block of ice with a note saying that ‘PayPal freezes your accounts.’ Rich Aberman, WePay’s co-founder, wheeled in the box of ice during PayPal’s conference.

This was a bold move on WePay’s end, but it did send the message across that the conference attendees can unfreeze their money if they switch to WePay. It was a risky and daring move that was very successful. 

Make Your Campaign Clever and Subtle

To leave a lasting impression on your target audience, the campaign has to be new and smart. The most memorable campaigns are those that bring a new yet subtle twist to the common point of views.

For example, McDonald’s painted the infamous red fries’ holder on the road next to a pedestrian crossing. They then went ahead to paint the strips on the road yellow, so as to resembles a box of fries on the road. Anyone who accessed the road would automatically start craving for fries and guess what, they bought McDonald’s fries at the end of the day.

Another company that used the pedestrian crosswalk tactic is Mr. Clean. The company painted one strip white and added the company’s logo. Compared to the other strips, the message was clear for all to see, ‘Mr. Clean makes surfaces cleaner.’ This way, Mr. Clean increased sales and brand engagement.

Impress People Who Can Expand Your Reach

Uber is known the world over, but did you know that they expanded into 300 cities in 6 years by word of mouth? The lesson here is that you do not need money to create a guerrilla marketing stunt. 

In one of its guerrilla marketing campaigns, Uber partnered with ASPCA and Cheezburger for Uber Kittens promotion. Uber drivers would deliver kittens to users in the participating cities in the US, and the people had 15 minutes to play with the kittens.

How to Conduct Guerrilla Marketing in Singapore

The kittens were also up for adoption, and during the campaign period, 30 of the kittens got adopted. It was a win for everyone; Uber got its publicity, and ASPCA kittens were adopted by loving owners. However, while impressing these people, make sure that your brand is getting consumer engagement as well.

Create A Challenge

Social media is abuzz with challenges, and the most popular challenge has to be the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It can be difficult to achieve level of success that the Ice Bucket Challenge had, but there are some things you can learn from it.

The challenge has to be doable, attract high social media following and flatter the participants. Many celebrities and ordinary citizens from all across the globe took to the challenge, and the ALS donations went through the roof. In 2013, they only received $1.7 million prior to the challenge, but at the height of the challenge in 2014, the donations were more than $11.5 million.

Another challenge that has sparked interest online is the No Make-Up Selfie. It became insanely popular with women who under the guise of the challenge would express their frustration with the imposed beauty standards. 

Engage Influencers

Influencers are part and parcel of the digital space, and since traditional media will not do much for your guerrilla marketing campaigns, they will help you engage with the target audience better. They will also drive much-needed traffic to your campaign.

For example, in 2015, Jerome Lim a Singaporean blogger wrote about ‘Stumbling upon a Tiger’s lair’ where he described how he came across a wooden crate with an assortment of memorabilia among them old Tiger Beer cans and bottles. As soon as the post went up on his blog, Singaporeans responded by claiming that it was a publicity stunt which Tiger Beer admitted it was.

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Tiger beer had not counted on Lim finding the box, and in a statement to the press, the company’s spokesperson said it was an SG50 celebration. While some say it was a failure, it got people talking and spurred engagement.


There are many ways of doing guerrilla marketing in Singapore, and all it takes is your imagination, time, and your energy. With that said, it might seem like an excellent idea to try something that has worked, but copy-pasting ideas will make your campaign to fall flat on its face.

Based on the fact that it is a simple way of putting together a marketing campaign, it makes it all the more difficult to pull off. However, with the above tips, you will be well on your way to creating guerrilla marketing that will leave a lasting impression of your brand on your current and potential consumers.

MediaOne is the leading provider of digital marketing services in Singapore. We will help you come up with a superb guerrilla marketing campaign and implement it for you. Call us today at (65) 6789 9852 or get in touch with our customer care team for more details. 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

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