The Power of Extra: Guerilla Marketing and Novelty

Guerilla Marketing is something I have been thinking of a lot lately. Incredibly unconventional, often inconvenient creative solutions to an objective. The “extra” path, if you will.
Mitch Johnson
Written by the one and only Mitch Johnson
The Power of Extra: Guerilla Marketing and Novelty, by Mitch Johnson
🙃 Loading...

"Guerrilla Marketing is a strategy in which low-cost unconventional means (sampling, freebies, videos) are utilized, often in a localized fashion or large network of individual cells, to convey or promote a product or an idea. ... The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing." (source)

Pretty cliché move to start a Blog with a definition...I know, but stay with me here. Now that the entire context of this post is set- let's hit it.

Guerilla Marketing is something I have been thinking of a lot lately. Incredibly unconventional, often inconvenient creative solutions to an objective. The "extra" path, if you will.

In fact, while we are on a roll, let's hit another definition, this one from a more modern form of dictionary.

"Extra: Doing the absolute most... For no reason." -urban dictionary

Used in a sentence, "Lorenze is being extra af rn."

Mitch really likes Dinosaurs, okay.

The deeper I dive into the world of advertising and creative strategy, I find myself completely enamored by the concept of Guerilla Marketing, and for those who find a way to rise above the noise.

I've identified four ingredients to create Guerilla Marketing that make it an effective tool in a Marketer's toolbox to create magical experiences and awareness for the cause they take up. In no way is this comprehensive- we're just jamming here.

  • Resourcefulness
  • Novelty
  • Enrollment Factor
  • Presence


Guerrilla Marketing involves utilizing unusual promotional approaches in public places, such as street giveaways of products, PR stunts, or any unconventional measures intended to get maximum results from minimal resources.

For example, this steaming cup of coffee. It's a 3D prop covering a manhole. Well played, McDonald's.

McDonald's, Canada

If you've read the other posts I've done for PB like Mind The Gapor 5 Easy Steps to World Domination (Not Really).You've discovered that I am in fact, an unabashed and unashamed personal-development nerd.

The reason I bring this up is this; this blog shall be no different, and because I have no off-switch, here is a quote from the master of personal development himself, Tony Robbins.

"It's not the lack of resources, it's your lack of resourcefulness that stops you." -Tony Robbins

Hitting me right where I live, Tony. At his San Jose conference of Unleash the Power Within back in 2017, I heard Tony yell that quote, (as he yells most things), and it struck a definite chord within me.

Resourcefulness, creativity, being able to connect seemingly unconnected dots, that is the ultimate resource.

Energy, imagination, some capital, and time. This is all that is required to create magical experiences like these:


Shark Week, Discovery Channel

Dublin City Council making a statement about careless gum-tossers.


Plain and simply- novelty works. It is refreshing. Especially in Advertising. We as modern-consumers are absolutely saturated with brands trying to sell us things. A recent study released this fun fact: We see 5000 ads a day.

Consumers are tired- Banner ads. Facebook feed ads. Packaging. Billboards. On and on and on. When something new and unique comes up. Something that breaks our pattern, and makes us think- we take note.

My friend Alex once pointed out the power of being novel once while giving me dating advice. "Being 100% you and making novel moves works," he told me. You know, It sounded like good advice at the time, but it wasn't until I put it into practice that I realized just how right he was. Don't believe me? Well, that's insulting to my dating prowess, which is understandable, but in that case just take Will Smith'sword for it.

See? Not too shabby. Being different and uniquely you in a novel way causes you to stand out in a way that pulls instead of pushes. This applies to all brands, personal and corporate.

Enrollment Factor

The art of enrollment. Enrollment is a beautiful word. It points in the direction of attracting others into a vision, experience, idea, or cause. It is taking an idea that is inside you, and taking it from "yours" to "ours". I believe with all my being that life is an enrollment game.

Guerilla Marketing is enrollment in one of its finest forms.

With effective Guerilla outreach you are taking an idea that is inside of you, creating it, putting it out into the physical world, and enrolling consumers into the experience of it.

Here are some great examples of the interactive and enrolling nature of Guerilla outreach:

Dirty Cards

The experience is what makes these tactics so sticky and so exciting. It's hard not to be enrolled into experiences like these. It's hard not to want to share it with your friends. That's effective guerilla marketing. That is effective enrollment into an experience and idea. Inviting someone to take a step out of the ordinary humdrum and experience what has been curated before them. Which leads to our final and most beautiful aspect of Guerilla outreach...


We spend most of our waking hours operating of habit, operating on autopilot. We all have routines, and sometimes without attention and intention, the days just begin to blend together.

We repeat the monotony of everyday life, business as usual. That is...Until you see something like this...

College students clawing their way towards cans of Redbull prior to exam week.

One of my favorite examples, local agency Archrival and their Redbull Airdrop on college campuses all over the globe, where they made it look as if crates of Redbull had been dropped out of the sky right before exams. Check it out here

Or this example of "Gorilla Marketing"...

Guerilla Marketing tactic executed for King Kong 3D.

I believe one of the most powerful aspects of Guerilla marketing is it that itwakes people up.

If it's good, it stops people in their tracks. It scratches the record of whatever thinking pattern they play out on a very regular basis, and body-slams them into the present moment.

This present moment is all that we will ever have.

Why not make it fun? Why not make it memorable? Why not walk the "Extra" path?

To recap why I will forever and always have a crush on Guerilla marketing- great outreach contains these ingredients in just the right amounts:

  1. Resourcefulness
  2. Novelty
  3. Enrollment
  4. Presence

A couple weeks back I questioned why I found GM to be so interesting, and then I realized that before I knew it had a name, I had been pulling stunts like this for years, and having an absolute blast doing it...

Feel free to check out below some of my favorite memories of creating GM moments that I'll never forget, and a working-knowledge that I am excited to build on through my career:

Chuck Norris as a trash can for the music department at Grand Island Senior High, 2013... It very mysteriously disappeared two weeks later. RIP Chuck.

A coming together of all the Class president signs I made for my run back in 2013. On voting day, I gathered every poster together in the main hallway to spell "VOTE."

A faux resumé put together and sent to three decision makers for the opportunity to host the 2019 international award show for Southwestern Advantage, the company I cut my teeth in.

"Gorilla Marketing"

Or that time two great friends and I promoted the fun-loving culture at a Show Choir Event, The Islander Invite, by being two gorillas wildly chasing my other friend, a 6'3 banana.

Thanks for reading. Go forth and create!



Guerrilla Marketing
we got more