Expect a lot more of this in 2010 with new twists that integrate technology and/or social media. For example, Charmin added a search for tweeters to supports its 2009 "potty platoon" and HSBC added tweets to the BankCab program.
2. Meet Up meets Flash Mob
At the heart of the most effective guerrilla campaigns is a physical interaction. Social mobile technologies enable new interactions that guerrilla marketers will undoubtedly exploit. A well-connected marketer will be able to take the notion of a flash mob to new heights, gathering people of extraordinary commonalities at a moment's notice. Think Meet Up meets Flash Mob. It is easy to imagine a kitchen appliance company gathering left-handed vegan cooks for an "equal rights" march through Bloomingdale's that turns into a party to celebrate a new "leftist"-friendly product line.
Foursquare, Loopt and Google Latitude all represent interesting opportunities for marketers to connect with likeminded consumers in fresh ways. These tools all create the opportunity for customized micro-events that could make prospects feel a part of something special. For example, liquor brands should have a field day partnering with Foursquare and/or Loopt to create an entire night's worth of experiences.
3. Pop-up not Pooped
With commercial real estate still in the tank, expect guerrilla opportunists to exploit empty spaces in all sorts of new ways. Suddenly, these windows could become touch screen displays that are customized e-commerce-enabled eco-systems. Smart video technology would assess the people walking by (e.g., male, female, young, old, short, tall) and serve up a customized visual experience.
For example, the video window could display an avatar of the individual walking by and then transport it to a sunny beach in the Bahamas for a travel company. People could select their own destinations and place their images into them. The image could be emailed to the person along with a discount for a cruise to that destination. Less tech-heavy uses of storefronts will include live mannequins, video projections and printed posters that change on a daily basis for a reason (weather reports, news items, drinks of the day, etc.)
4. Taking Tech over the Top
Look for augmented reality to creep into guerrilla programs. For example, a girl could virtually try on a dress she's just seen via a guerrilla encounter, share that "trial" with a friend, get instant feedback, figure out who makes that dress and then order it on Zappos. Smartphone apps could include components found via a real-life scavenger hunt. People would have to find the "clue" and take a picture of it, which would help them reach a higher level in the app. The variations on this are endless but all involve integrating mobile technology with a physical experience.
Guerrilla marketers have long pursued random acts of kindness as a means of gaining attention for their brand. Look for these random acts to become less random and more upscale, providing little moments of luxury in 2010. Concierge service in unexpected places, free transport in unique vehicles and exotic food samples for passersby are but three examples you can expect to see this year.
Little luxuries are always welcome and can be delivered on an increasingly personal basis, thanks to advancing technology. For example, GPS mash-ups can enable everything from customized messaging to personalized walking tours. This messaging could be educational -- like how do you get the best shot of a landmark (that you happened to be at) to what's the best thing to order at the restaurant across the street. This level of customization will endear brands to their prospects, thus transforming them into card-carrying brand evangelists.