Guerrilla Advertising in Nigeria

10 Campaign Ideas for Nigerian Brands

by Osayande Akenzua
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Whether you realized it or not, you have tried pulling off guerrilla advertising in Nigeria at some point in your career as an advertiser or brand manager. Here is why. 

For many Nigerian brands, the conventional advertisement strategy has become a case of fishers casting large expensive nets onto the seas, hoping to catch some fish so long as they make sales. As a result, the shift in the audience’s interests has become an issue of concern. 

Consumers can’t just wait to skip the ads anymore. Hence, breaking the ‘lack of interest’ barriers of the target audience is of utmost importance, which is something that guerrilla advertising has proven great at achieving.

What is Guerrilla Advertising?

Guerrilla advertising is a marketing approach in which a business promotes a product or service using elements of surprise – astonishment and unique engagements. 

Guerrilla advertising is a unique traditional marketing approach which mostly relies on human interactions. It doesn’t require a particularly large budget, but focuses on using a small group of local promoters to spread awareness in a specific place rather than through large media campaigns. 

There are different creative ways of deploying guerrilla advertising for your brand. They include viral or buzz marketing, stealth (more like Easter eggs advertisement), ambient, ambush, projection advertising, astroturfing, grassroots, wild posting, street art, flash mob, and pop-up retail or temporary retail outlets. 

Guerrilla Advertising Ideas for Nigerian Brands - Nimbus Media 01

Guerrilla advertising helps Nigerian brands to leave a considerably more lasting impression on customers than traditional advertising and marketing techniques because most guerrilla strategies seek to connect with consumers more intimately and memorably. 

In addition, guerrilla marketing occurs in public venues with a large audience, such as streets, concerts, public parks, sporting events, festivals, beaches, and shopping complexes.

Five Rules Of Guerrilla Advertising

The beauty of guerilla advertising is that there aren’t many rules like the conventional advertising approaches. Guerrilla advertising aims to defy as many conventional rules (rules that have turned conventional ads into the boring norms we can’t wait to skip) as possible. 

However, guidelines that would be best to follow if you want to avoid the disadvantages of this controversial path include;

  • Defining Your Objectives

Although Guerrilla Advertising requires ingenuity and the element of surprise, it also requires careful preparation. Knowing what to do, the location, and the results are crucial.

  • Identifying Your Audience.

Guerrilla marketing works because it is controversial and can avoid the “corporate” restrictions of traditional advertising. However, it would be best to consider your audience’s sense of humour; you want to be memorable while not obnoxious.

  • Drawing the line

In this modern era, public figures, businesses, or influencers can be cancelled for posting the wrong thing (provocative content) online; advertisers need to up the game to elicit positive emotions without stepping on any minority group’s toes. 

Guerrilla marketing gets even more challenging because humour isn’t always required. Appealing to people’s sympathetic feelings can be equally as effective. However, remember that there is a narrow line between being sympathetic and insensitive.

  • Keeping it brief

A guerrilla campaign should emerge out of thin air and dissipate as swiftly as it appeared. The mystery and fleeting nature contribute to its potency. In a nutshell, make sure the joke doesn’t get old.

  • Conducting Research

You can prevent unforeseen legal issues by contacting the responsible authorities and ensuring you have all your permissions. While conventional advertising regulations can be ignored, state or country advertising laws must be observed. 

If you take the time to read the laws of your location of operation, you will be able to identify and avoid all legal pitfalls. Also, be certain that your project is both animal and environmentally friendly.

10 Guerrilla Advertising Ideas for Nigerian Brands

Branded Traffic Control Stands or Shades

This is a common guerrilla advertising technique for most Nigerian brands as it’s cheap, easy, and doesn’t shout marketing or advertisement compared to billboards or fliers. It involves branding the stands traffic officers use at major road junctions. 

Guerilla Advertising Ideas for Nigerian Brands - Mikano

Nigerian-based brands that have succeeded with this method include Mikano generators, Duracell, Closeup, etc.

Branded Refrigerators, Shops, and Buildings

Nigerian-based beverage brands like 7Up, Coca-cola, Gulder, Guinness, Maltina, etc., give food and beverage vendors who patronize them branded packages like refrigerators, freezers, chairs, tables, etc. as a form of compensation while also advertising their brands. 

Guerrilla Advertising Ideas for Nigerian Brands - Coca Cola

In addition, mobile service providers, Indomie, and some detergent-producing companies are familiar brands that customize buildings and shops.

Branded Private and Commercial Vehicles

This is one of the most common guerilla advertising methods that can reach far and wide, especially to the audience that doesn’t have the luxury of plenty of screen time as they are often on the road or outdoors. It is equally effective as politicians and political parties commonly use it during campaigns.

Awareness Parade

Organizing parades, dance festivals, etc., are ways that many Nigerian brands use to advertise their products. They hire dancers, have them wear the brands’ kits, and use their dance and music to attract the audience’s attention. 

Guerilla Advertising Ideas for Nigerian Brands - Roadshow

They could construct stages in public open places or on large vehicles where the dancers will perform. Brands like Minime, Indomie, and Tecno have used this guerrilla advert.

Hosting or sponsoring TV Shows

Guerrilla Advertising Ideas for Nigerian Brands - MTN Who Wants to be a Millionaire

People may not like to sit and watch a fifteen-second ad, but they can spend hours watching their favorite TV show, showcasing your brand as the show’s sponsor.

 Once the show succeeds and has created awareness, the audience can patronize your brand for such reasons or at least anticipate more of your shows. They could even help make your show and brand go viral. Brands like Malta Guinness’s Supa Strikers, Guinness’s Michael Power, MTN’s Who wants to be a Millionaire, etc.

Viral Marketing

While it can be the most daunting to execute, if done correctly, and it becomes successful, it can be the cheapest and most efficient advertisement because you will have satisfied, happy customers advertising your brand. 

For example, one brand that rose via viral marketing is Kuda Bank, whose services are too good to be accurate as they provide solutions to most Nigerians’ banking problems.

Hosting Events in Communities

Public events like dance or sports competitions and talent hunts for people in different communities like neighbourhoods, schools, campuses, etc., are other popular guerrilla advertising strategies common among Nigerian brands. 

Brands like 9Mobile MTN, GLO, Samsung, etc., use this method, which seems more engaging than TV shows.  

Stealth Advertisements in Movies

Guerrilla Advertising Ideas for Nigerian Brands - Rayban Stories by Meta

It is more like sponsoring TV shows or comics, but at a subtler level as the characters use the products or services while in the movie, for example, using Innosson IVM vehicles in the Netflix’s Nollywood movie; Lion Heart.

Fan Clubs

Fan clubs are also an effective guerrilla marketing tactic, particularly for younger audiences. The public becomes aware of the brand through fan clubs, and its members receive first-hand information about new products, as well as branded souvenirs and gifts that they can carry about to increase brand visibility.

Community Service

Community service projects are most common among non-profit brands, but sometimes, showing the people that you’re not all about profits is a way of making a good impression. You’ll still have other ad campaigns directly marketing your brand. 

Many startups, Foundations, churches, and even banks like Access Bank are cashing-in on community service

In all, guerrilla advertisements are about “out of the box” advertisements. It uses astonishment, humor, and controversy to spearhead the advert’s presentation to the public.

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