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20/11/2008 - par Mark Tungate

In times of recession we're often told that the Chinese symbol for crisis is made up of danger, plus opportunity. For clients who are terrified of spending money during the current crisis, this may be an opportunity to try something different: guerrilla marketing. Last week I attended the Marka conference in Istanbul, where lots of other marketing experts spoke about far more interesting things that I did. One of them was Ian Grais, who works at the Canadian agency Rethink, in Vancouver (see www.rethinkcommunications.com).
Grais is a guerrilla marketing specialist – and he shared some amusing case studies with us. For instance, there was a bar that wanted to attract university students. Grais and his team bought 250 second-hand wallets, put a couple of dollar bills in each one, and left them around places where students might gather (libraries, cafés). When the students picked up the wallets, they found a note inside inviting them to the bar.
The agency promoted the threat of global warming by stationing lifeguards on Vancouver streets and hanging boats from the side of buildings. Once, it placed a glass tank stuffed with dollar bills at a bus shelter. People used boots, hammers and drills to try and get to the money, to no avail. And in fact the stunt promoted a brand of unbreakable glass. Of course, these ideas got loads of media coverage, making the client's money go much further. So if you're thinking of cutting your budget, go guerrilla.

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