Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Bringing your fears to life: Dive into this ingenious marketing stunt for a 2023 horror film! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

October 25, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

Are you familiar with the concept of “guerrilla marketing”?

If you have yet to encounter it, allow us to provide you with a quick introduction: Guerrilla marketing is an engaging and often cost-effective marketing strategy that captivates audiences through creative and unconventional promotional campaigns.

I personally find such tactics intriguing because they demonstrate that breaking away from traditional advertising norms helps promote a brand or product.

So today, let’s delve into an illustrative example of this approach. Are you curious about our featured guerrilla marketing topic?

Continue reading below to uncover how the marketing team behind this horror film used a distinctive marketing tactic to attract viewers. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

Doll horror films tap into people’s primal fears and elicit spine-tingling dread. These movies often feature seemingly innocent, inanimate objects coming to life with sinister intentions. Such a subgenre has carved a niche in the world of horror cinema, captivating audiences with eerie storytelling and ability to turn childhood playthings into symbols of fear.

In January 2023, the film “M3GAN, which revolves around a robotic doll companion, became a blockbuster hit, captivating millions worldwide. With its interesting storyline as well as various marketing efforts, the film became a HUGE success. 

One of these marketing efforts generated lots of buzz on the Internet because of its surprising and witty nature. 

What was this marketing stunt? 

Humanized M3GAN dolls!

Photo from WGTC 

M3GAN” is a science fiction horror film produced by Universal Studios, Divide/Conquer, Blumhouse Productions, and Atomic Monster. As part of Blumhouse’s innovative guerrilla marketing strategy for the film, M3GANs—individuals dressed as the doll character complete with the signature Mary Jane shoes and unsettling blue eyes—were deliberately set loose across the bustling landscape of New York City. 

These uncanny figures succeeded in sending shivers down the spines of subway commuters and daringly appeared atop the iconic Empire State Building. The M3GANs’ escapades even extended to surprise appearances on popular television shows like the “Today” show and  “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

What’s more? 

This unconventional marketing campaign also extended beyond the city limits! 

Across the borders of New York City, the M3GANs also made their presence felt by venturing onto football fields, where they performed the then-trending, now-infamous M3GAN dance, creating a unique and memorable spectacle that further enhanced the film’s buzz and intrigue.

Photo from Total Pro Sports

So, were the M3GANs successful in attracting viewers to the film? 


The appearance of M3GANs at various events, shows, and locations gained substantial attention on social media. On Twitter, the videos of the dolls garnered thousands of likes, with one of the film’s main Twitter account’s tweets gaining more than 7,000 likes and 658,000 views.

A lot of TikTok users also posted videos of the dolls in public. One of the most liked videos, posted by a fan account for Jimmy Fallon showing the visit of the M3GANs on his show, gained over 1.3 million likes.

How did these translate into ticket sales? 

Due to the creative marketing strategies for “M3GAN,” a lot of people got curious on who M3GAN is and what the film is all about. Because of that, lots of people went to the cinemas to watch the movie! 

The film earned over USD 181 million worldwide, a feat made even more impressive compared to a relatively modest budget of USD 12 million. This accomplishment translated into huge profits for the companies that produced “M3GAN.” 

Well done to the movie’s marketing team! 



What can you learn from this creative guerrilla marketing stunt? 

The marketing strategy for “M3GAN” ingeniously extended the concept of a lifelike artificial intelligence doll into the real world. This creative engagement with the audience served as a powerful extension of the film’s narrative.

The film’s marketing team also leveraged social media platforms to reach their audience through the M3GAN dance trend, turning the character into an internet sensation and creating a substantial online presence for the movie.

These show that for brands, engagement doesn’t always have to be confined to traditional channels. By embracing creativity and going beyond the usual, you can build a more profound and memorable connection with your target market.

The key takeaway here?

Think outside the box! This allows you to break free from conventional, predictable strategies and stand out in a crowded marketplace. In an era where consumers are bombarded with information and advertisements, innovative and unconventional approaches capture attention and leave a memorable impression. 

Hopefully, today’s topic served as a source of inspiration and enlightenment as you delve into the dynamic realm of guerrilla marketing!

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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