Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Can you high five someone from the other side of the world? This campaign showed that you can! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

June 16, 2022

Miles Everson’s 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:

I love Guerrilla Marketing! 

As someone who’s been in the business and consulting industry for 30+ years now, I’ve seen how this marketing strategy does wonders for a brand’s key performance metrics. 

According to Jay Conrad Levinson, the Father of Guerrilla Marketing, this technique looks beyond the conventional ways of advertising a product or service. Campaigns of this type are unique, engaging, easy to execute, and sometimes, inexpensive. 

Let’s talk about a fun and heartwarming guerrilla marketing tactic that connected people from the US and Netherlands in 2014. 

Continue reading to know how this campaign helped an airline company interact with its customers and leave a positive impression on them. 

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

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

There are no limits to what you can do with your marketing campaigns nowadays. 

With the advent of new technologies and innovations, you can take unusual and unique steps to expand your brand’s reach through your marketing efforts. 

Did you know that in 2014, one airline company took advantage of the technological advancements during that time to interact with its customers? 

The brand maximized its use of electricity, Internet, and HD video and audio tools to execute a highly engaging and heartwarming guerrilla marketing campaign. 

The name of that airline? 

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Photo from voanews.com

KLM is the flagship airline of the Netherlands. Founded in 1919, it is the oldest operating airline in the world. The company operates scheduled passenger and cargo flights to 145 destinations, and currently has over 35,000 employees. 

At present, KLM is part of the Air France—KLM Group and a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. 

Literally Going the Distance 

How can you high five someone who’s in a different city or country? 

The answer is simple: You can’t. That’s impossible. 

To have that physical contact with someone, you both need to be in the same place at the same time. 


What if we tell you that this was made POSSIBLE at one time in the past? 

It’s true! In 2014, KLM conducted the “KLM: Live High Five” campaign, which enabled people from Amsterdam to connect with and high five people from New York in real time despite being 3,000+ miles apart. 

Created with the help of marketing agency Eigen Fabrikaat and launched as part of KLM’s World Deal Weeks marketing strategy, the campaign consisted of 2 interactive video and audio machines. One installation was set up in Amsterdam while the other one was set up in New York. 

The machines were connected so that in real time, individuals located in both places could play a simple game TOGETHER. 

… and the intended outcome of the game? 

The perfect high five! 

People’s high five efforts were judged by the computer for timing and precision. When perfect high fives were made, KLM hostesses were there to award the prizes to the successful pairs. 

… and guess what the prizes were: 

Larger-than-life roundtrip tickets to either Amsterdam or New York

In case you’re wondering if the prizes were real… 

Yes, they were. KLM hostesses instructed the winners to claim their actual tickets at the nearest airport so they could schedule their trip. 

Talk about getting a free trip to either of the two cities by simply having the perfect high five with a stranger. That’s awesome! 

The campaign ran from August 27, 2014 to September 15, 2014—the same time frame of KLM’s World Deal Weeks. The airline’s marketing team also created a video of the guerrilla marketing strategy and uploaded it on YouTube on September 3, 2014. 

Was KLM’s “KLM: Live High Five” campaign effective? 

A lot of New Yorkers and Amsterdammers enjoyed the campaign. At first, some of them were wondering who they were seeing from the other side of the screen but eventually, they realized it was a machine that allowed them to interact with someone from a different country. 

Many participants had fun playing the game and gaining new friends. The winners of the high five game even promised to see one another when they visit each other’s country. 

What a unique and exciting experience! 

Here are the results of the campaign: 

  • The “KLM: Live High Five” video garnered a total of 500,000+ views and 6,000+ shares on YouTube. 
  • Over 50,000 New Yorkers and Amsterdammers interacted with the campaign—whether as a participant, bystander, or cheerer. 
  • A total of 20 pairs achieved the perfect high five and won roundtrip tickets to either New York or Amsterdam. 
  • During the World Deal Weeks marketing strategy in 2014, KLM’s sales increased by 7%. Many travelers took advantage of the airline’s discounted fares and some of the campaign participants also bought plane tickets to personally meet their new friends even if they didn’t win in the game. 
  • The “KLM: Live High Five” campaign was featured in various articles published by Creative Guerrilla Marketing, PR Moment, JCDecaux, Brand Activation, Posterscope, and more. 
  • The campaign became PR Moment’s “Winner of The Week” during the second week of September 2014 under the Good PR category. 

Clearly, these results show that KLM’s guerrilla marketing campaign was a hit! 

Congratulations, KLM and Eigen Fabrikaat. You deserve a round of applause for this fun and innovative marketing strategy! 

*Clap clap clap* 

One of the things that made this campaign clever was the marketing team’s creative use of technology. Since computers and machinery were gradually improving at that time, KLM immediately grabbed the opportunity and used the power of these resources to connect people like never before. 

Besides, this concept was suitable for KLM’s image. As an airline company, it is known for physically connecting people around the world through flights. 

What else? 

By adopting the high five concept, KLM positively aligned the universally recognized symbol for celebration and success with its brand. 

These factors significantly contributed to creating a clever, culturally relevant, and well-executed campaign idea that literally connected total strangers in a heartwarming way. 

Did you find today’s guerrilla marketing feature fun and insightful? 

We hope you did! 

With a main theme or concept that’s suitable for your brand’s image, you can also plan and execute a captivating marketing campaign that appeals to and resonates with your target audience. 

Who knows? 

This strategy could also be your ticket to “marketing cloud nine.” 

Have fun strategizing your own attention-grabbing and engaging marketing campaigns! 

(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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