Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Chalks and rubber balls for an attention-grabbing campaign? This company did just that! [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

November 5, 2021

Have you ever thought about using fun, interactive games to advertise your brand and engage with your target market? 

By “games,” we don’t mean those online games that a lot of us play on our smartphones nowadays. We’re referring to outdoor, recreational games that you probably experienced playing as a child! 

These could be: 

  • Hopscotch 
  • Dodgeball
  • Capture the Flag
  • Tag 
  • Duck, Duck, Goose 

… and others. 

You haven’t yet? 

If that’s the case, check out this company’s clever guerrilla marketing campaign. This will show you how outdoor games can be an awesome strategy to interact with your target market while promoting your brand! 

Foursquare is a social networking service that lets users discover and share information about businesses and other famous destinations near them. 

As a relatively new company in 2010 (Foursquare was founded in March 2009), what did Foursquare do to gain about a million app users in just one year? 

It took the fun and unconventional route to attract its target market’s attention and get them curious about the brand through… 

Guerrilla marketing

Since Foursquare didn’t have a booth like other established and prominent brands at the 2010 SXSW Convention, the company’s marketing team set up an actual game of “Four Square” outside the building of the convention hall

[Four Square: A ball game played by four players on a square court divided into quadrants. The objective of the game is for one player to eliminate his or her opponents and achieve the highest rank on the court. This is done by bouncing the ball back and forth between the quadrants.] 

Using chalks and rubber balls, Foursquare’s staff started playing and attracting passersby and those that were about to enter the convention. The game drew thousands of walk-up participants in a single day and a lot of people waited in line to have their turn to play. 

What’s more? 

The waiting time wasn’t boring for those in the queue either! 

As they waited in line for their turn to play, they received freebies such as T-shirts, buttons, and stickers handed out by Foursquare’s staff. 

The company’s founder and CEO Dennis Crowley even went the extra mile. Whenever someone from the crowd didn’t know what Foursquare was, he would help that person download the Foursquare app on his or her phone. 

After a successful download, Crowley would let that new user explore the app to understand more about Foursquare’s features and offerings. 

According to Crowley, 

“We played all day long, and there was always a waiting line. We were handing out T-shirts, buttons, and stickers. Anytime someone didn’t know what Foursquare was, we helped them find it on their phone. We helped get them up and running and using it.” 

Another good thing about the company’s guerrilla marketing tactic? 

It was fun because everyone waiting in line was talking to each other instead of staring at their phone screens! 

This showed that the campaign not only developed good connections between Foursquare and its target market but also forged new friendships among strangers. 

Was Foursquare’s “Four Square Game” effective? 

After one whole day of playing and interacting with consumers outside the SXSW Convention, Foursquare’s average number of website visitors grew from 250,000 to 350,000! 

Several websites also published articles about Foursquare’s guerrilla marketing campaign, including Medium, HubSpot, ZDNet, and AdForum. These published articles helped the social networking company garner a lot of attention online. 

Additionally, Foursquare gained around a million new users for its app because most of those who participated in the “Four Square” game were converted into customers and spread word about the app to their peers. 

Who would’ve thought that chalks and rubber balls would make a BIG impact on consumers’ awareness about Foursquare? 

This was a really clever marketing tactic from CEO Crowley and his team! 

The campaign showed that when it comes to marketing your brand’s products or services, it’s not just about WHAT you do but also HOW you do it. 

Think about Foursquare’s “Four Square” game: Even though the outdoor game didn’t have any connection with the social networking platform’s features, it still helped the company achieve its goals. 


It’s because of the positive and fun experience consumers had while interacting with the campaign. It also created a strong brand recall since the game they played pretty much had the same name as the company.

Be as clever and creative as Foursquare, too! 

Think differently and make a difference in your target market’s lives. 

With an engaging and effective guerrilla marketing campaign, you’ll be able to expose your brand to a lot more people and to top that off… 

You’ll establish positive connections with them! 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: 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 Friday, 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 Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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