Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

“Don’t ever leave me.” – How did this campaign protect women from men who claimed to “love” them? [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

March 9, 2023

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!

Campaigns of this type always remind me that promoting or advertising a brand doesn’t always have to be too complex, formal, or traditional.

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with it yet, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional, engaging, and impactful marketing strategy. It sparks an emotional reaction that leads to effective and lasting brand recall.

Allow us to share with you an example of a guerrilla marketing stunt.

Keep reading to know how this Greek chocolate brand used an online campaign to raise social awareness about the alarming cases of femicide in the European country.

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

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

Greeks are known to be generally fiery, intensely passionate people—whether in their careers, beliefs, and love.

Greek men, especially, are passionate in love. They are strong and steadfast in their decisions, and they are an embodiment of masculinity.

The thing is, these characteristics come with a price. When a Greek man’s ego is hurt, his frustrations will often come out in fits of anger. This then ends tragically sometimes: With someone’s death.

Did you know that in 2021, alarming statistics stunned the entire nation of Greece?

A total of 17 brutal femicides were reported by the media, with 2 cases taking place in the same week in December 2021.

What’s worse?

Many of the perpetrators tried to justify their actions as either “love crimes” or “crimes of passion.”

[Femicide: A hate crime that is broadly defined as the “intentional killing of women or girls because they are females.” The term is also used to describe killings of women by intimate partners and family members, or any other gender-related killings in the community.]

Don’t Ever Leave Me… Or Else…

In response to the statistics mentioned above, Greek chocolate brand Lacta came up with a digital guerrilla marketing campaign to raise awareness about the rate of domestic violence in Greece.

Partnering with advertising agency Ogilvy Greece and communications agency WPP, the brand launched the campaign, “Don’t Ever Leave Me.”

Photo from YouTube

Just a brief background about Lacta: As a “romance” brand, the chocolate company has been telling love stories for ages. Some examples of its past campaigns are “Does Love Exist?,” “The Taste of Love,” and “Make The Move.”

These ads tackled different areas of romantic relationships, comparing the feeling of falling in love with the sweetness of Lacta chocolate.

… and since the brand has been associated with love and romance, it knew it had the power to speak up about domestic violence against women too. Hence, in the “Don’t Ever Leave Me” campaign, Lacta produced a 4-minute film that showed what a love story is NOT.

Photo from YouTube

Helmed by acclaimed Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos, the video stars 2 young lovers in what seems to be a cliché love story. Under the Greek summer sun, the couple professes their love for each other, promising to never leave one another’s side.

It’s an idyllic scene that appears like a typical romantic tale of boy-meets-girl, but as the film progresses, things take a sinister turn.

As time passes, the male character slowly begins to manipulate and abuse his partner, with the relationship becoming toxic and extremely dangerous for the woman.

Some scenes show the man questioning who the woman is talking to on the phone, getting angry when the woman wants to go out with her friends, and threatening her to the point where she hides in their apartment bathroom.

Photo from YouTube

In the final scene, the couple is in the car and the woman tells her boyfriend that she wants to leave him. This angers the man immensely. As the woman escapes the car, her boyfriend chases her and pushes her off a cliff, “accidentally” killing her.

Afterwards, the final message directs viewers to the Diotima Center website, a non-government organization committed to gender rights and equality, to help women spot the telltale signs of abuse.

The short film was released a week before November 25, 2021, just in time for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Was Lacta’s “Don’t Ever Leave Me” campaign effective?

The film resonated with thousands of viewers not only in Greece but also in different parts of the world. It served as an eye-opener for women who:

  • Convince themselves that they’ve found “love”
  • Ignore the warning signs of abuse
  • Are ashamed to ask for help
  • Keep forgiving their partners even when the latter doesn’t show signs of remorse

Here are the results of the digital guerrilla marketing campaign:

  • The campaign instantly went viral and became the #1 trending YouTube video in Greece for 10 days.
  • In just a week, the short film garnered over 1 million organic views on social media, 60% of which came from other countries.
  • The campaign was featured in all major Greek TV news and talk shows, creating a BIG discussion around the subject that had been unsettling Greek society for months.
  • From November 25, 2021 to December 10, 2021, the short film was shown in schools and also shared by the Greek Police on social media.
  • The “Don’t Ever Leave Me” campaign became the Editor’s Pick on AdAge and the Ad of the Day on The Drum in 2021.
  • After the campaign, Diotima recorded that the requests for help from domestic violence survivors increased by 8 times, and its website traffic increased by 650% as many people visited the “How to Tell the Signs of Abuse” page.

These results clearly show that Lacta’s digital guerrilla marketing strategy delivered its message to its target audience. The campaign not only boosted Lacta’s reputation as a “romance” brand but also empowered domestic violence victims to break free from toxic relationships.

Congratulations, Lacta, Ogilvy Greece, and WPP!

According to Panos Sambrakos, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Greece, consistency 
was one of the keys that led to the success of Lacta’s “Don’t Ever Leave Me” campaign.


As a chocolate brand, Lacta has been long associated with romantic love. Because of that, the campaign team believed the brand also had the right and obligation to talk about serious issues like femicide, “love crimes,” etc.

In Sambrakos’ words:

“There was this thing building up, boiling in Greek society, and we needed to talk about it. The insight was that many of these crimes were attributed to love. They were called ‘crimes of passion,’ or you had relatives of the perpetrator saying, ‘He killed her because he loved her too much.’

So, we thought it was our place, because we have been talking about love all these years, to say, ‘Listen, this is not love. This is something different, you need to be aware of it, and you need to know the signs to get out of this type of relationship early on.’

That’s why we felt that it was our right and our obligation to talk about it. Lacta is really top of mind for Greek consumers—it’s a major, mainstream brand. So if a mainstream brand talks about this issue, it becomes mainstream.”

We hope you’re empowered by this eye-opening digital guerrilla marketing campaign!

Awareness-raising campaigns are important since they are an organized effort, influencing institutions and individuals’ actions.

With these kinds of marketing tactics, businesses will not only leave a lasting brand recall but also contribute a positive change in the communities they are serving.

It’s time to think about your own socially responsible marketing strategies too!

(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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