Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

DRAMARAMA! This marketing stunt shook a quiet Belgian town square! [Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

May 15, 2020

Imagine a small, quaint town in Belgium.

Simple, quiet, and peaceful.

At the center is a town square where people are going about minding their own business.

It seems to be a normal day with nothing out of the ordinary happening.

But what if you could change all that with just a push of a button?

Crazy? Nope.

Ask the folks in this Flemish town who suddenly found themselves stuck in place as insanity ensued everywhere.

Right smack in the middle of their town square was a big red button with a large arrow hanging above it that had only one instruction:


Everyone saw it, but no one dared to go near it. People were clearly keeping their distance.

Passersby just looked at it. Diners at nearby cafes or restaurants just stared at it. After all, who would want to be responsible for whatever happens once the button is pressed, right?

After a while, someone curious enough would decide that a button that big and red just needed to be pushed.

What happened next was definitely drama.

    A loud siren suddenly blared, and an ambulance came rushing in. Two large medics jumped out in a hurry, went inside a building, and immediately emerged carrying an injured man on a stretcher.
    Within just a few steps out of the building, the medics accidentally lost their hold on the stretcher, dropping the seemingly unconscious injured man to the ground!
    Without skipping a beat, the medics picked him up, put him back on the stretcher, and wheeled the stretcher into the ambulance.
    In their haste, the medics had forgotten to close the back doors. As soon as they started to speed off, the man on the stretcher rolled out!
    At that moment, a man on a bike rode past the stretcher, and got distracted by what was happening. Before he could look at where he was going, he hit the door of the ambulance just as the driver was stepping out!
    The man on the bike fell flat on his face! In his rage, he yelled at the ambulance driver, ran toward him, and shoved him, starting a fist fight!
    As the other medic looked on, the injured man who was on the stretcher suddenly got up and went straight for that medic, launching into another fist fight of their own.
    Out of nowhere, a woman in a red bikini on a loud motorbike just drives by.
    Then, a black SUV races in from the corner where the woman on the motorbike disappeared into, and comes to an abrupt halt in front of the ambulance, and men in suits come piling out. Almost instantly, a police vehicle comes screeching in right from that same corner!
    Suddenly, there’s even a SWAT vehicle that rolls up on the other side of the black SUV.
    Everyone jumped out of their vehicles, whipped out their guns, and started shooting at each other. One of the men from the black SUV was shot and fell to the ground.
    Amidst the chaos caused by the shootout, the injured man who had been on the stretcher is pushed into the black SUV by one of the suits and one of the medics.
    As if on cue, everyone in the shootout got into their cars and hurriedly drove away, leaving behind the man who was shot.
    As the cars sped away, a group of American football players came out of another building and carried the man who was shot back into the building.
    And the woman in a red bikini on the loud motorbike zipped past again from the corner she had disappeared into earlier.

It was a spectacle of action, comedy, drama, and sports combined!

Right after, a tarp rolled out from the top of a building that said:

It was the launch of the TV Channel TNT in Belgium.

All this happened so fast that the person who pushed the button stood dumbfounded, frozen in the same spot.

The crowd watching was left shocked and speechless.

Did that really happen? What was that madness that had just unfolded before them? Were their minds playing tricks on them?

What they all just witnessed was one of the most ambitious guerrilla marketing campaigns of 2012.

<Watch the whole thing on YouTube here.>

This marketing stunt was created by Duval Guillaume Modem, an agency known for conceptualizing unique guerrilla marketing campaigns for different brands

The concept behind the entire display was made in just five days. No storyboards, just pure brainstorming.

The first idea was a “Cowboys and Indians” stunt, but they decided to go bigger.

After a series of rehearsals, the plan was all set, and the rest is history!

It was a success.

The ad generated 29 million views on YouTube in just one week.

To put things into perspective, the population of Belgium at that time was just 11 million!

The ad was also shared more than 3 million times two months after its release, reaching more people in different parts of the world.

The campaign won in Cannes Lions 2012, which is one of the most prestigious advertising award shows in the world. They won 5 Gold awards and 1 Bronze award!

  • Gold: Media – Best Use of Special Events and Stunt/Live Advertising
  • Gold: Outdoor – Stunts & Live Advertising
  • Gold: PR – Best Use of Live Events and/or Stunts
  • Gold: Promo – Best New Product Launch/Re-Launch or Multi-Product Promotion at Retail
  • Gold: Promo – Publications & Media
  • Bronze: Direct – Product Launches

This spectacular TNT ad showed that you can use shock and awe to wow the crowd, and leave a huge impression that will make them remember your brand!

There are different ways to do this: flash mobs, controversial ads in bus stops, billboards that serve beer, and many more.

Guerrilla marketing is all about creativity and getting a memorable reaction from your audience.

With the right execution, guerrilla marketing could be an effective way to promote your brand. In the end, your ad can become the talk of the town, shared all over social media and by word of mouth.

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 is 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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