Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Drop the HACK: Airdropping messages to a rival’s devices boosted this company’s product engagements! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

October 19, 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:

Hello, everyone!

Ready to delve into the world of guerrilla marketing today?

I personally like this marketing strategy because it not only allows marketers to explore unconventional advertising tricks, but also offers diverse imaginative options for promoting a brand. The goal is to reach a targeted audience in unexpected and memorable ways to generate buzz and brand recognition.

Today, we’ll discuss an electronic company’s guerrilla marketing campaign that employed a shocking stunt to win people’s hearts and minds.

Read on to learn more about it.

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

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

What are the factors that you look out for when buying a phone?

Do you prioritize…

Overall quality?



Camera quality?

Let’s say a company offered you a refurbished, inexpensive phone with the same quality as your preferred phone. As a bonus, it’s environmentally friendly. Would you buy it?

In 2022, a French electronics company attempted to introduce refurbished phones using the technology of one of its competitors, Apple. The name of that company is…

Back Market!

Photo from: Forbes

Since 2014, Back Market has been serving the global market by offering professionally refurbished, high-quality electronics, thus paving the way for sustainable use of technology. In fact, a recent article from Forbes reported that the tech company has already helped save a million tons of carbon dioxide!

… and as part of its branding as a sustainable choice for electronics, Back Market continues to encourage people to adopt greener ways in using technology.

Its commitment to such a cause was recently showcased through a guerrilla marketing stunt in 2022, which surprised people purchasing phones from Apple stores in Europe.

The name of the campaign?

“Hack Market!”

Photo from: Clio Awards

On Earth day, April 22, 2022, Back Market collaborated with marketing agency Marcel to execute a campaign that aimed to not only convince people to buy refurbished phones but also adopt greener practices.

The campaign ensured target consumers would be aware that buying refurbished phones would help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 91%.

How did Back Market and Marcel execute this?

The campaign team conducted the guerrilla marketing stunt in six Apple stores across Europe by utilizing Apple’s technology, AirDrop, to access the displayed Apple devices in these stores. The team sent AirDrop requests to the devices and once customers accepted them, they received the campaign’s message. The goal was for Apple users to see the message while they are shopping for new gadgets.

A sample message read:

“This iPhone 12 comes in pink, blue, black, and greener. Switch to refurbished and The iPhone you love without the carbon footprint you hate.”

Photo from: Back Market

After that, Back Market and Marcel created campaign videos that they posted on Youtube. These videos captured the events during the campaign and people’s reactions at Apple stores after reading the messages.

Various articles discussing the campaign, such as those from Adweek and CB News, were also published in both domestic and international publications. This further contributed to the campaign’s hype.

Was Back Market’s “Hack Market” campaign effective?

Here are other results of the campaign:

  • The campaign’s video on YouTube garnered a total of 32 million views.
  • The campaign reached a total of 100 million people on social media and 5,200 people in Apple stores.
  • After the campaign, Back Market recorded that 27% of those reached by the AirDropped messages intended to purchase more sustainable devices.

The “Hack Market” campaign also bagged the following awards:

  • A Gold Award under the Experience/Activation category at the 2023 Clio Awards
  • A Gold Award under the Acquisition & Retention category at the 2023 Clio Awards
  • A Gold Award under the In-Store Experience category at the 2023 Clio Awards
  • A Gold Award under the Innovative Use of Channel category at the 2023 Clio Awards
  • A Gold Award under the Use Of Platform/Native Integration category at the 2023 Clio Awards
  • A Gold Pencil Award under the Non-traditional and Guerrilla Marketing category from the 2023 One Show Awards

Clearly, these results show that Back Market was able to reach its target audience, bringing about not only significant engagement and awards, but also increased awareness about sustainability.

Now that’s a REAL hack!

There are a few things we can learn from today’s guerrilla marketing feature:

  • Utilizing competitor’s technology can be risky due to potential security threats and legal concerns. However, when executed properly, this strategy can be highly effective. Since guerrilla marketing thrives on unconventional strategies, marketers can venture beyond risky tactics to reach as broad audiences as possible.
  • Timely execution of campaigns is crucial. Back Market’s message revolves around sustainability, and what better day to promote it than on Earth Day? This teaches us that delivering the right messages at the right time can be highly effective for a brand.

We hope you learned something from today’s article!

Keep in mind that guerrilla marketing empowers brands to venture into even the most unconventional hacks. To succeed in it, you need the knowledge of who your target market is, why you’re doing the campaign, and how to execute it effectively.

Consider saving this hack for future reference!

Who knows? This could also help you craft your own guerrilla marketing strategy that puts the spotlight on your brand!

(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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