Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Different is Beautiful: Find out how this campaign encouraged inclusivity in society! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

January 13, 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 Jay Conrad Levinson said, these types of campaigns are “simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.” 

When executed properly, this marketing strategy is a surefire way to generate buzz about your brand! 

Do you want to learn more about how guerrilla marketing works? 

Check out how this streaming platform’s campaign captured passersby’s attention at a park in Los Angeles, California and opened the minds of the public for a “world of hybrids” and people who are different.   

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

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

Are you familiar with the story of Quasimodo from Disney’s retelling of Victor Hugo’s classic, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame?”

In the film, Quasimodo thought of himself as a monster because he didn’t look like other people. 

In other words, he was DIFFERENT… and because of that, he experienced horrible treatment from the people in his village.

Thankfully, there was someone who had Quasimodo’s back in the movie: Esmeralda.

Now, here’s a question for you: 

Are you willing to be a modern-day Esmeralda to modern-day Quasimodos? 

Let’s find out how others answered this question through this guerrilla marketing campaign. 

In 2021, video streaming service Netflix released the “Sweet Tooth” series based on writer Jeff Lemire’s comic book with the same name. 

The series is set on a post-apocalyptic world that resulted from a devastating pandemic that killed millions of people. They called this period “The Great Crumble” and the virus was known as the “Sick.” 

This led to a new species of humans that possess certain features of animals. They’re called… 

Hybrids

Society was unsure if hybrids were the cause of the virus or the result of it, but even if people didn’t know the answer, many feared hybrids and even hunted them.

Gus, the main character of the series, is a deer-boy hybrid raised in a secluded cabin in Yellowstone National Park. He was raised by his father who he called, “Pubba.” His father decided to raise him in isolation to protect him from hunters or poachers.

Everything was peaceful until his father died from the virus. During this time, Gus discovers a box his father buried under a tree. In this box, he finds a photo of a woman with “Colorado” written on it.

He believed it was a photo of his mother, and this made him want to find her.

Before leaving and as a custom when someone dies from the Sick, Gus burns down their cabin. The fire and smoke accidentally alert Tommy Jepperd and other hybrid hunters in the area. 

Despite originally hunting Gus for sport, Jepperd hears the deer-boy hybrid speak. This makes him realize that Gus is just like ordinary humans. With this new perspective, he proceeds to save Gus from other hunters.

Because of this, Gus persuades Jepperd to join him as his guide on his quest to find his mother in Colorado…

… and that is where their journey starts. 

In a world where you could be like Jepperd or the hybrid hunters, which one would you rather be? 

To answer this question, Netflix came up with a campaign involving a fake owl-hybrid baby. The animatronic baby was designed to blink, chirp, sit up, and twitch just like an actual owl-hybrid baby would. 

After the campaign team ensured that the animatronics worked properly, it’s finally showtime.

The hybrid baby was placed in a stroller and taken to a park in Los Angeles, California with a woman (an actress who was in on the plan) pushing the stroller.

When the woman stops to rest, she unfolds the stroller’s canopy and as soon as she does, many passersby flocked to look at the baby who was… different.

The people saw that the “baby” was actually a hybrid!

If you were there and witnessed the scene firsthand, how would you react to seeing a hybrid baby like that? 

Shocked? 

Amused? 

Confused? 

As expected, some people didn’t know what to do and were afraid.

… but wait, that’s not all! 

On a positive note, more people happily interacted with the hybrid baby. One pedestrian even found it amazing that the baby was stretching out his wings to him as a sign of love!

Netflix’s campaign team compiled all the footage taken that day into a 2-minute video ad. 

At the end of the ad, Netflix revealed that the hybrid baby stunt is a campaign for the “Sweet Tooth” series.

Was Netflix’s hybrid baby guerrilla marketing stunt effective in promoting the “Sweet Tooth” series? 

The campaign, which was conducted shortly after the premiere of “Sweet Tooth,” helped build more momentum and interest for the 2021 Netflix series. It also opened the minds of the public, especially those who interacted with the campaign firsthand, for a “world of hybrids” and people who are different.

  • The campaign’s video racked up 40 million views on Netflix’s Facebook account and another 30 million views on Netflix’s TikTok account during the campaign. 
  • The YouTube video reached 300,000 views after the campaign.
  • The campaign made it to the front page of the newspaper, USA today. Other media companies like Business Insider, Yahoo, and syfy also published articles about the hybrid baby.
  • “Sweet Tooth” received its highest view numbers in the second quarter of 2021 with the help of all the marketing and promotional efforts, including the hybrid baby guerrilla marketing campaign. Around 60,000+ accounts (and counting) watched the series on Netflix!

Watch the campaign’s YouTube video here: Real-life Hybrid Baby Surprise, Pedestrians React!

Here’s another highlight from the campaign: 

A little girl took her encounter with the fake hybrid baby on a more personal level!

She said,

“I would stand up for him because it’s not right to bully people just because they are different in their own ways.”

Aww. Great job, little girl. High five!

As we can see from this campaign, appealing to emotions is an important aspect of a successful marketing strategy, especially when the brand you’re promoting is similar to the “Sweet Tooth” series, which tackles social issues that often happen in society.

That’s the beauty of marketing―not only can you promote your brand effectively and engagingly, but you can also incorporate a good cause or address issues that will make an impact. 

Get inspired with Netflix’s “Sweet Tooth” guerrilla marketing campaign and make your brand positively stand out in today’s business landscape! 

With a fun, creative, and unconventional strategy coupled with good and genuine intentions, you will naturally appeal to your target market’s emotions and attract them to your brand. 

The result? 

A lasting brand recall and positive impression on your business! 

(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 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 Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!

Cheers,

Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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