Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Find out how a “Dead Whale” raised awareness for this global environmental issue! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

November 2, 2023

Miles Everson’s The 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:

Are you familiar with Guerrilla Marketing?

As Jay Conrad Levinson said, campaigns of this type are “simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.” 

When executed properly, guerrilla marketing will enable you to generate lots of buzz about your product or brand! 

Today, we’ll discuss how a nonprofit environmental organization raised awareness about a critical issue.

Ready to know more?

Keep reading below. 

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

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

The United Nations (UN) Environment Programme reported that a million plastic bottles are purchased every minute worldwide. 

If we were to translate this million-bottle-per-minute rate into daily numbers, it equates to a mind-boggling 1.44 billion plastic bottles consumed each day. 

Considering that this fact only pertains to bottles, imagine how much waste we generate daily if we include other types of plastic.

Now, imagine a world where there’s so much waste that we end up having plastics attached to our bodies wherever we go. 

Feels suffocating, doesn’t it? 

While this scenario may only be hypothetical for us humans, it’s a harsh reality for countless animals.

As a result, Greenpeace Philippines, an environmental nonprofit organization from Southeast Asia, had to figure out an engaging way to raise awareness about the issue of plastic pollution. 

In May 2017, Greenpeace Philippines joined forces with the Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Jayme Syfu to deliver a powerful message about the far-reaching consequences of plastic use. Their collaborative effort resulted in an extraordinary art installation known as the “Dead Whale.”

Photo from Ads of the World

This striking art installation, measuring 15 meters in length and 3 meters in width, portrayed a blue whale in the advanced stages of decomposition. Placed at the Sea Side Beach Resort in Cavite, Philippines, the “Dead Whale” immediately seized the attention of nearby communities and beachgoers.

The most remarkable aspect of this 73-foot art piece was it was made from plastic waste! A team of dedicated artists sourced the materials from local junk shops to bring this installation to life.

Photo from VICE

Every intricate detail, from the whale’s massive form to its insides, teeth, the waste around its mouth, and even its eerie black skin, was meticulously crafted from plastic. The slimy internal organs spilling from its underbelly contained synthetic bags, remains of polymer containers, sachets, bottles, and more.

What makes this guerrilla marketing tactic even more remarkable is the fact that no paint was used in creating the “Dead Whale!”

The team of artists completed the art installation in just 5 days and decided to use the natural color of plastic to evoke a sad mood.  

Was Greenpeace Philippinesguerrilla marketing campaign effective?


The photos of the “Dead Whale” art piece circulated around social media on the day it was revealed, generating a total of 1.5 billion social media impressions in over 100 countries. 

Additionally, the art installation sparked discussions about the pressing need for enhanced waste disposal and recycling practices in the Philippines and the rest of the world due to the global plastic pollution crisis.

Aside from these results, below are the other accomplishments of the campaign:

  • Reputable news publications like CNN, The Telegraph, People’s Daily China, EuroNews, ADN40 Mexico, ARTE 28 France, Nation TV Thailand, Vinhlong TV Vietnam, and more covered the campaign. 
  • A day after the launch, the proposal to prioritize coastal and marine environment protection was presented at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Summit that took place in November 2017.  
  • Large corporations like Nestlé and Unilever Philippines publicly committed to making their packaging 100% reusable and recyclable by 2025. 

In addition, the “Dead Whale” campaign clinched the following accolades:

  • Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018:
  • Gold Lion for Outdoor Lions 
  • Silver Lion for Design Lions
  • Asia-Pacific Tambuli Awards 2018:
  • Grand Prix for Outdoor, Media, and Digital 
  • New York Advertising Festivals 2018: 
  • 3rd Prize for Best Use of Media: Public Service Outdoor    

What is the key takeaway from Greenpeace Philippines’ guerrilla marketing campaign?

Engaging with your target audiences in a meaningful and impactful way is crucial to connecting with them and capturing their attention. 

Greenpeace Philippines successfully generated lots of attention for its advocacy by coming up with a thoughtful and impactful guerrilla marketing campaign that conveyed a compelling message.

The gigantic “Dead Whale,” served as a powerful reminder of the devastating impact of plastic pollution on marine life and ecosystems. Due to this, the art installation elicited a profound emotional response from its intended audience and even prompted organizations to act on the issue of global plastic pollution.

We hope you enjoyed today’s “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!”

May Greenpeace Philippines’ “Dead Whale” art installation serve as a reminder to you that guerrilla marketing can be used to promote a good cause as well! 

(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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