Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

No Internet? No Problem! Here’s how one campaign reminded people of the good old times spent OFFLINE! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

January 27, 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:

Marketing is essential for businesses. It helps brands connect with their target market through effective strategies that promote their products or services.

For those of you who are looking for ways to boost your engagement rates with your customers and prospects, have you ever tried Guerrilla Marketing?

This marketing strategy uses surprise and/or unconventional methods to promote a brand. Campaigns of this type are fun, unique, interactive, buzz-worthy, and sometimes even inexpensive.

Do you want to see an example of an effective guerrilla marketing campaign?

Read the article below and learn how one toy brand creatively used indoor and digital ads to capture online users’ attention and encourage them to bond and reconnect with their loved ones through fun play offline.

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

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

Children growing up in today’s fast-paced world of Internet and technology are sometimes missing out on a childhood spent OFFLINE.

By “offline,” we mean a childhood spent outdoors riding bikes, skipping stones, playing in the rain, and just letting one’s imagination run vividly and enthusiastically.

Nowadays, many children spend their time cooped up indoors. With their heads down, they are engrossed in the digital worlds of their tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles.

One toy brand decided to challenge this scenario by creating a guerrilla marketing campaign targeted at parents. With captivating posters and series of digital ads, the campaign cleverly communicated the benefits of having fun offline.

The name of the brand?


Play-Doh is a toy brand manufactured by toy company Hasbro. The brand’s products are generically known as “clay” and are used by children and some adults to sculpt various objects and bring their imaginations to life.

Going Offline with Play-Doh

In January 2016, the clay brand poked fun at people’s electronic devices and their addiction to technology through a guerrilla marketing campaign called…


This campaign reminded people from all over the world, especially parents of children in the Internet age, that they also need to spend some play time off-screen.

So… how did Play-Doh communicate this message?

With the help of South African marketing agency TWO.AM, the campaign team created a series of colorful indoor ads/posters that had messages centered around technology.

[Indoor Ads/Posters: A type of advertising where messages or announcements about products, events, or services are strategically placed within an area that is easy to control.]

The pastel-colored posters used Play-Doh clays to form images and texts. These ads were then posted in public places in South Africa―malls, bus stops, public restrooms, and more.

Check them out below!

“No Charger Needed”

“No Internet Required”

“No In-App Purchases”

“No Loading Time”

“No Updates Necessary”

Passersby can touch the Play-Doh clay and even play with it. However, once they’re done using the clay, they have to return it.

By putting a spin on the “high-tech” phrases that have become part of the Internet and technology vocabulary, the campaign made passersby in South Africa stop on their tracks to check out and take photos of the posters.

… and that’s not all!

To reach more people not only in South Africa but also in other parts of the world, Play-Doh and TWO.AM digitized the posters and uploaded them on LinkedIn and Facebook as digital ads.

Was Play-Doh’s “OFFLINE” campaign effective?

By using some of the Web’s most recognizable icons, the clay brand delivered its message: Put down your tablets and smartphones, step away from your laptops and flat screen mirrors, and do something offline―get your hands on some Play-Doh―instead.

What else did Play-Doh achieve through this brand activation?

  • Play-Doh’s digital ads on Facebook garnered 20,000+ likes and 10,000 comments in a span of one week. Meanwhile, the brand’s ads on LinkedIn had almost 30,000 likes and over 400 comments in a span of one month.
  • Both parents and non-parents who saw the campaign online commented on the ads. Most of them said Play-Doh’s post made them think twice and reconsider their online and offline activities.
  • The “OFFLINE” campaign was featured on various industry-related websites and blogs. These included The S3 AgencyThe American GeniusMedia Update, and more.
  • TWO.AM won the Award of Excellence from the Communication Arts magazine in 2016.
  • Play-Doh’s campaign won the Communication Arts magazine’s “Creative Circle Ad of the Month” award and the Loerie Awards’ “Bronze Loerie” award in 2016. It also became a finalist for The Shorty Awards’ “Ad of The Year” award in the same year.

Clearly, these numbers and awards show that Play-Doh’s simple yet cleverly captivating guerrilla marketing campaign became a hit and appealed to its target market’s interest.

Great job, Play-Doh and TWO.AM!

*Clap, clap, clap*

Heavy use of technology and the Internet isn’t limited to adults these days. According to an article from online publication Media Update, it’s easy for children nowadays to learn to use electronic devices, use an online app, or play an online game as if they’re learning basic life skills.

That’s why Play-Doh created the “OFFLINE” campaign―to serve as a good reminder for people to play and have fun in the REAL world and not just in the virtual world.

By dramatizing the real-world benefits of playing with the classic modelling clay and juxtaposing it with some of the iconic tech phrases, the brand was able to highlight the pitfalls of its modern technological counterparts. This reminded people that true happiness, relaxation, creativity, and fun are found offline and do not necessarily require batteries, electricity, or the Internet.

Besides, who says clays are only for children? Adults like you can also use that!

With a jar or two of the squishy material on your desk, use it to:

  • Give your eyes rest from staring at computer screens for too long.
  • Discover the hidden sculptor inside of you.
  • Exercise your hands and creativity while thinking of your next marketing strategy to promote your brand.

Get inspired with this simple yet clever guerrilla marketing campaign from Play-Doh!

Know your target market and their preferences, activities, and demands. You’ll see, these details will help you plan, SHAPE, and execute a campaign that best appeals to them.

Have fun strategizing and “molding” your next marketing campaigns!

(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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