SLURP! Check out how one brand brought SMILES and new audiences to its table of customers! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
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!
Campaigns of this type are fun, engaging, unique, attention-grabbing, and sometimes inexpensive.
If you’re looking for interesting and unconventional marketing strategies to promote your brand and interact with your target market, we recommend you to try this marketing tactic. This will do wonders in boosting your engagement rates and expanding your brand’s reach―whether online or offline!
Allow us to share with you an example of a digital guerrilla marketing strategy.
Here’s how one food company brought smiles to the dinner tables of many families in the US in 2017. Have fun reading!
Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing
Ramen is a noodle soup dish that was originally imported from China and has become a popular food in Japan.
The dish is often flavored with soy sauce or miso (fermented soybean paste) and uses toppings such as sliced pork, nori (dried seaweed), menma (dried and fermented bamboo shoots), and scallions.
Does this make you crave for a hot bowl of authentic ramen from Japan?
While ramen is often a homemade dish in many Asian countries, there are a few companies that manufacture instant ramen. These noodles are specifically made for individuals who are always on the go and usually don’t have much time to cook their meals.
One of these food companies?
Maruchan is a Japanese-American brand of instant ramen noodles, cup noodles, and yakisoba noodles. The brand produces over 3.6 billion instant ramen a year and is a household name in the US and Mexico.
Since 1977, Maruchan has been making America’s highest quality ramen noodles. With a savory product, competitive pricing, and mass distribution, the brand continues to win the hearts of many ramen lovers, particularly college students.
However, the emergence of many industry competitors in 2017 attempted to steal Maruchan’s market share…
To defend its leadership position and expand its reach, the brand partnered with advertising firm AMP Agency to create a digital guerrilla marketing campaign.
The name of the campaign?
“Bring Smiles to the Table!”
Maruchan’s core audience was college students… but since competitors were making moves to attract these customers, the Japanese-American brand created a digital guerrilla marketing campaign that aimed to reach new consumers.
To grow its market share, Maruchan looked for consumers with a profile that’s similar to its core audience.
Cue in working moms…
While they enjoy cooking at home and prefer healthy meals over convenient ones, their busy lifestyle and commitment to family time often forces them to cut down on the time they spend preparing home-cooked food.
So… what did Maruchan do to appeal to its new target audience?
With the help of AMP Agency, the brand created messaging that framed its easy-to-prepare products as key to spending less time in the kitchen and more time with the family.
Check out how the campaign team deployed the digital guerrilla marketing campaign across Maruchan’s website and social media!
To raise awareness about the marketing strategy, Maruchan launched a new Maruchan.com to create a more playful, modern experience that highlighted family time.
While staying true to its kawaii (cute) nature, the brand’s new website featured a range of products from traditional favorites to new innovations.
The Maruchan story reinforced the website’s consistency and quality. Meanwhile, the website’s new look made introducing new flavors and innovations coherent and harmonious.
Using Maruchan’s social media accounts, the campaign team crafted a tone and voice that spoke to working moms authentically, naturally, and engagingly.
To achieve the goal of bringing happy families together, the brand’s marketing collateral communicated how its easy-to-make products enable busy moms to spend less time cooking and more time bonding with their loved ones.
The campaign team also posted photos of Maruchan recipes that moms can cook for their families for a happier and more scrumptious meal time.
Seeing these posts appear on their social media feed compelled moms and other Maruchan customers to react, try the recipes themselves, comment on, and share the posts with their online networks!
Maruchan released two 30-second videos on YouTube as part of its “Bring Smiles to the Table” digital guerrilla marketing campaign. The titles of the video ads were “Dinner Conversations” and “So Quick.”
In “Dinner Conversations,” the brand showcased both the appetizing nature of its instant noodles and its products’ ability to “bring you and your family closer.”
The ad showed a family of 3 eating together, both parents asking their son about his day in school.
Every time the parents asked questions about school, their son answered with a slurp, which, in Japan, indicates that a meal is delicious.
Seeing their son eat his Maruchan instant noodles heartily gave the parents satisfaction. The husband and wife smiled and gave each other a look that said, “I love catching up.”
Meanwhile, in “So Quick,” the brand demonstrated that not only is Maruchan instant noodles easy to prepare, but also allows moms to show off their cooking skills while providing a healthy meal for their family.
The campaign’s message in this ad?
Maruchan noodles don’t have to be so plain. Just chop off a few ingredients, cook them, and combine them with the instant noodles and you’ll have an extra hearty, convenient meal!
Was Maruchan’s “Bring Smiles to the Table” campaign effective?
The brand’s digital guerrilla marketing campaign lasted for 3 months, from July 2017 to September 2017.
As Maruchan expanded its reach to a new audience, its brand awareness KPIs (key performance metrics) significantly increased and its engagement rates doubled!
This showed that the messaging and collaterals used in the campaign resonated with a large demographic in the working moms category.
Below are the results of Maruchan’s 3-month digital guerrilla marketing campaign:
- The “Bring Smiles to the Table” campaign garnered an average of 8.4 million social media impressions per month.
- Maruchan’s engagement rates in Q3 2017 increased by 120% compared to its engagement rates in Q3 2016.
- The “Dinner Conversations” video garnered 16,000+ views while the “So Quick” video garnered 14,000+ views for the entire duration of the campaign.
- A total of 61 million consumers were reached by the campaign across Maruchan’s social media platforms and website.
- Maruchan sold more than 73,000 instant noodles during the duration of the campaign.
Congratulations, Maruchan and AMP Agency! These numbers show that the digital guerrilla marketing campaign resonated well with your target audience.
As a business owner or marketer, the lessons you can learn from the “Bring Smiles to the Table” campaign are:
- You must constantly find ways to expand your brand’s reach. The business landscape is ever-changing. To continue to thrive and flourish in the business world, you have to grow your network and connections. This could mean targeting a new customer segment, partnering with another brand, etc.
- You can stick to your brand’s nature and at the same time, innovate new products or services. Innovations don’t have to be complicated and entirely separate from your brand’s core. Remember: You won’t innovate successfully unless you have a firm grasp of the nature of your brand. Like what Maruchan did in its campaign, it’s possible to stay true to your brand’s core while also introducing new and innovative products.
- You should know how to incorporate emotional elements into your brand’s offerings to make your marketing campaigns more effective. One of the things that made Maruchan’s digital guerrilla marketing campaign successful was its ability to tie emotional elements like family time with product features such as great taste and convenience. By clearly communicating how these qualities “bring smiles to the table,” the brand captured its target market’s attention and interest.
Get inspired with Maruchan’s digital guerrilla marketing strategy!
With a clear message and a well-executed marketing campaign, you will not only bring smiles to the faces of your customers but also compel them to share their fun, memorable experiences with their peers.
We hope this campaign made you SMILE! 🙂
(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!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research