Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Snakes on a bus?! How a Danish zoo attracted so much attention [Gorillas of Guerilla Marketing]

March 20, 2020

Imagine a regular day going on your usual commute.

You’re waiting for a bus to take you to work when all of a sudden…

… one stops in front of you and it’s getting crushed by a giant snake!

This is exactly what a lot of commuters in Denmark experienced in 2010.

Snake on a bus?!

This guerrilla marketing campaign was done for the Copenhagen Zoo by a creative agency called Bates Y&R.

The design was conceptualized by Art Director Peter Schak. According to him, he wanted to “…make the most possible impact for a very small budget”—a classic guerrilla marketing move!

One of the first things he wanted to do was to make it look as real as possible, so they took high-resolution images of the bus to create the illusion.

The next step was to incorporate an image of a giant boa constrictor and make it look like it was crushing the bus.

The result was spectacular and frightening at the same time!

Tourists wanted to take photos of the snake-wrapped bus, while some people were terrified to even go near it!

This approach is also known as ambient advertising. It involves placing ads in unusual, unconventional, and unexpected places. The goal is to surprise and shock people so it leaves a lasting impression on everyone that sees it.

A lot of brands have also used this method since it doesn’t require a huge budget and can be executed in many creative ways.

The key to making ambient ads successful is to place them in the most visible locations with high foot traffic such as landmarks, streets, bus and train stops, or even stairs!

The campaign was successful because it attracted more people to go to the Copenhagen Zoo, becoming one of the most visited locations in the country in 2010.

Bates Y&R also won a Creative Circle award for this campaign. This is an award that recognizes the Danish excellence in design, advertising, and communication. They also won Bronze at the Epica Awards for their innovative use of traditional media.

After the success of the bus campaign, the agency was tasked to create another ambient advertisement.

This time, a similar ad was placed on subway cars featuring other animals you’d encounter at the zoo. This next marketing stunt definitely caught the eye of more commuters in the city!

Guerrilla Marketing campaigns like these are great examples of sparking an emotional reaction from people. It leaves a lasting impression that creates more buzz around your brand.

These types of marketing are also effective in promoting your brand on other platforms like social media. This will help you reach more people through user-generated content shared about your brand.

This is also another chance to utilize the power of word-of-mouth, an effective and inexpensive way where your audience will do the marketing for you! They would be talking about your brand to their friends and family, reaching more people in the process.

If you’re looking for an unusual and creative way to promote your brand, thinking out of the box like Copenhagen Zoo and Bates Y&R could help you take your marketing strategy to the next level.

In the highly competitive world of advertising, diversifying your strategy will make you stand out from the competition and find new ways beyond traditional marketing methods!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: 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 on 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 is 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 guerilla 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 Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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This content is used with permission from The I Institute and The Business Builder Daily.

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