Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Vroom! Vroom! Brace yourself for this HOT and EYE-CATCHING campaign [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

March 12, 2021

“T.G.I.F.―Thank God it’s Friday!”

Imagine this scenario: Let’s say you’re going home from work or from the mall, grocery, restaurant, etc.

As you wait for the car service you booked through a ridesharing app, a sports car stops right in front of you.

Suddenly…

The driver of the vehicle calls you and says it’s the service you booked online!

HUH?! (with eyes wide open)

Will you get in the car?

In 2015, a similar scenario happened to some commuters in New York City.

To be specific, they didn’t know they booked a real-life Hot Wheels car!

[Hot Wheels: A brand of die-cast toy cars introduced by American toy maker, Mattel in 1968.]

What was the reason behind this occasion?

Hot Wheels wanted to raise awareness about its “Hot Wheels Force Friday” event, which was made in collaboration with the movie franchise, Star Wars―just in time for the release of the new film titled, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Such a clever tactic. While Hot Wheels was raising awareness about its event, Star Wars also got a great deal of advertisement from the campaign!

In case you’re wondering, the Hot Wheels campaign was called…

The “Force Friday” Campaign!

Here are the components of this fun brand activation:

#1: Creating Hot Wheels “Stormtroopers”

Aside from collaborating with Star Wars, Hot Wheels also partnered with automobile manufacturer Chrysler.

The purpose of this partnership was for the toy brand to launch a fleet of real-life mobile “Stormtroopers” throughout New York City.

Using 8 Dodge SRT cars manufactured by Chrysler, Hot Wheels designed and wrapped the vehicles with stickers to resemble the iconic Star Wars characters.

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The outcome?

An eye-catching parade of black-and-white cars roaming around the most populous city in the US!

#2: Giving Commuters An Opportunity To Experience The Stormtroopers Firsthand

Hot Wheels didn’t partner with Chrysler just to parade the Stormtrooper cars around.

The toy brand knew that to have a deeper engagement level with commuters, they needed to experience what it’s like to cruise around in a Stormtrooper and get the whole “Star Wars x Hot Wheels” vibe.

Enter the ridesharing company Uber, which had 71% market share for ridesharing at the time the campaign was executed.

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After registering the vehicles on the ridesharing app, Hot Wheels provided ride services to people who booked the cars online.

Here’s the best part about booking the Stormtroopers:

The rides offered by these cars were complimentary, meaning they brought commuters to their destinations for FREE!

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Talk about not having to pay for the service of a premium-quality vehicle… that makes great brand recall!

Aside from the free ride, the campaign team also filled each vehicle with various Hot Wheels Star Wars toys.

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Unfortunately for toy collectors, this part of the campaign was not for free. Only the ride service was complimentary, while the toys were only for display purposes.

If you wanted to have the Hot Wheels Star Wars toys, you had to go to the nearest toy shop and buy those products!

Was Hot Wheels’ “Force Friday” Campaign Effective?

The brand activation didn’t fail to capture the attention of people who saw the cars passing by. The Stormtroopers also generated buzz both online and offline, which greatly helped Hot Wheels and Star Wars achieve their goals.

Results (recorded after the campaign period):

  • Hot Wheels garnered around 832 million media impressions across 236 unique stories for “Force Friday.”
  • The toy brand recorded a total of 5.44 million Facebook impressions about the campaign and 5,000 new followers on the social media platform.
  • The “Force Friday” campaign generated around 9.6 million Twitter impressions from over 807 user-generated posts.
  • The campaign was featured in 91 broadcast segments.

Clearly, the results show the “force was strong” with the toy brand and its creative brand activation!

This Guerrilla Marketing tactic by Hot Wheels is just one of the strategies you can get inspiration from. There are still a lot of other unconventional strategies to captivate your target market’s attention and compel them to interact with your brand.

Unleash your creativity and think outside the box!

Your campaign doesn’t necessarily have to be as expensive as redesigning 8 sports cars to get your message across and make an impact.

What’s important is that your Guerrilla Marketing strategy contributes to the fulfillment of your brand’s objectives and…

You get to genuinely interact with your target market by providing a fun and memorable experience while leaving a lasting, positive impression.

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 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 Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!

Cheers,

Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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