Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Watch out for “road blocks!” Check out this company’s fun campaign using papers, ink, and a few tricks! [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

January 29, 2021

How do you raise awareness about a new local business?

Giving away flyers to people you meet on the street?

Asking relatives and friends to help spread the word about your business?

Setting up your business’ social media accounts?

For this new Dutch insurance company, one of the ways to raise brand awareness FAST is through a Guerrilla Marketing campaign!

VrijVerzekerd is a local online car insurance company in the Netherlands.

Before we talk about its campaign, there’s just 1 question we’d like to ask:

Are you familiar with this company?

If your answer is “no,” that’s all right. We were also not aware that this company existed until we encountered its campaign.

That’s one of the reasons why VrijVerzekerd decided to go for an unconventional marketing strategy. If it wants to raise awareness about its brand and insurance services, it has to make a lasting impression on its target market.

What did the company do to achieve that?

The “Scratches on Your Car” Campaign!

Created in 2009, the campaign was conceptualized with the help of digital content agency NovoCortex to inform VrijVerzekerd’s target market about how fast and easy the company’s car damage repair services were.

The main idea?

Print out photos of car scratches on transparent static papers and attach them on parked vehicles around Utrecht!

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When viewed from a distance, the stickers seemed like real, visible scratches.

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Imagine the panic the owners felt when they first saw those fake marks on their car!

They had different reactions―some bawled out upon seeing the fake scratches, some looked around the area hoping to find the culprit, and others clutched their head not knowing what to do.

Here’s the catch: Those stickers were not just plain images. There’s a hidden message in them as well.

When car owners rushed to their vehicles to scrutinize the scrapes, only then did they realize it was fake. They also read the Dutch message that translates to:

“Repairing your damages can be as easy as removing this sticker. Insure your car on VrijVerzekerd.nl and get a discount of 10% to 49%.”

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Phew, what a relief for those car owners!

NovoCortex staff members stayed a safe distance away from the vehicles involved. Using hidden cameras, they filmed the reactions of car owners, compiled and edited the footage, and created a 2-minute video for the campaign.

Was VrijVerzekerd’s “Scratches on Your Car” Campaign Effective?

The campaign video was uploaded on YouTube in 2009 and was sent to different marketing and car weblogs in the Netherlands.

NovoCortex also invited bloggers to test the stickers on their friends and colleagues to further spread the fun.

Why?

The marketing agency believes in the power of co-creation of content and crowdsourcing!

Here are the results of the campaign:

  • The “Scratches on Your Car” YouTube video garnered 90,000 views one month after it was uploaded and ranked #29 in the Most Viewed Humor Videos in the Netherlands
  • Articles about the campaign were published on about 20 weblogs and other online community websites in the Netherlands and Belgium
  • VrijVerzekerd.nl’s daily website traffic became 3 times higher after a month, and the average time spent by online visitors on the site increased by 20%
  • The campaign team ran out of stickers after 2 days because many of the bloggers they invited kept using the those to prank their friends, colleagues, and relatives

Take a look at some of the emails sent by those bloggers to NovoCortex:

“Great idea! I’d like to receive a couple of stickers. I want to see the faces of my neighbors washing their cars on the street.”

“My father is a car addict. He will be 55 soon, and I would like to surprise him in a playful way.”

“Our colleague will get a new lease car tomorrow. We thought it would be nice if his car got scratches on the very first day.”

The campaign team definitely came up with a clever tactic to playfully interact with the target market!

VrijVerzekerd and NovoCortex received an award for this campaign. In 2009, the “Scratches on Your Car” campaign won a Gold award at the International Creativity Awards in the US.

Aside from that, the campaign was included in numerous marketing study books written by lecturer Esther de Berg for different Dutch universities and in the book titled, “Guerrilla Advertising” by London-based copywriter Gavin Lucas.

It was also featured in online articles such as “10 Excellent Examples of Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns” by Mashable and “25 Brilliant Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns” by SalesChase.

See how a simple idea played a big part in raising brand awareness for VrijVerzekerd?

This shows how useful and beneficial Guerrilla Marketing is. It’s applicable for all types of businesses!

Even if you’re just a new business like VrijVerzekerd, Guerrilla Marketing is an affordable way to get people to talk about your products or services.

Ready to play a prank on your target market too?

You don’t necessarily have to spend a huge amount of money on this. Even just a few pieces of paper, pen, and ink can do the trick!

Exercise your resourcefulness and creativity. Then…

Let the fun interaction with your target market begin!

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 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 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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