Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

“Who would you donate to?” – Know how this campaign informed the public about the reality of saving lives! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

December 28, 2023

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:

Have you ever wondered how you can interact with your target audience in a meaningful and creative way?

If you haven’t yet, maybe you should take a look at guerrilla marketing!

As Jay Conrad Levinson said, campaigns of this type are simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.

When executed properly, guerrilla marketing will help you create a lasting impression that enables consumers to actively remember your brand.

Today, we’ll talk about an emotional campaign that encouraged its audience to help those in need.

Continue reading below to know more about the topic!

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

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

Everyone is faced with making countless decisions every single day.

From everyday choices like what to wear or eat to monumental decisions like selecting a career path or life partner.

Making these decisions is hard enough as it is, but imagine if a person also had to make decisions that greatly impacted the life and well-being of others.

In 2021, Australians found themselves grappling with this dilemma as the Garvan Institute of Medical Research posed a thought-provoking question about the health and well-being of humans.

Founded in 1963, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research is a leading multidisciplinary biomedical institute located in Sydney, Australia.

Photo from Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The Garvan Institute’s scientists aim for a future where chronic diseases like cancer can be prevented.

The organization’s scientists harness all the information encoded in the human genome like deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) complex organ systems, to advance disease prediction, diagnosis, and treatment efforts.

Throughout the years, Garvan Institute scientists have made breakthroughs in understanding and treating diseases like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, mental illnesses, eating disorders, and asthma.

Unfortunately, the Garvan Institute’s efforts are largely unknown to the public.

So, what did the biomedical research institute do to change this?

The Garvan Institute, together with Australian marketing agency BWM Dentsu, came up with the “Disease Dilemmas” campaign.

Here’s what they did:

To raise awareness and secure funding for the biomedical institute’s groundbreaking research initiatives, the “Disease Dilemmas” campaign featured 12 people living with different diseases, each photographed in a plain background, looking directly into the camera.

Photo from The One Club for Creativity

The campaign reached the public in numerous ways including still portraits displayed in bus shelters, billboards, sports stadiums, and even radio testimonials.

Photo from Clio Awards

Furthermore, each ad included a QR code that directed viewers to a web page dedicated for making donations.

Photo from Dentsu

By asking a difficult question to its audience, the “Disease Dilemmas” campaign effectively brought the importance of the Garvan Institute’s medical research to the public’s attention.

Moreover, the campaign was an effective tool in gathering donations for the biomedical research institute’s scientific and disease prevention initiatives.

The results of the “Disease Dilemmas” campaign

By bringing the struggles of those who were afflicted with chronic diseases to the public’s attention, the “Disease Dilemmas” made its target audience aware about the importance of the Garvan Institute’s research efforts.

The biomedical research institute also received over USD 19 million in donations throughout the campaign period, enabling it to continue funding its initiatives.

Aside from those results, the campaign received the following accolades:

  • The “Disease Dilemmas” campaign gained over 87 million social media impressions.
  • There was a 61% increase in the Garvan Institute’s website traffic.
  • The campaign generated a substantial USD 1.1 million in earned media.
  • The campaign won an award under the Health & Wellness category in the Humanity and Culture cluster of the APAC Tambuli Awards in 2022.

Clearly, these results show that Garvan Institute’s guerrilla marketing campaign helped it raise funding and awareness for its cause.

What is the key takeaway from the “Disease Dilemmas” campaign?

Instead of just sharing facts and statistics about the Garvan Institute’s initiatives, the organization humanized the impact of medical research by coming up with a guerrilla marketing campaign that informed the public about the struggles of individuals who were suffering from chronic diseases.

As a result, the campaign sparked strong emotions in its audience and led to millions of dollars in donations that could be used to support the institute’s life-saving research efforts.

We hope you learned a lot from today’s “Gorillas of Guerilla Marketing!”

(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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