Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Would you rather pay for the air you breathe? Find out what this company did to help lessen air pollution! [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

October 1, 2021

“Air pollution kills.” 

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 7 million people worldwide die from air pollution every year. 

Aside from that, 9 out of 10 people―particularly those in low to middle income countries―breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants. 

One of the things that contribute to this type of pollution? 

Motor vehicles! 

In November 2015, the National Environmental Agency in Tbilisi, Georgia reported that air pollution has reached dramatically high levels―9 times over WHO’s safe air guideline limits―in the country. 

Despite this, Georgian citizens didn’t hold themselves responsible for this problem as a lot of poorly maintained vehicles and smoke belching units were still used on the road. 

To help raise awareness about this environmental issue and make sure that car owners take action to lessen air pollution in the country, car insurance company GPI Holdings created an eco-friendly marketing campaign called… 

“Pay for the Air You Breathe!” 

The objective of the campaign was to encourage car owners to be more eco-friendly through better insurance deals and remind all drivers that polluting the air is a serious environmental offense. 

So… how did the company communicate that message? 

With the help of advertising agency Leavingstone, GPI Holdings created a fake law enforcement agency called Ecopolice and a fake “tax on air” policy for drivers! 

Ecopolice agents distributed 60,000 fake fines that imitated the design of an authentic parking ticket. 

The note on the fines stated, 

“You have been found guilty of polluting the air. Make sure your car complies with the official guidelines!” 

When drivers faced the possibility of paying for their cars’ negative environmental impacts out of their own pockets, that’s when they started taking the issue seriously. 

Aside from that, fake news reports that featured real experts and opinion leaders talking about the detrimental air quality in Georgia made the fake policy even more realistic. 

… but don’t worry! GPI Holdings and Leavingstone coordinated with the country’s National Environmental Agency and received a go signal to spread these reports. 

These fake fines, “tax on air” policy, and news reports caused a lot of drivers to freak out! After all, who would want to spend their money to pay for fines? 

Definitely no one! 

However, when recipients of the fake fines looked closely at the collateral, they noticed that below the “You have been found guilty…” note was a URL link. Anxious, these drivers quickly typed the link on their smartphones and then… 


Their online search directed to GPI Holdings’ custom-made tool that enabled car owners to measure the harmful environmental impacts of the vehicle they owned. 

Only then did drivers realize that the fines, “tax on air” policy, news reports, and even the Ecopolice were fake. 

After using the online tool to measure their vehicles’ negative impacts on the environment, car owners were further directed to GPI Holdings’ offering, which was an insurance package that would help them maintain their vehicles and comply with the government’s environmental guidelines. 

According to the insurance company’s website, the less a driver’s car polluted the environment, the better the insurance package that person would get, including a detailed guide on how to reduce a car’s emission of air pollutants. 

This caught the attention of a lot of Georgian car owners and compelled them to learn more and even avail GPI Holdings’ offering! 

Was GPI Holdings’ “Pay for the Air You Breathe” campaign effective? 

Through the campaign, the often ignored issue of air pollution in Georgia became a hot topic among citizens. Apart from simply raising awareness, GPI Holdings guided drivers on what they should do to help minimize the environmental damage. 

These were the results of the company’s brand activation: 

  • After a week, the “Pay for the Air You Breathe” campaign got 152 media features, including from companies like Campaign Asia, AdForum, The Drum, AdWeek, and many more. 
  • GPI Holdings’ website recorded over 65,000 online visits during the duration of the campaign. 
  • After conducting the campaign, the company increased its sales leads by 400%. 
  • About 25% of those who received the fake fines became GPI Holdings’ customers and availed the company’s insurance offer. 

By using a familiar prevention mechanism―fines―to raise awareness about the issue of air pollution, GPI Holdings did not just help make positive changes in the environment but also increased its customer base! 

The company believed that if Georgians wouldn’t care for the environment, especially the air they breathe, sooner or later they would have to pay for it. 

That’s why GPI Holdings made the issue personal to Georgian citizens in the form of a campaign about fines and policies so they will be compelled to take action by: 

  • Getting their cars serviced, checked, and maintained regularly. 
  • Thinking about the environment. 
  • Practicing eco-friendly driving. 

Kudos to GPI Holdings and Leavingstone for this clever and environment-friendly brand activation! 

In a similar manner, you may also showcase your brand’s social responsibility by taking part in a movement that is suitable for your main offerings. 

Don’t wait until an issue worsens and directly affects you and your loved ones. Take action to address a concern right off the bat! 

However, keep in mind that immediately acting on a certain problem doesn’t equate to being effective. 

If you want whatever action you take to have a positive impact, make sure you not only act fast but also strategically. Your campaign has to be authentic, too! 

Remember: Your target market can sense authenticity. The more they see and feel that your motives for creating a campaign are pure and genuine, the more they’ll be attracted to your brand. 

In that case, more followers, customers, social media traffic, likes, shares, and positive comments will naturally keep coming to you! 

So… what are you waiting for? 

Demonstrate your brand’s social responsibility through your own strategic guerrilla marketing campaign! 

You’ll see, this will make a positive impact in your society and enhance how your target market positively views your business.

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!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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