Attack marketing

Also known as marketing or ambush marketing , marketing is a form of marketing that incorporates a series of creative and strategic techniques used by a person, place, product, or event. Attack marketing utilizes the power of social interactions to execute non-traditional marketing campaigns that drive sales, increase name awareness and create long-term buzz around a specific business. Attack marketing is used by many marketing, advertising , public relations and promotional eventmarketing agencies to promote worldwide brands and events. Attack marketing can be tailored to fit all budgets, small and large.


Attack marketing was traditionally used by companies looking for cheaper forms of advertising . As the marketing industry has evolved, it has become more difficult.

The innovation of non-traditional marketing, such as marketing attack, gained greater popularity. Currently, attack marketing is prominently used Nike , Coca-Cola , Disney , Mars and more.

  • In 1954, the Marlboro Man appears in Marlboro ads, making the company to become the # 1 cigarette brand in the US.
  • Guerrilla , ambush and attack marketing became popular in the 1970s.
  • In 1982, Nike aired its first national television ads, created by newly formed ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, during the New York Marathon.
  • In 1984 Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla book is distributed to bookstores
  • In 1986 Run DMC created a single called “My Adidas” and raised Significantly Adidas dirty shoe overnight.
  • In 1996 Atlanta Olympics , Linford Christie wore contact lenses embossed with the Puma logo at the press conference preceding the 100 meter final.
  • The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 ambush restraints, guerrilla, and attack advertising at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The concept behind attack marketing is based on a guerrilla warfare [1] which focuses on ambushes, sabotage and the element of surprise. ALTHOUGH advertising has-been around since the Egyptians in 4000 BC, [2] due to an Increase in economic activity, Increase in technology and in Increase in living around the world standards, advertising has-been forced to adapt, importantly making it more to Satisfy consumer wants and needs. [1] This means that the aim of advertising has shifted, it is not advisable to encourage them, or to encourage them to buy. Seeing the changes around him Jay Conrad Levinson wrote his novelGuerrilla Advertising in 1984; This book has highlighted the benefits of advertising and marketing. [1]


Many countries around the world are becoming more diverse and multi-cultural, which makes it more likely that people are relatable. [1] As a result, this marketing strategy is likely to change in a cultural, social, economic, environmental and moral context. [2]An example of this change is the use of movie stars. This was a popular method of advertising with 88% of Walt Disney movies between 1999-2003 and smoking with the aim to endorse smoking as a societal norm. This, however, is an unacceptable practice in 2016 with campaigns to be smoke-free movies being created around the world. [3] One of the aims of attack marketing is to reach high volumes of consumers; If a campaign is not thought out and is considered offensive or derogatory, the result can be catastrophic to businesses. This is in part due to social media. In the past, a campaign was considered a “fail”, but it can be mobilized far more people, which can destroy a business’ brand. [1]

Failed campaign

In 2007 Cartoon Network hired a third party marketing firm to promote the new release of the cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force with a low budget, attack marketing strategy. [2] Atlanta, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston. Weeks went by before in Boston called the police as an explosive device. Emergency services and the bomb squad were called to the site and Boston went into lockdown. This failed marketing stunt cost 2 million dollars in compensation to Boston services as a ruined reputation. [2] This incident highlights the importance of understanding the changing environment as well as being able to communicate with your target market.

Successful campaign

Although this theory has been created to help small businesses with smaller budgets, they have had a greater role in this practice. Coca-Cola’s “Happiness” campaign is an example of successful attack-style marketing. This has been implemented through vending machines dispensed throughout America which gives free cokes, pizzas, footballs and other prizes. [4] This was filmed and put on YouTube with the tag “where will happiness strike next?” These videos have had over 11 million combined views [4]and are viewed on an international platform. This campaign was a major success and fits the definition of attack marketing: it has been ambushed and surprised the consumers at the various locations, created in a large amount of social buzz, and was achieved through an unconventional method. [1]


Attack marketing uses a number of different strategies to create memorable interactions between businesses and consumers, including use of:

Promotional staff to interact with consumers

  • Brand ambassadors – knowledgeable brand representatives
  • Promotional models – brand representatives
  • In-store demonstrators
  • Street teams – teams of brand ambassadors promoting brand outdoors

Non-traditional marketing techniques

  • Street marketing – Outdoors promotions with promotional staff
  • College campus activation – College campus marketing events and programs
  • Social media – Event marketing online through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Mobile media – Promotional event marketing with vehicles
  • Airport marketing – Product sampling and displays at airports
  • Spring break marketing – Promotional event marketing at popular Spring Break destinations (flyering, product sampling, etc.)
  • Publicity stunts – Flash mobs, mock protests with promotional models
  • Green marketing – Event marketing using sustainable products
  • Wearable media – Promotional marketing with electronics
  • Outdoor postering – Outdoor poster placements
  • Guerrilla projections – Outdoor digital displays during marketing event
  • Chalking / stenciling – Outdoor sidewalk stenciling
  • Flyer distributions – Public distribution of flyers

To help execute attack marketing programs, many businesses hire other resources to provide event staffing, field support and marketing services to help with event logistics.

Related forms of marketing

  • Experiential marketing
  • Guerrilla marketing
  • Word of mouth marketing
  • Ambush marketing
  • Buzz marketing


  1. ^ Jump up to:f Stoeckl, Verena E .; Luedicke, Marius K. (2015-12-01). “Doing well while doing good? An integrative review of marketing criticism and response” . Journal of Business Research . 68 (12): 2452-2463. doi : 10.1016 / j.jbusres.2015.06.032.
  2. ^ Jump up to:d “? What Is Guerrilla Marketing (nd) Retrieved from” . External link in ( help ) |title=
  3. Jump up^ “SMOKEREE.Retrieved from” (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-27. External link in( help ) |title=
  4. ^ Jump up to:b “coca cola Commercial happiness) – YouTube” . . Retrieved 2016-04-01 .
    • [1]
    • Levinson, Jay Conrad. Mastering Guerrilla Marketing . Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999. ISBN  0-395-90875-2
    • Skildum-Reid, Kim. The Ambush Marketing Toolkit , McGraw-Hill, September 2007. ISBN  0-07-013808-7 .