Drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds when texting, the time taken to cover the length of a soccer field blindfolded, travelling at 90kph. 40% of all crashes involving mobile phones result in serious injury or death.

Shocking stats, but you’ll forget them. Watch this viral video which has the same message, yet it’s told VERY differently…

This recent viral video has chosen an unorthodox means to drive home this message. The ‘Eyes on the Road’ Volkswagen PSA was shown recently in an ad break at a cinema in Hong Kong. It places the viewer in the POV of a car crash victim who had been texting behind the wheel, therefore providing the audience with an unpleasant but dynamic reality to the dangers of driving and texting…

This is a startlingly inventive means of using guerrilla marketing to create an impact. They connect with a technology-obsessed audience (aren’t we all), through a modern method of communication. Rather than just playing a standard video (a method now becoming the norm in content marketing), a location-based broadcaster captivates the audience through their own bond with technology and brings them as close to the reality of the subject matter as possible.

Critics of ‘Eyes on the road’ have highlighted the issue that the broadcaster is limited to targeting only a specific place and small audience. This is true - but l20 million views later – the message has been spread globally through PR and social media. A great idea doesn’t need to target the masses to be successful. If it is creative enough then the message will spread regardless. It’s not about working hard; it’s about working smart.

Guerrilla marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, what these campaigns all have in common is originality and the desire to be different. When I started out in my radio career, I was part of a promotional team for the launch of a new radio station. The station was called ‘Kerrang! Radio’ and was edgy, fun and a bit naughty. For the launch we ran a campaign to generate PR and talk ability. We had a low budget and a small team. We didn’t just plaster the brand name over every billboard in town or create a hugely expensive TV ad campaign. Instead, I dressed up as a banana and my friend dressed up as an orang-utan, aptly named ‘Kerrangutan’!!

We would take to the streets and basically create as much attention as possible whilst in character. As the banana, I was chased by the orang-utan through streets, shopping centres and ran the circumference of many bemused offices. At the time, a comedy TV show called ‘Trigger Happy’ was popular, so we also copied the style of some of their sketches, which involved crawling across zebra crossings at a snail pace, causing traffic jams and generally being loud (and maybe quite annoying)! It didn’t matter that we were not verbally communicating a message, we were creating conversation: a mention in a future rival breakfast show, a photo in the paper….it was all part of the build-up before the station launch which would then connect the characters to the brand.

Typically, when a business is looking to re-brand, reach a new audience or generally bring their business to the modern era of being multi-media publishers, they seek an agency type to come up with a strategy. Historically this would be time-consuming, expensive and commandeered by pretentious personalities that thrive on new buzzwords and fuel up on skinny soy chai lattes. Guerrilla marketing in contrast, is often low budget, accessible and can be led by anyone with half a creative mind and ability to think outside the box.

It is becoming more challenging to be heard through the noise of content marketing. It is evident that the only way to stay in the game is to be an innovator of unique and highly creative concepts. Combining the strategy of a content marketing plan with the originality of guerrilla marketing, the possibilities with todays digital scope is limitless.

We have been developing content marketing strategies for our clients (without as many buzzwords) and know that it doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming, there’s too much to do to spend time having meetings about meetings. We also have a team of passionate, creative minds that love to produce and implement innovative ideas to make our clients stand out from the crowd.

Unfortunately, so many companies have drifted under the radar as they’ve spent too long analysing and critiquing the past, when we think you should always be looking to the future. It’s not about keeping up with the crowd, it’s about being one step ahead.

Lucy Helliwell