An introduction to my research for Guerrilla and Ambient Advertising

*National Treasure Movie

I have always thought that there is something special about being a graphic designer. It is being able to talk in an international language that is not English and not everyone is able to have a right conversation with it. Visual language is the language that the human being has been using since he was living in caves and wanted to communicate with the forces of nature. In my opinion, the biggest aim of a graphic designer is making the most explicit and complete visual communication with the world.
Advertising, among all the aspects of graphic design, is carrying the title of ¡°communication¡± more than the others. It is all about how I (as a designer) can communicate with the target audience and how I can use this communication in the way I need. From that point of view, for me, advertising is all I wanted to do in graphic design, to communicate with the world around me and being able to talk globally.
Furthermore, for me it is the most challenging aspect of graphic design, where my job is not only introducing a product or giving information about it, and it is not only about commercials or politics, but to make an impact on culture and people.s social life. As Maurice Levy, one of the most leading French businessmen and the CEO of the Publicis Group explains:
Halfway between a craft and a business, rooted in both art and social science, one moment giving objective advice and the next at the very heart of the action, advertising can fill one.s life and fill it well. It is common knowledge that the profession feeds off inventiveness, imagination and daring. What is less well-known is that discipline and rigor are hidden behind the image of .ideas person.. Behind the superb campaigns I can picture the feverish excitement, the last-minute meetings and the impassioned debates. (Pincas, Marc, 2008, p.11)
Also, there has to be a great sense of responsibility for the job. As an advertiser, I am in the position of representing a brand or a business. So I should be able to talk for them in the right language and defend their aims and values. It is all about being communicative in the most absorbing way and that is what makes the difference between success and failure in this job. It is all about bravery and confidence when you should stand strong in the triangle of an advertising man, client and the consumer.
Advertising from the first stages of it, from the middle of the 19th century, or even further back, from the mid-fifteenth century to the time of the invention of the printing press, have always had one big aim, to be memorable. „Over the years, advertising has invented a hundred and one ways of making the consumer connect with a brand- through humor of affection, pros or poetry, information or appeal, by whispering or shouting and even with fireworks.‟ (Pincas, Marc, 2008, p.19). However, only some of them could raise their voices: „Advertisements that stood out for their strategic or representational brilliance in linking art with advertising‟. (Pincas, Marc, 2008, p.22). These strategic plans have been changing through history by changes in the landscape. The number of brands keeps growing and the variety of products that the market has on offer becomes remarkable and the market becomes more competitive every day.
The formula of advertising has changed due to the rapidly changing media landscape. Now people have hundreds of TV channels with a mass of advertisements. They get bombarded with advertisements all the time, from daily press to all the billboards around them. Furthermore, the consumer society has changed. The growth of the Internet and arrival of the new technologies has changed the way people think about advertisements. „Consumers are now very much in control of the media they consume and how they consume it, so advertisers can no longer spoon-feed messages to the masses in television ad breaks as they once did‟. (Lucas and Dorrian. (2006) p.15). In this battle, the only winner is the one who has the bravery to go further than the traditional media channels and forms of advertising and make the best impact in the shortest amount of time on consumers.
I have been looking at different forms of advertising in modern society, searching for something that has a little bit more novelty and creativity. What I found was an almost new movement, called Guerrilla and Ambient Advertising, which is an answer to the clients who wanted “something a bit different” in their advertisings. In Wikipedia the term “Guerrilla Marketing” is defined as such:
The concept of Guerrilla Marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional, potentially interactive, and consumers are targeted in unexpected places. The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing. The term has since entered the popular vocabulary and marketing textbooks. (

As I was searching to find out about the reason this movement is called Guerrilla advertising, I found something interesting in the introduction of the book, Guerrilla Advertising by Gavin Lucas and Michael Dorrian:
Guerrilla is perhaps a surprising word to use as a blanket term for these new non-traditional advertising campaigns -especially as terms such as ambient, outdoor, disruptive and integrated seem to have more currency among the advertising fraternity. But the notion of a guerrilla campaign encapsulates the idea that this kind of advertising exists outside of the normal rules of engagement, and works by seizing and subverting people.s attention when and where they least expect it, and holding them captive until they have absorbed the message. (Lucas and Dorrian (2006) p.17)
Therefore, the main job of the Guerrilla marketers is to find sources with impact and forms of publicity, and using the cleverest tactics for creating an A-ha moment in the people.s minds, when they unconsciously interact with the advertisement and get the message. At this point, there are different angles that I should consider and study about this term.


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