“Guerrilla content marketing”. Is it a thing? … It is now

“Content marketing is the only marketing left”, declared Seth Godin. And that’s why we need a name for the best single kind of content marketing.

Please welcome [… drumroll … ] “guerrilla content marketing”.


[Four mins read]

If one was to ask the question, “What does the world need MOST, right now?” … one would, it seems to me, be unlikely to settle on the answer: another piece of marketing jargon.

Yet that is exactly what I want to propose that the world should adopt.

And the precise term that I’m proposing it adopts is “Guerrilla content marketing”.

The reason I believe that this new term is needed is two-fold: first, it doesn’t exist, even though the thing that it describes does; and second, it’s a far better description of this thing – and so of what Think Inc does – than any of the many other existing terms commonly applied/misapplied to it.

The definition of this proposed new term that I suggest is as follows:

“Guerrilla content marketing is a form of marketing that involves creating unusual, unconventional, surprising and sometimes amusing forms of content for the purpose of using it to generate buzz and attention for brands via either traditional, social or other forms of media, both online and off.”

“It typically involves using creativity to win more buzz for your marketing buck, since at its heart is a simple idea: creativity makes your money go further and a good idea wins attention that money can’t buy.”

Guerrilla content marketing, in fact, rests on not one but two simple beliefs:

The first is that … you don’t need a million bucks to get noticed; you need a good idea.

The second is prompted by the contention of Walter Pater, the Victorian critic and writer, who declared that, “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music”.

The marketing equivalent of Pater’s aphorism, I’d suggest, is that “All marketing constantly aspires to the condition of content”.

Content is not just – as the saying goes – king. It’s also the highest form and ultimate aspiration of all marketing. Or, as marketing guru Seth Godin famously put it, “Content marketing is the only marketing left”.

And all content marketing, what’s more, constantly aspires – or should – to the condition of guerrilla content marketing, the highest form of content marketing.

The fact is that guerrilla content marketing  already is a thing. I know it’s a thing because it’s the very thing that Think Inc does – and has long done. even though it’s never, until now, been called that.

For an even better idea of what I’m talking about, see some examples of our work, which include:

Baa Baa Land, an 8-hr, slow-mo movie about sheep grazing – one of many ideas that helped Calm grow from relative obscurity to become Apple’s App of the Year, the first mental health unicorn and the world’s top-grossing health app.
• The Lost Grimm Fairy Tale – the first bedtime story generated by AI and the first new Brothers Grimm story in 200 years.
• The world’s first job ad for an “Emoji Translator” – that sparked a global media frenzy.
The Blooker Prize, for books based on blogs [‘blooks’] – one of many ideas that helped the self-publishing site Lulu grow 7X in 18 months.
The Testicle Cookbook: Cooking With Balls, which won so much global attention that it crashed the site of Yudu.com, the Think Inc client that was hosting it.

“The Lost Grimm Fairy Tale”, which Think Inc created for Calm, was the first bedtime story generated by AI

My belief in the need for adopting “Guerrilla content marketing” as a new marketing term stems from the inadequacy of the many existing terms that are variously used to describe what Think Inc does.

They include:

• Creative PR
• Viral marketing
• Guerrilla marketing
• Stunts
• Media neutral ideas
• Silly PR
• Guerrilla PR
• Online PR
• Buzz marketing
• Gonzo marketing
• Social media marketing

The problem is that what Think Inc does is … yes, well, partly all of the above but it isn’t, more precisely, any of them. And none properly describe what I’m talking about it.

It’s sort of, kind of PR, in a way  … but not really. It’s also content marketing, viral marketing, guerrilla marketing

Since no-one currently has a budget line headed “Guerrilla content marketing”, what Think Inc does tends to appear under the budget line headed “PR”.

On the one hand, this is sort of understandable or, at least, semi-understandable, since one of the things that we’re trying to do is win media coverage.

Think Inc’s ad for the world’s first “Emoji translator” won global attention

On the other hand, it’s also misleading since what Think Inc mainly does and specializes in is quite different to what most traditional PRs do. Or, as they’d say on Star Trek: “It’s PR Jim, but not as we know it.” Or, at least, it’s sort of, kind of PR … in a way … but not really.

What Think Inc specializes in and how it adds most value … is by creating content … and using it for a form content marketing.

“Media neutral” Ideas

This is because what we primarily do is creating content that’s designed BOTH for pitching to “traditional” media AND to for sharing/spreading on social media … as well as in other ways, including old-fashioned word of mouth.

I tend to use the term “guerrilla” to apply to anything that involves executing a clever or amusing idea that gives you more for your marketing buck.

That’s why I propose the term “Guerrilla content marketing” … since we’re generally aiming to create quirky, creative, often amusing content that does just that.

It would be more accurate, however, to say that what Think Inc does straddles at least three marketing disciplines: PR, social media and content marketing (not to mention viral marketing, guerrilla marketing and stunt marketing).

Another way of describing what we do therefore is creating “media neutral” ideas, that work across multiple media and marketing channels.

For all the above reasons, I propose that, as of now, and henceforward, “Guerrilla content marketing” should officially be … a thing.