CASE STUDY: GUNMAN GUERRILLA MARKETING
In this case study, I've provided my services as one of the main promotional tools in this guerilla marketing campaign. The client was my then-current employer Stage Two and their new iPhone application that was being touted as the only augmented reality first-person shooter app available for download.
Our dilemma coincided with the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and I was tasked with working with the team to develop a new way to reach out to attendees to have them download the app and be more engaged. To complicate matters a bit more, we established that there was not going to be a high probability that at CES, the attendees would be fanatical about Twitter versus other technology conferences like South by Southwest or the BlogWorld & New Media Expo.
Since attendees were more interested in viewing gadgets and iPhone applications, our work was definitely cut out for us at CES. I assembled a list of approximately 450 people who said that they would be at CES and were on Twitter and noted the parties where some influencers would be at. Our plan relied on executing a guerrilla marketing tactic where we would bring the fictional "gunman" to life in a conspicuous red hoodie sweatshirt that would walk around the show floor and interact with people and also telling them about the Gunman game. We worked with the developers to make the game affordable (read "free") during CES.
To help get others engaged, a "hit list" was created for those attending CES. Anyone playing Gunman was asked to be on the lookout for these "wanted" individuals and "shoot" them to win prizes. We included notable influencers like Engadget's Joshua Topolsky, Actor Brent Spiner, Tekzilla's Veronica Belmont, Chris Brogan, Kara Swisher, Mashable's Ben Parr, Brian Solis, Chris Heuer, GDGT's Ryan Block, TWiT host Leo Laporte, Ubergizmo's Hubert Nguyen, VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi, Loic Le Meur and several others. Prizes were awarded for the one who assassinated the most people on the hitlist. In addition, we threw in some additional categories that we thought people might like - since if you don't know who these influencers are, at least you can have some fun and participate, right? We created new hitlists in the following categories:
Each of the above categories were also given prizes as well.
Additionally, as the lone "gunman" at CES, my job was to get people to find me on the showfloor or anywhere in Las Vegas and "shoot" me and have it posted online using a Twitter hashtag (#cesgunman). We would randomly pick one at the end of the conference to award a prize. To help people find me, I used the @playgunman Twitter account and posted interesting tidbits where I (the "rouge gunman") would be located to help people track my movements.
In the end, Gunman received quite a bit of press coverage through my guerrilla efforts. We managed to secure a live video interview with TechZulu (the official broadcasters for SONY) to talk about the Gunman iPhone app along with other interviews with Cathy Brooks from the Huffington Post, CrunchGear, BNet.TV and VentureBeat.
In addition, I persuaded several influencers who were on the "hit list" at CES to download and play Gunman as well - Frank Gruber, iJustine and Leo Laporte. In fact, when I mentioned it to Leo Laporte at one of the CES parties, he loved it so much that he immediately played the game right there! You can see how much fun he's having on the photo on the left of him playing with Dan Hendricks at the "It Won't Stay in Vegas" party during CES.
Overall, the campaign seemed to be a success with more people aware and interested in the Gunman app. From what I recall, the number of downloads per day rose after CES to a few thousand downloads a day - pretty substantial given there is very little advertising and promotion.
Over the course of my career, I've been very fortunate to work with a variety of clients, both as an agency representative and in an in-house capacity. Here's a list of those great companies: