Dec 31, 2015
Sometimes the line between guerrilla marketing and vandalism or otherwise breaking the law can be a little fuzzy. The whole principle of guerrilla marketing, of course, is to shock people and get them to pay attention to the message. This may include performance art, daredevil stunts or writing on walls or sidewalks. Pop star Justin Bieber was recently associated with a guerrilla marketing stunt that provoked the ire of authorities and even local residents.
Justin Bieber -or the public relations firm that represents him- wrote several words on San Francisco sidewalks: “Justin Bieber,” “Purpose,” “Nov 13.” This refers to the name and release date of the pop star’s latest album. Apparently many people saw this as simply annoying graffiti rather than a clever marketing campaign. The campaign may also face legal consequences. San Francisco City Attorney is trying to track down the culprits and issue a fine.
From a marketing point of view, this type of action is interesting. It may even be worth it in the long run for Bieber and his publicists -a little bad press and even a fine may be a small price to pay if it means more people talking about his album and more sales. This is part of the calculations that go into many guerrilla or non-traditional marketing campaigns.