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Trump's Visit to England Shows the Value of Guerilla Marketing

4 June 2019

The group also displayed poll results comparing Trump to his predecessor Obama, projected on the Tower of London:

The Mighty Force of Led by Donkeys

Led By Donkeys‘ previous claim to fame was the use of billboards to embarrass pro-Brexit politicians by sharing their own past claims and predictions on twitter.

Group member Chris (surname protected for anonymity told The Guardian:

“Often we [the British] have a reputation for being boringly sensible and yet here we are in this unreal moment of chaos and masochism and nobody really knows why we’re doing it,” he says. “We’re putting up quotes of these donkeys, these leaders, who are leading us off this precipice, highlighting what brought us to this point. It seemed to make sense.”

Capturing the public interest, they crowdfunded 50k and ended up with over 90 bilboards. According to The Guardian:

“Not everyone wanted to help. The biggest owners of advertising sites wouldn’t have them, too political (though they were happy to host Ukip). But they found smaller companies with fewer sites who were more accommodating.”

In general, Guerilla marketing aims to utilize creative means to catch the attention of the public, often by surprise, with the aim to create plenty of social impact. Over the years activists such as Truth In Advertising and Guerilla Grrls have utilized billboards as a means to critique society, the role of women, and fiction in advertising. It can also raise awareness of important social justice issues. Last year the Justice 4 Grenfell group paraded billboards around London to keep tower blaze, which killed 71 people, on the national conscience.

In New Zealand, Heart of The City, a representative group for Auckland City businesses, worked with Colenso BBDO to discourage people from littering the streets of Auckland. They showed pedestrians just how much rubbish is dropped around one bus shelter in one week. Every day the rubbish found around the bus shelters was picked up and placed inside the bus shelter.

Bus Stop Rubbish

In the US, a billboard was recently hacked by activists to spread a political message. The billboard once read: “We make junk disappear” — an advertisement for a junk removal firm. It was altered to read: “We make kids disappear,” signed “ICE.”

Anti-ICE Billboard Appears In East Bay

Billboards have the power to cause great impact. A thoughtful campaign is shared thousands of times over on social media and is reported on by the media. From Banksy to Brexit busters Led by Donkey, the out of home space is a blank canvas for public protest. As we move more into digital out of home advertising, the barriers to entry are lowered and we can only wait for the next installment of digital dissent.

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