Entrepreneurship, Events, Projects

When crazy becomes reality

April 30, 2015


When discussing marketing in a project with a limited budget someone always brings up ‘’Guerilla marketing’’. What is that, you may ask. Well, it’s a way of promoting your product, service or cause using minimum financial resources while trying to maximize visibility in unconventional ways. It’s very simple. Except it’s not.

Like most cases it is often easier said than done. You need to be creative in order for people to be interested in what you are doing but even with the best of ideas, how do you go about actually making it happen?

“How about I sleep in a portaledge, 15 meters high, hanging from the side of Forum’s wall?’’, said Pata nonchalantly, one day about a month ago.

A portaledge is a tent rock climbers use to hang on the side of the mountain wall during longer climbs and Forum is a shopping center with one of the biggest and most visible advertising spots in Helsinki. It’s a wonderful, albeit completely crazy idea. And we’ve already established that we like crazy. But how do we make it happen? I believe that the greatest things come without a formula or a guidebook and that rings true for our entire expedition. Original ideas need original solutions. Of course, you also need a fantastically convincing pitch.

Forum actually loved the idea and partnered up with Expedition Arcada and the event took place on the 28th-29th of April. We invited journalists, media and bloggers to come see us and Pekka Niska provided us with a crane to be able to lift them up to the portaledge for a chat, and a once in a lifetime opportunity, with Pata Degerman. We experienced our second press release during the expedition.

Passers-by walked with their heads down, as per usual, until they stumbled on the words ‘’look up’’, written in chalk on the pavement and their puzzled faces were always a great conversation starter for us. To gain further visibility for Forum and us we launched a competition on Instagram where participants could win gift cards. Our film students shot great material from various angels and our photographer, Max (who also slept in the portaledge), was at one point dangling from the side of the glass wall, capturing truly amazing shots.

In what was a giant team effort, everyone nailed it on Tuesday. Once the journalists and bloggers had done their reporting, Pata and Max were hoisted back up in the portaledge to be left there over night. And it was an eventful one from marital disputes, to drunken chanting and loud ambulances and trams. The city center doesn’t make for cozy sleeping, but the boys didn’t seem to mind. They were woken up by the morning TV program ‘’Huomenta Suomi’’, while the rest of us back on the ground found our story on the cover of Swedish speaking newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet, which was another great win for our expedition when it comes to visibility.

Until next time!
/Bettina, Expedition Arcada (guerilla) marketing team