PEOPLEText: Zorro

How can an idea so small be so right? How do you create a phenomenon? How do you generate so much brand heat that you’re the talk of the town in London? New York? Berlin? Or Tokyo? How do you get that brand to sizzle?

Sure advertising helps, but today, sending in the US Marines isn’t the only way to go. Say hello to BlueberryFrog. The world’s first cross-border guerrilla and viral marketing agency that unashamedly uses every media necessary to create buzz and make a brand your best friend.

Since starting up in some tunnels in southeast Amsterdam last year, the world’s only cross border agency, has come above ground for brands such as the global launch of, Motorola’s V-box across Asia and the USA, Viagra, Heineken, and the European launch of Microsoft’s MSN search engine.

Guerrilla marketing started as a means to generate a lot of noise for local bands and DJs in and around New York and London in the 1970s. It’s always had that rebel image, but recently guerrilla marketing has been the topic of discussion in some of the world’s most smoky boardrooms. It caught on with the big blue chip brands as they were looking for new, more effective, and cost-smart ways to create a relationships with customers. As with the music and fashion industry, the street level contact with consumers is key to building brand relevance, surprise and the cool factor which translates into all important ‘trust’ between the consumer and the brand.

In this world, BlueberryFrog set out in the year 2000 to create buzz for brands across borders. Today, the company’s creative director and partner, Mark Chalmers feels things have taken a turn for the better: “There is so much more technology and digital media out there” says Mark Chalmers. The convergence of digital media means opportunity.”

Chalmers should know, he was the mind behind the hugely successful stunts and guerrilla marketing to make Tango (the UK soft drink) one of the most successful brand launches in the UK ever.

“We used to find new exciting ways to create personal experience a few years ago, when we worked for Adidas, or Sony Playstation…but today, every new day , there are so many new ways of communicating with our audience. Look at fashion and clothing for instance, collaborations between Levi and Phillips – technology, mobile communication devices, mp3 players all integrated into what we wear. Look at Samsonite utilizing their packaging knowledge to package us in Samsonite clothing. Smart, intelligent materials are being developed, they act as an extensions of our senses, second skins. Steve Austin used to be ahead of his time, now we are becoming the six million dollar people,” Chalmers continues.

“You are in the fishbowl is how we marketers used to look at things. Now, you are the bowl and the fish, and the feeder…and well…anything your mind wants you to be. The average individual recognizes 1000 brands and only 10 species of plants…no wonder there has been a backlash to brands – they can infringe our space and we are tired already. The definition of personal space is the text message on our phone in our pocket.

The best brands, are a hell of a lot cleverer than that. Yes, they add value. Yes, they explore new media channels. Yes they excite. Yes they entertain you.

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Marianna Dobkowska