Atlanta Guerrilla Marketing Group Takes It To The 'Street'

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MLT Creative's Man On The Street Productions, a division specializing in providing non-traditional marketing solutions, offers the Atlanta ad agency's clients inventive ways to raise brand recognition.

The creative team behind Man On The Street Productions, the guerrilla marketing arm of Atlanta-based advertising agency MLT Creative, is always on the lookout for innovative ideas to help clients break through the clutter and stand out from their competition.

"Guerrilla marketing tactics are best used along with a broader marketing strategy," says Billy Mitchell, president and creative director of the B2B-oriented ad agency. "But they sure help to dial up the level of excitement and reinforce the overall campaign."

A prime example of MLT's success with this new "street-level" strategy is a recent series of one-on-one interviews they've been conducting with their clients' customers.

"We use the tactic to conduct live interviews at trade shows, at the workplace and at job sites to get customer feedback and convey key messages in the exchange," Mitchell says.

Even when the ad agency is promoting itself, he adds, the employees of MLT practice what they preach by making the most of their marketing budget with ideas that are inventive and attention-getting, yet inexpensive.

This sort of brainstorming came into play recently at a local event called Surf Fest, an annual concert benefit sponsored by MLT that culls big name "surf rock" bands from coast to coast and lures them all the way to Clarkston, GA -- a little land-locked suburb of Atlanta.

"We drew a crowd by dressing out telephone poles, bars, restaurants and other neighborhood gathering spots with some guerrilla-style techniques we've invented," Mitchell says. "We placed surfboard-shaped signage in places that can't be missed, pointing the way to the concert venue while building buzz about the show."

Another highly successful example of the team's guerrilla marketing efforts was a cleverly designed bag created for auto industry tradeshows -- one in which the handle is essentially made from the image of a steering wheel that extends above the top of the bag. These luggable ads became a staple at a recent auto show in Las Vegas, NV.

"It's really a great way to have walking billboards for your brand circulating throughout the show," Mitchell says. "Considering how much is paid to exhibit at most shows, it's a smart way to get more bang for your buck. Plus, a good bag is often the first thing attendees look for when walking the show floor."

MLT's Man On The Street ideas also work in point-of-sale environments. Take, for example, a recent campaign for Manheim Financial Services (MAFS), an industry leader in providing business financing to automotive dealers. When the company needed to boost brand awareness and encourage dealers to use their credit lines, MLT decided to let the money literally speak for itself -- in the form of life-size mascot versions of Abe Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and George Washington. These comical-looking characters carried sandwich board promotional messaging that could be easily updated with various eye-catching themes.

"We created a program that adds personality to the MAFS brand and gives them a street-level program that can last for years," Mitchell said, "and now extends to online messaging, trade advertising and viral marketing."

Through Man On The Street Productions, MLT now offers ideas for great guerrilla marketing campaigns to all of its clients as an added "secret weapon" to help them add buzz to their business without busting their budgets. From candid, videotaped interviews with clients' customers and prospects, to projecting branded messaging on the sides of buildings, the Man On The Street team thinks both big and small to ensure that no great idea is overlooked.

About MLT Creative
MLT Creative, located on the east side of Atlanta, GA, was founded in 1980. Its services include positioning, brand development, advertising and sales promotions for B2B marketers. Its client list includes Sto Corp and Manheim. Visit them online at http://www.mltcreative.com.

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Chase Mitchell
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