What Is Attack Marketing?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2018
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Also known as ambush marketing, attack marketing is one of several different marketing strategies included in a classification of techniques known collectively as guerrilla marketing. The idea behind attack marketing is to aggressively promote a good or service using methods that may be somewhat non-traditional, with the result being that consumers readily identify with the product and are prompted to make a purchase. This particular approach to the marketing process can be successfully employed by small companies with limited marketing budgets as well as large corporations with significant resources to create high-level marketing campaigns.

With attack marketing, the idea is to find ways to capture the attention of consumers by presenting a product in a way that makes it connect with those consumers almost immediately. This often involves presenting a product in a manner that identifies with some characteristic that the consumer either possesses or believes he or she possesses. For example, television ads for cigarettes during the middle of the 20th century would often include the portrayal of males who were considered strong, virile, and successful as a means of connecting with men who either perceived themselves to possess those qualities or who were currently striving to achieve those characteristics. The implication was that by choosing to smoke a certain brand, the consumer would somehow be a part of that elite class and be a few steps closer to achieving his or her dreams.


The same general concept of attack marketing has also been used to sell other products, such as cars. Depending on the make and model involved, the advertising would convey the message that by owning a certain car, it would be easier to attract love interests, lead to a more adventurous lifestyle, or in some cases make the task of taking care of a family easier. Advertising for perfumes, cereals, and all sorts of products will often convey the message that use of a certain product will lead to some sort of transformation that the consumer finds appealing.

One of the benefits of attack marketing is that a company of any size can make use of this approach. Even a small local company that can afford little in the way of advertising may place free ads online and in local publications, use publicity stunts to call attention to its product line, or combine several inexpensive methods to create local interest and boost sales. The key factor with attack marketing is creativity; by making the best use of whatever methods will work in a given situation, even if those methods are a little unorthodox, the chances of capturing attention and resulting in sales are greatly enhanced.



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Attack! Marketing is also a non-traditional and guerrilla marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

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