18 January 2023 1059 words, 5 min. read

Street marketing: 3 tips and 3 famous campaigns

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
Through street marketing, brands take over public space to promote their offer. Fundamentally open to everyone’s creativity, this discipline has several fields of application. Examples are numerous to illustrate this. This article delimits the contours of this practice before providing […]

Through street marketing, brands take over public space to promote their offer. Fundamentally open to everyone’s creativity, this discipline has several fields of application. Examples are numerous to illustrate this. This article delimits the contours of this practice before providing 3 key tips for successful campaigns. Here are the best applications of the concept via the marketing operations of McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and the city of Amsterdam.

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What is street marketing?

In the idea, street marketing is quite close to wild posting. Indeed, this process takes advantage of public space to promote a brand’s product/service. Just like billboarding, street marketing is profitable and differentiating. But that’s not all; it significantly increases the brand’s notoriety! There are several ways to implement this type of tactic:

  • organization of events
  • mass promotion/discount periods
  • interactive installations to strengthen the links between the customers and the brand

Furthermore, street marketing finds its strength in the feelings it arouses. Thus, customers do not feel subjected to an advertisement. On the contrary: they live a full-fledged experience. Leading companies jump at the chance to involve their customers in the brand’s life. As a result, the offer occupies the target audience’s minds more, while the customers feel part of the brand.


3 tips for a successful street marketing approach

To take advantage of the benefits of street marketing, brands must keep certain strategic points in mind. In this case, three are essential: originality, interactivity, and targeting.

Priorité absolue : des idées originales et marquantes

Being creative, proactive, and ambitious: are 3 essential qualities for any good street marketing strategy! Indeed, originality allows one to arouse and even capture people’s attention. This way, brands increase their chances of creating viral content on physical and digital channels.

Moreover, these campaigns will be all the more effective if they follow the values embodied by the brand to the letter. This is what we see in the example of Coca-Cola. After all, a public won over by the brand’s image will be delighted to interact positively with their preferred product/service. In the end, street marketing leads to a strong memory of the message: it is a new buying motivation for the customers.

A successful street marketing campaign increases brand awareness and boosts sales.

Street marketing must be interactive

Because of its interactive nature, it transmits an enriching and unforgettable experience to its audience. Therefore, creating an interactive consumption becomes essential to any street marketing initiative. For this reason, this process is the right arm of many marketing branches, including:

  • experiential: indeed, the stakes are high: this is about encouraging customers to be active rather than passive.
  • relational: strengthening the links between the public and the brand places the customer before the product.

Thinking the campaign according to the marketing target

Finally, the reflection around street marketing campaigns must always keep the marketing target in sight. Indeed, brands must be able to reach their typical customer profiles. Otherwise, the campaign would become futile. So, to resonate with the target audience, it is necessary to understand the motivations and reasons of its members:

Targeting means personalizing the message, which goes hand in hand with the creativity of street marketing. And in parallel, multi-channel and thoughtful communication will allow physical and digital presence to be coupled. So, brands must conduct thorough research to understand which catchment area to target.

Street marketing is successful when the targeting is effective and the message is personalized.

street marketing campagnes

3 successful street marketing campaigns

Finally, we propose to investigate the cases of McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and the city of Amsterdam to understand better the points mentioned above. Let’s see how these campaigns are examples of the application of street marketing precepts.


With “Free Coffee,” McDonald’s shows the way for brands willing to engage in street marketing. Its use of public space has served its desire to promote, advertise and embellish its brand awareness.

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In concrete terms, the campaign involved offering coffee to the franchise’s customers to encourage them to eat at McDonald’s more often. As for the targeting, nothing to report: the company targeted high-traffic areas in urban centers to reach as many customers as possible. Thanks to this, the fast food chain was able to create virality online and increase customer loyalty, all at a low cost.

McDonald's street marketing

Here is another example of what McDonald’s can do in its street marketing campaigns. Here, it transforms street furniture into advertising space to promote its products. (source: Twitter)


Then, Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Truck” campaign took place around the globe. It aimed to use public space to promote its brand. Here, the company put itself on stage with a bottle distributor. Like McDonald’s, it took advantage of the low costs of street marketing to make a solid long-term profit. We note here a small particularity since the digital communication strategy was quite ambitious. Hashtags dedicated to the campaign, filming teams, and multi-channel broadcasting, everything is gathered for a successful marketing coup! The video below, published by Coca-Cola, shows it.

Coca-Cola has also played on its values to “spread happiness,” inviting customers to share this feeling with their peers.

I amsterdam

It is interesting to look at the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Known for its museums and neighborhoods that are recognizable among a thousand, its urban design stands out just as much. Indeed, the “I amsterdam” sign is also an emblematic symbol of the city. In street marketing, this case is known to be one of the most successful campaigns in Europe. By attracting visitors and promoting the city, the sign has further increased awareness of the Dutch capital abroad. However, a victim of its success and accused of encouraging mass tourism, the letters were removed from the Rijksmuseum square in 2018.

I amsterdam street marketing

Taking advantage of digital channels to promote your city and all thanks to a few letters. The idea will be replicated in several places around the world. (source: Unsplash)

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