Something FISHy about a guerrilla marketing tactic in Xenia, Ohio

May 2014 – Sometimes, the most down-to-earth, grass roots actions can yield better results than an expensive shot in the dark. Even if immediate financial return is not achieved, small, inexpensive activities can bring some valuable exposure. Here’s one example we found in Xenia, Ohio.


Have you seen this Fish Window Cleaning truck parked near Tim Horton’s in Xenia, Ohio? This is a brilliant move by the owners. What are you doing to increase your exposure?

Accompanying this article is a photo taken in May 2014 by Gery L. Deer, owner and creative director at GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. He first spotted the “Fish Window Cleaning” van several weeks earlier, but not where it appears in the photo, rather on the highway. The bright, red color and bold, white lettering stood out in the morning rush hour traffic – exactly as it was intended.

“I noticed two things when I saw the van again,” Deer says. “First, I remembered having seen it before somewhere on the road. That’s unusual in itself. Secondly, it was positioned in the parking lot so that people would obviously take notice.”

“I don’t know if the owner was aware of the extra ‘bang’ he got based on how he positioned the truck,” Gery continues. “I took the photo from the only entrance to the store around 8 A.M. on a weekday, one of Tim Horton’s busiest times. The truck was plainly visible to anyone entering the Tim Horton’s parking lot from the main road; a busy intersection off of the US 35 business route in Xenia.”

Positioning the truck at such a high-traffic location makes use of the time when it’s not visible by commuters on the highway and increases its value as an advertising medium. Given the location, the truck is seen by literally hundreds of people every week and most likely at no cost.

It would be interesting to learn whether parking the truck there has resulted in any closed business. But whatever the result, it’s a free, high-visibility action to build exposure; of a type often referred to as, “guerrilla marketing.” Non-traditional marketing is generally a favorite practice of low-budget start-ups, or businesses already in financial crisis. If there’s any doubt of its effectiveness, consider the fact it generated enough interest for us to do an article on the subject.

Every business goes through a “shoestring” phase. No matter how large a company may be, there was (or will come) a time when every penny matters, saving here, scrimping there, just to make the books line up. Plus, regardless of what so-called, “experts” say, there are no right answers and the leaders of each business must evaluate various techniques; advancing those that work and ending those that don’t.

During lean times most small business owners expend a great deal of energy chasing that packet of magic beans that will lead to the goose and the golden eggs. The theory: the more elaborate the effort, the greater the potential gain.

To be clear, no business can survive or achieve a high level of growth based solely on this kind of guerrilla marketing, which is actually under the category of public relations rather than advertising. However, every marketing plan should include a balance of paid advertising, personal networking and public relations.

GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing can assist any business with development of a complete marketing plan that includes low or no-cost techniques that keep you looking professional and stable. Contact us for more information.

Do you have a unique “guerrilla marketing” tactic that’s been successful? Tell us about it! Email us at, subject “guerrilla” and you might get featured in an upcoming article.