A screengrab from YouTube shows the marketing stunt by car rental company Sixt at anti-nuclear protests in Germany on Monday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: German car rental company Sixt delivered a marketing stunt yesterday that guaranteed media coverage throughout the country. During the ongoing protest marches against nuclear waste transports across Germany, a Sixt team joined the protesters who were walking in hundreds along a railway line to block trains with nuclear waste cargo.

In a performance known as guerrilla marketing, a Sixt team suddenly unrolled a banner reading "Stop expensive transports! Rent vans and trucks from Sixt!"

The action was filmed and immediately put on YouTube and communicated via blogs, Facebook and Twitter threads.

"This has never happened in the history of advertising: A promotion during a protest march," Sixt said in a release to media afterwards. The company said it "again was able to attract the attention of the public at low cost and with high courage with this impressive and spectacular action."

However, reactions were ambivalent.

"This is tasteless. I will look for a new car rental firm," a YouTube poster said, adding he felt annoyed that Sixt was using anti-nuclear protests for advertising purposes.

Another poster was excited: "Brilliant. Guerrilla marketing at its best!"

Guerrilla marketing uses unconventional promotions that rely on ideas and surprise effect rather than on a big marketing budget. Campaigns target consumers in unexpected places.