Stealth Marketing

from the does-it-do-any-good...? dept

We’ve written in the past about the death of the captive audience, and it appears that companies are increasingly trying to come up with ways to deal with that. Some are going with the “entertainment as advertising” concept that seems to work well — but an offshoot of that seems to be something more akin to stealth marketing — where a company creates or sponsors an amusing and entertaining website without actually having their own name or brand being feature prominently. The idea is more to get people interested in the content, and to discover “quietly” who was behind it. From Burger King’s subservient chicken to Alaska Airlines’ Sky High Airlines, the idea basically seems to be to back their way into the consciousness of younger consumers who want to be entertained, and who can smell when they’re being “advertised to” a mile away.

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Comments on “Stealth Marketing”

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Steve Mueller (user link) says:

Not So New

“60 Minutes” ran a piece on stealth marketing last season, I believe. It exists outside the Web, too.

In one example, companies would send “cool” people into clubs with a new brand of cigarette who would give them out when people asked to bum a smoke.

Another example had a cell phone company sending out people who would ask random pedestrians to take their picture with a new camera phone.

I’m not sure whether I like this or not. In the cigarette case, I’d at least be getting something for free. In the phone case, though, they’re wasting my time by deceiving me into thinking I’m doing somebody a favor when in reality they’re trying to market to me.

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