Marketing is a practice that helps businesses draw new customers for their products and services. Companies use different tools to encourage customers to buy their products. It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to the end consumers. Now we understand these general practices of traditional marketing. Let’s talk about stealth marketing. How and why is this strategy creating a buzz? If you want to understand this strategy, you’ve come to the right place.
Table of contents
- Understanding Stealth Marketing
- Most Used Techniques in Stealth Marketing
- Goals of Stealth Marketing
- Examples of Stealth Marketing
- Benefits of Stealth Marketing in Business
- Should Brands Use Stealth Marketing?
- Is Stealth Marketing Effective?
Understanding Stealth Marketing
Stealth marketing is a method of advertising products and services to consumers without them knowing it. Businesses use this strategy to create buzz among the public for products. It is also known as buzz marketing or undercover marketing. Marketers use subtle techniques as a pre-hype strategy for their campaigns. It is often used by large businesses which can afford to spend on multiple marketing tactics.
This type of marketing aims to generate excitement before the launch/release of a product. It is also helpful in spreading awareness about specific products and services. When done right, it helps businesses build positive relationships with their consumers. Eventually, it will lead to potential consumers for your product and service.
Most Used Techniques in Stealth Marketing
This is one of the profound and most traditional stealth marketing techniques. Brands subtly incorporate their product in films, web series and other media channels. Public relations companies mainly use this technique. They charge brands for their services for product placement in tv ads, movies or others.
For example, many smartphone brands are adopting this way of stealth marketing. They direct media companies to promote their product through celebrities in the shows. Brands usually prefer product placements during important scenes or talks in the show.
Marketers use this technique for pre and post-launch events. They encourage people to leave reviews for the product and services. Sometimes they pay influencers or ask them to write reviews against a giveaway. This is also a form of stealth marketing.
For example, giving early access to the product exclusively to a group of people to write about is another way of stealth marketing. It will create buzz around the product even before it is available to the public.
Partnering with Content Creator
We live in the social media world, and it’s a one-stop platform for your every need. From entertainment to education and shopping, people use social media whatsoever. Partnering with content creators or influencers to endorse your product is also a form of stealth marketing. Brands make content that features their product but uses a third party for publishing. They may ask to creatively incorporate the product’s unique features in their videos.
Take the example of a coffee brand. The key message of the product is to stay active and healthy. A girl who feels lethargic and lazy to even come out of bed. She forcefully dragged herself to the kitchen and made coffee for herself. After a sip, she feels active and arrives at her garden for Yoga. The key message of the brand was delivered along with the product. This form of stealth marketing is famous among global corporations.
Goals of Stealth Marketing
Every marketing project and campaign has an aim. The main objective of stealth marketing is to grab people’s attention in unconventional ways. Here are some concrete goals that stealth marketing aims to accomplish.
Create Curiosity Around the Product and Services
It has been a regular practice for brands to create curiosity around the products before the launch. Brands adopt this strategy as a publicity stunt with the help of creators or celebrities. Films, movies and other platforms have proven beneficial for this method. The key message always needs to be more specific and clear to build the right amount of excitement. It makes people get intrigued about the particular product.
Once the brand successfully builds hype and curiosity, it follows by word of mouth. This method can drive customers to talk about your product or services. Discussing the products with one another raises awareness.
To Receive Positive Reaction
Another goal of stealth marketing is to receive positive reactions from people. Marketers usually try their best to reach the right audience and get positive responses. For example, if a lead or main character of a movie uses the brand’s smartphone, it will positively impact the customer.
Examples of Stealth Marketing
Nike and Coke in ‘Friends TV Show’
“Friends” TV show is known for many good reasons. It is a show whose characters are cherished by millions. There are many scenes where stealth marketing strategy has been noticed. Soon brands realized that this show had got maximum eyeballs globally. Big corporations like Nike and Coca-Cola stepped in and incorporated their products into a TV show. There are scenes where characters enjoy their lunch, and a can of ‘Coke’ can be seen. Also, some characters were spotted wearing Nike shoes in some scenes.
Top Gun and Famous Ray-Ban look of Tom Cruise
We all know that Top Gun is famous for the stunning look of Tom Cruise wearing Ray-Ban glasses in the movie. Ray-Ban gained massive popularity after the release, and sales grew significantly. First, Tom Cruise wore a Ray-Ban wayfarer and then Aviators in Top Gun. These two products are iconic eyewear to date.
Iconic Sony Ericsson New Camera Phone Stunt
Sony Ericsson’s new camera phone campaign is one of the effective and successful examples of stealth marketing. When Sony Ericsson introduced its camera range phone, people were unfamiliar with it.
As it was a breakthrough for the company, it needed extra creativity. The company hired 60 actors from different cities around the world. The plan was to give phones to the actors and allow them to act as tourists in front of other people. Those actors would ask strangers for their pictures with that phone. The new technology intrigued many. The actors also helped strangers with the procedure of taking pictures.
As a result, many people started talking about it and drew attention to the product.
Benefits of Stealth Marketing in Business
It Creates Buzz Around the Product and Services
Every brand craves for the excitement around its products and services. A brand can achieve this by using stealth marketing techniques. Instead of seeing a whole new advertisement about the product, people notice the object in a subject’s hand. It triggers their curiosity about the product. People start talking about the product and comment on what interests them the most.
Stealth Marketing Makes the Brand Memorable
Some stunts are unforgettable for people. In traditional marketing, brands see things to increase sales while adopting the same techniques. But, in stealth marketing, people remember the brand more than its product. It makes the brand more recognizable among the public. It’s an overall image of a brand that stealth marketing shows to the people.
A Sense of Empowerment
In Stealth marketing, a brand doesn’t directly ask its audiences to buy a product or service. Instead, it empowers its consumers to make their own buying decision. It shows that your marketing stunt should be highly effective to catch the public’s eye. People sometimes want to avoid getting their hands on the product just because the brand tries to convince them to buy.
Cost Effective in Many Ways
Unlike traditional marketing, stealth marketing costs you less. Celebrity endorsements could be expensive. But generally speaking, using stealth is more cost-effective. Not only does a little imagination go a long way, but working with micro- or nano-influencers to do product reviews is also relatively inexpensive.
Should Brands Use Stealth Marketing?
Whether a brand should use stealth marketing entirely depends on the size and nature of the brand. Consumers are getting more intelligent every passing year. They quickly adopted the idea behind such marketing campaigns and named it a ‘marketing stunt’ by XYZ brand. For some, it’s a creative way to know about the product and services, while for some, it’s deceptive. They see the fact brands are here to sell the product. As in this marketing strategy, things are marketed differently so people think in other ways too.
Is Stealth Marketing Effective?
It is up to you if stealth marketing will become your next marketing strategy. You will achieve remarkable results by conducting covert marketing. Why won’t you be the next successful brand to benefit from stealth marketing, like Mini Cooper, FedEx, Blackberry, Walmart, Starbucks, Sunsilk, and many others?
Featured Image: AVADA Commercial Blog