An Explanation of Stealth Marketing

Marketing is a very important phase of business. The business cycle works like this―product planning, designing, development, testing, and then marketing. If the last phase is not implemented successfully, the entire development process will have gone in vain. Hence, companies come up with newer and more innovative strategies of advertising the product and circulating the same amidst the general public. Stealth marketing is one such advertising technique, developed more than a decade back. Unlike traditional methods, where one is at least aware that a product is being advertised (print media, like newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc., and tele-media, like radio and television), stealth marketing concentrates on secret advertising, i.e., no one would even know that the product is being advertised. The following paragraphs elaborate further on the practice of stealth marketing.

An Overview
Many consumers actually wonder if stealth marketing is real or just a myth. Well, to eliminate your doubts, yes, it is indeed real.
Also called undercover/buzz marketing, it is a tactic to let customers know about the product before it has been officially launched.
As mentioned in the beginning, Sony Ericsson was one of the first companies that used stealth marketing.
In order to launch their product labeled ‘T68i’, they had actors pose as regular tourists.
These ‘tourists’ went around the city, asking passers-by to take their pictures, using the phone camera of the brand new T68i. Mind you, the public had no idea of this product before.
As the public interest was aroused, the actors/tourists displayed the product like a trophy, explaining its features, attracting a wider audience and encouraging them to buy the product, which was the sole purpose of the campaign. The company intended to spread this news as far as possible so that everybody would know about the phone and its unique characteristics.
Some of the types of stealth marketing are given below:

Using Actors
The technique dates back to the one Sony Ericsson had used first―having actors pose as regular people for product promotion.
As of today, companies hire a bulk of actors and group them into twos and threes.
These groups travel around the city, attracting the general public towards the product in some way or the other.
They spread word about the product features, unique traits, etc., and remember, all this is done without the actors revealing their identity. This is one of the strong reasons why some consumers consider this practice as illegal.
This campaign may be carried out for a few days/a week, until the company finds out that the product has been sufficiently advertised.
Similar to this method, the company also hires actors and sends them to huge organizations, to indulge the people present there into a conversation regarding the product.
The conversation is scripted, and the people have no idea who these actors are, nor do they know what their purpose is.
Video Releases
Videos featuring the product are made to look like press releases, when in reality, the products are being advertised on television as well as online channels.
The people appearing in the videos may or may not be actual artists; however, the videos are released nevertheless.
It may be possible that one of the marketers has been posing as a broadcaster as well.