Generally in marketing people know that celebrities, influencers, or marketers trying to sell something to them. Stealth marketing is also called undercover marketing in which celebrities and influencers promote products or services to people but people have no idea that they are promoting something to them.
Who started Stealth marketing?
Marlboro is a cigarette brand that is banned from advertising in 1964 on the day the tobacco business had a market share of 757623 dollars. They found a new way to advertise their brand which is stealth marketing.
Is stealth marketing illegal?
Promoting or bringing brand awareness to people without their consent feels not fair but stealth marketing is illegal in most places still, but it's legal in some places.
Stealth marketing techniques
Stealth marketers use these ways to promote their products.
Stealth advertisements are most common on Instagram and Tiktok. You can see influencers on that platform post something that has some brands in it.
For example, If an influencer is promoting a cloth brand they promote that brand by just wearing it without even saying anything about the brand.
People always copy what their favorite actor does in movies so if the actor uses some branded bike people want to buy that too. These advertisements reach more people at a lesser cost thus most brands prefer this.
Some products like cigarettes and alcohol are banned from advertising in some countries. If an actor drinks or smoke in movies that will reach more people like advertisements. It will make them drink and smoke without even knowing.
Most blogs on the internet are written to promote something to the reader but if the promotion happens visually on the content no one will trust that blog. The writers promote their products or services without adding their brand names or images directly to the blogs.
Cigarette brands are banned from advertising since 1964 but still, they are advertising their brands in different ways. In order to bring brand awareness to people, these brands create dummy healthy products such as energy drinks or chocolate in their brand. They used to advertise frequently their dummy product which actually brings brand awareness to customers and the brand names are strongly registered in the minds of the customers.
Stealth marketing examples
In game of thrones, there is a scene where they left a Starbucks cup visibly on the table which cause a massive blow on the internet, People thought that is a mistake by the game of thrones team but it is purposefully done by them to promote Starbucks.
Colgate started providing free ice cream sticks to all the ice cream companies in Thailand. Colgate's name is mentioned in the ice cream sticks and those sticks are designed to look like a toothbrush. When a child completes their ice cream they will see a Colgate name on the stick which eventually remember them to brush their teeth with Colgate. Which increases their sales massively.
Tesla promotes their automated electric car in the mobile game PUBG. Tesla added their car to this game. Which helps them to bring brand awareness to 30 million people at less cost. PUBG helped promote Godzilla vs Kong movie by adding Godzilla and Kong in the game
Nestle wanted to sell their coffee in China but Chinese people are addicted to tea. They advertised massively for the coffee but the Chinese people did not show any interest in coffee.
Nestle decided to sell coffee-flavored chocolate and coffee-flavored cool drinks to Chinese people. The kids started to buy chocolate and adults started to drink Cool drinks thus they started liking the taste of the coffee and then they started using it.
Advantages of stealth marketing
High brand reach
Stealth marketing is the easiest way to reach more people and bring brand awareness to them.
Marketers have to pay every single time for normal advertisements while in Stealth marketing they don't have to pay every single time.
By choosing the correct actor and platform the product will reach the right target audience with a positive opinion about the brand.
Disadvantages of Stealth marketing
Although it seems unfair to advertise or raise brand awareness to consumers without their knowledge, stealth marketing is generally prohibited.
Spoil brand image
Sometimes Stealth marketing may spoil the brand image among customers.