Stealth marketing - good business or manipulative deception?

Discussion in 'Internet Marketing' started by Fergal, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,578
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    I read a very interesting article in last weekend's Sunday Times. The article discussed how some businesses use stealth marketing to help spread the word about their products and services. The word "stealth" is used, because the people being marketed to, don't actually know that a company is paying someone to publicise their business.

    An example they quoted was how Sony Ericsson recruited actors who posed as tourists. They asked passers by to take their picture and handed them their Sony Ericsson phone, to take the picture. The passers by didn't know that the "tourist" was in fact an actor who was being paid to promote a product.

    Another scenario they discussed was book publishers who paid two actors to act as strangers on a train. They would both be reading the same book and start talking loudly to each other about how good the book was. Once the train came to a stop they would move to the next carriage and repeat the performance.

    So what are your feelings on this, is it good business or manipulative marketing?
     
  2. seanstevens

    seanstevens
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    2
    The first example is nothing more than product placement and it leaves it up to the consumer to decide if they like the item enough to check it out further. The second is good marketing and is no different from advertising on TV, in theory you could say it is a little sneaky, but it is damn clever. It would not work for all products, but for a consumer driven item such as a book, it has a chance of working.
     
  3. KipFXDesign

    KipFXDesign
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Sean, its the bastard child of Marketing and PR, and I like it, seems an expensive way of doing it, but if the ROI is good, and the media attention it will get is driving sales, its thumbs up from me
     
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,578
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    I suppose the major difference is that someone who is exposed to stealth marketing does not know that someone is being paid to promote the product to them. When someone watches a TV ad, they know that the ad has been paid for and that influences the credibility that they give to the message. It's normal to give more credibility to someone who praises a product, when we don't believe that they are being paid to promote the product. We don't expect an unbiased opinion from someone who is being paid to promote.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have any strong objections to this type of marketing. However, I do feel that it is an area that should be closely monitored by regulators and bodies like the Advertising Standards Authority.

    This topic reminds me of a discussion we previously had on new laws requiring affiliate marketers to disclose that they were being rewarded to promote a product or service.
     
  5. scifi

    scifi
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    44
    Well..stealth marketing reminded me of another similar strategy of marketing called " Parasite Marketing"..IN this type ..other person's resources are being used without his knowledge or awareness directly or indirectly to promote owner's brand....

    Hmm..Stealth marketing is also an interesting way of promoting a brand or product ..!! But the point of concern is that FAB- Features, Attributes and Benefits of the product might not be communicated without manipulation....i.e. there might be possibility of misleading information reaching to the customer end ...

    :)
     
  6. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,578
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    I haven't heard much about "Parasite Marketing" could you please given an example of how a business used it? Would posting spam links on someone else's forum be considered Parasite Marketing?
     
  7. scifi

    scifi
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    44
    Hi Fergal!!

    Well posting links on someone else's website can be considered as Parasite Marketing..But the point is that how u use a particular technique to your benefit in an ethical way...that's matter..

    Here are few links that will help you understand Parasite Marketing better...

    How to suck Blood Out of Your Competition


    Parasite
    Marketing or Ambush Marketing


    :)
     
  8. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,578
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Thanks for those links Scifi. The first one that describes parasite marketing sounds like cooperative advertising or a joint venture promotion, because both parties benefit. I can understand why the article writer describes it is parasite marketing, but it is an unfortunate name, in those circumstances.
     
  9. Kay

    Kay
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    21
    I guess in the first case they're hoping the brand name would sink into your brain like some form of subliminal advertising. I agree with Sean that's more akin to product placement, albeit it on the sly side.

    The book...hmm, I think if I knew that was a common practice I'd become paranoid about how many encounters I had with people that were real or staged! Very clever though but still underhand in my eyes. Would it make me buy something? Maybe, maybe not. The real question for me is how much would I be willing to trust a company overall that resorted to such measures.

    And how the ASA would monitor that is beyond me. When the actors can be anywhere at any given moment, how can you possibly track what they're doing? All very interesting!
     
  10. revardwatson

    revardwatson
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stealth marketing also known as undercover marketing is form of marketing where customers do not realize that they are being marketed to. Stealth marketing can take place both online and offline. Also the stealth marketing has greater potential to make a more sincere impact on the public as opposed to a TV or billboard ad.
     
  11. Remotestaff

    Remotestaff
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my humble opinion, whether it's stealth marketing or otherwise, it doesn't really matter since it still has to abide by the parameters of product marketing and sales...and that is, it still has to win the favorable response of the consumer (customer).

    If the consumer doesn't want to buy the product, the stealth marketing effort just goes to waste anyway. Even the most attractive, most influential of actors or actresses won't be able to sell a bad product.

    Case in point: If BP decides to mount a PR/advocacy campaign right now, using the most high-profile celebrities in the world, would you change your opinion about them?

    Personally, my opinion about BP wouldn't change a bit even if they got Angelina Jolie to do a public apology for them.
     
  12. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,578
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    True. But what if a famous racing driver regularly said that he used a certain brand of fuel because it gave his car much better performance than other brands, without revealing that he was saying this, not because he really believed it, but because he was being paid to endorse a particular brand? Or what if BP paid a well known and outspoken environmentalist to made statements that the environmental impact of the oil spill, is much less than is commonly believed, without revealing that he or she is being paid by BP to make those statements?
     
  13. Remotestaff

    Remotestaff
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    You mean, like what if Sting goes on national TV advocating the cause of BP? Would I suddenly feel sorry for the company?

    Hmm...this is a tough one, but I think I'd still be a bit cynical. I'd have to see some real hard facts substantiated by market feedback before my opinion changes ;)
     
  14. streetgemini

    streetgemini
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stealth marketing has a better potential to make more genuine blow on public as opposed to TV or billboard ad. Stealth Marketing is used all throughout main stream media. It is an aspect of marketing in which an audience is not aware that they are being marketed to. It is marketing incognito.
     

Share This Page