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Encyclopedia > Undercover marketing

Undercover marketing (also known as buzz marketing, stealth marketing, or by its detractors roach baiting) is a subset of guerrilla marketing where consumers do not realize they are being marketed to. For example, a marketing company might pay an actor or socially adept person to use a certain product visibly and convincingly in locations where target consumers congregate. While there, the actor will also talk up their product to people they befriend in that location, even handing out samples if it is economically feasible. The actor will often be able to sell consumers on their product without those consumers even noticing it. Guerrilla marketing, as described by Jay Conrad Levinson in his popular 1982 book Guerrilla Marketing, is an unconventional way of performing promotional activities on a very low budget. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Target audience. ...

Contents

Reasons for undercover marketing

The goal of any undercover campaign is to generate buzz. Spontaneous word of mouth, or buzz, is free, can reach consumers isolated from all other media, and unlike conventional media, consumers tend to trust it. Marketers find it very hard to predict buzz let alone generate it on demand. However when it works, undercover marketing does exactly that: an ideal consumer from the example above will not only begin using that product themselves, but will also tell their friends about it, inciting a planned viral marketing campaign that looks spontaneous. Word of mouth is the passing of information by verbal means, especially recommendations, but also general information, in an informal, person-to-person manner, rather than by mass media, advertising, organized publication, or traditional marketing. ... Word of mouth (WOM) is the passing of information by verbal means, especially recommendations, but also general information, in an informal, person-to-person manner, rather than by mass media, advertising, organized publication, or traditional marketing. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Word of mouth marketing. ...


It is the consumer's sense that this recommendation was spontaneous and unsolicited, and the resulting feeling that "one good turn deserves another", that drives the buzz. So, the "bought and paid for" aspect of the transaction must remain hidden. Overall, the person doing the marketing must look and sound like a peer of their target audience without any ulterior motive for endorsing the product—employees of the company cannot do undercover marketing, nor can celebrities (except possibly to other celebrities). A peer group is a group of people of approximately the same age, social status, and interests. ...


Risks

If marketers fail to hide their vested interest in selling a product, they run considerable risk of backlash. Cases where consumers have found out they have been manipulated into liking the product, they generally become angry at the marketer (and by association that product) over being misled. This indignation has led some to apply more derogatory names to undercover marketing, such as roach baiting, likening the products marketed this way to poison. In some cases, the amount of buzz generated by a failed campaign can exceed that of a successful one, only with the opposite of the desired result. The skull and crossbones symbol traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ...


An example of this sort of backlash can be found in Sony Entertainment's recent debacle with Zipatoni. Zipatoni attempted to engage in a stealth marketing campaign, which was quickly detected by the internet community. Sony immediately experienced backlash from the gaming community. Their ad campaign was shallow enough that it insulted those that saw it by implying that Sony's target audience was shallow enough to fall for it.la because


Internet marketing

When targeting consumers known to be consistent Internet users, undercover marketers have taken a significant interest in leveraging Internet chat rooms and forums. In these settings, people tend to perceive everyone as peers, the semi-anonymity reduces the risk of being found out, and one marketer can personally influence a large number of people. During the dot com boom at the turn of the century, stock promoters frequently used chat rooms to create a buzz and drive up the price of a stock. Dot-com (also dotcom or redundantly dot. ...


Whatever the risks, undercover marketing only requires a small investment for a large potential pay off. It remains a cheap and effective way of generating buzz, especially in markets such as tobacco and alcohol where media-savvy target consumers have become increasingly resistant or inaccessible to other forms of advertising. Species Nicotiana acuminata Nicotiana alata Nicotiana attenuata Nicotiana benthamiana Nicotiana clevelandii Nicotiana excelsior Nicotiana forgetiana Nicotiana glauca Nicotiana glutinosa Nicotiana langsdorffii Nicotiana longiflora Nicotiana obtusifolia Nicotiana paniculata Nicotiana plumbagifolia Nicotiana quadrivalvis Nicotiana repanda Nicotiana rustica Nicotianasuaveolens Nicotiana sylvestris Nicotiana tabacum Nicotiana tomentosa Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005... Bottles of cachaça, a Brazilian alcoholic beverage. ... Wikibooks has more about this subject: Marketing Billboards and street advertising in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, (2005) Advertising is paid communication through a non-personal medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled. ...


Examples of undercover marketing

Sony Ericsson used stealth marketing in 2002 when they hired 60 actors in 10 major cities, and had them "accost strangers and ask them: Would you mind taking my picture?" The actor then handed the stranger a brand new picture phone while talking about how cool the new device was. "And thus an act of civility was converted into a branding event." (Taken from Walker, Rob. The Hidden (In Plain Sight) Persuaders. New York Times Magazine; Dec 5, 2004; New York Times pg. 68) Mobile phone Sony Ericsson is a joint venture established in 2001 by the Japanese consumer electronics company Sony Corporation and the Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson to make mobile phones. ...


Rumour has it that, in 2003, Canon Inc. did something similar when they sent out couples to Staten Island and Battery Park who were dressed and acted like Japanese tourists, who would randomly ask passers-by to take their photos. They would hand them the newest Canon camera, and the target would subconsciously learn how easy, smart, and fun it was to use the camera. Canon Inc. ... Staten Island, in yellow, lies to the southwest of the rest of New York City. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


The topic of undercover marketing is explored as part of the 2003 documentary film, The Corporation. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film and book critical of the modern-day corporation and its behaviour towards society. ...


See also

Wikibooks has more about this subject: Marketing Marketing is a social and managerial function that attempts to create, expand and maintain a collection of customers. ... A peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is a network that relies on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively few servers. ... Word of mouth (WOM) is the passing of information by verbal means, especially recommendations, but also general information, in an informal, person-to-person manner, rather than by mass media, advertising, organized publication, or traditional marketing. ... Guerrilla marketing, as described by Jay Conrad Levinson in his popular 1982 book Guerrilla Marketing, is an unconventional way of performing promotional activities on a very low budget. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Word of mouth marketing. ... In psychology and sociology, a trust metric is a measure of how a member of a group is trusted by the other members. ... In politics and advertising, the term astroturfing describes formal public relations (PR) campaigns which seek to create the impression of being a spontaneous, grassroots behavior. ...

External links

  • http://www.snopes.com/photos/commercials/vwpolo.asp

  Results from FactBites:
 
Undercover marketing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (770 words)
Undercover marketing (also known as buzz marketing, stealth marketing, or by its detractors roach baiting) is a subset of guerrilla marketing where consumers do not realize they are being marketed to.
Overall, the person doing the marketing must look and sound like a peer of their target audience without any ulterior motive for endorsing the product—employees of the company cannot do undercover marketing, nor can celebrities (except possibly to other celebrities).
The topic of undercover marketing is explored as part of the 2003 documentary film, The Corporation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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