What is Stealth Marketing?
“Marketing is an art of selling things”, it is a quite popular definition of marketing. Well, marketing is certainly an art, and it requires a lot of creativity. There are so many ways that marketers use to advertise and promote their products. Even there are marketing practices where the audience doesn’t even realize that the company is marketing its product. Here we are referring to Stealth Marketing.
In a Stealth Marketing strategy, the company advertises or promotes any product but without letting the audience realize that they’re marketing. You can understand it better with an example. You can see many brands appear in movie, series, or any social media post of any celebrity. The ambassadors do not advertise the product by calling out its name and features, and hide the fact that they are sponsoring the brand. The fact that they are using these products can create enough word of mouth and promote it.
Purpose of Stealth Marketing
Every marketing strategy has a goal or object. The primary objectives are brand awareness, increasing conversions, boost sales, etc. Stealth Marketing is quite different from other marketing strategies. It indirectly aims to create awareness among the viewers. The purposes of stealth marketing are:
Word of mouth
Any brand needs to generate word of mouth. This strategy can make your customers your salespeople and promoters. Whenever a customer is exposed to Stealth Marketing, then he/she is likely to talk about it. It creates conversations about the product and spread awareness.
Customer perception to the advertisement
The purpose of any Stealth Marketing can also be to create a perception about any brand before he/she watches an advertisement of the same. For example, an individual watches a series wherein a scene the protagonist drinks Pepsi. After watching the glimpse, the individual becomes more receptive to the advertisement.
Generate interest and excitement
Any individual exposed to Stealth Marketing strategy is likely to be more interested in it. Customers find it enticing to see what products the movie stars are using. It is more effective to show the products in such movies or series rather than advertising first. It generates interest in the customer for the product they see in Stealth Marketing.
How is Stealth Marketing different?
Stealth marketing is often related to many other marketing strategies. Some of these strategies are Buzz Marketing and Guerrilla Marketing. These two strategies are closely related to Stealth Marketing but are still different concepts of marketing.
In Buzz Marketing, the companies generate buzz or conversation around any product by making videos related to humorous or controversial content. The content is the part that creates buzz and increases social media shares, and people talk about the product more.
It is an unconventional form of marketing that creates brand awareness among large audience. It aims to attract the attention of the people and, at the same time, present the brand or product. Few examples of Guerrilla Marketing are graffiti on walls, creative billboards, stickers, flash mobs, etc.
These strategies are confused with Stealth Marketing, but they have a different approach and media.
Product Placement in Stealth Marketing
Remember the time you’re watching a movie and notice the actor is using any product. You can see the brand name, logo, and what the product is. The actor doesn’t say its name or talk about the features of the product, but only he is seen using it or, it might just be lying in the frame. It is the time you’re exposed to Stealth Marketing. There are many instances where you notice brands in movies or series even you can recall some right now. The concept is Product Placement that is part of Stealth marketing.
Product Placement is a practice where businesses feature their product in any movie or series to gain exposure and create awareness.
Top 10 instances when you were exposed to Stealth Marketing:
Stranger Things: Coke
In this famous science fiction series, there are many scenes where Coca Cola can is visible clearly. In many scenes, a can is lying on a table, or actors are consuming it. Product Placement is very evident, and viewers cannot ignore it.
Top Gun: Ray-Ban
In the movie Top Gun, the lead star Tom Cruise wore the Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses in most of the scenes. The product became a big hit after the release of the movie. Also, the sales of RayBan increased by up to 50% after the movie release.
Transformers: The Age of Extinction: 55 Brands
This movie is the best example of Product Placement. It even won 4 prizes for Product Placement in movies. By featuring almost 55 brands like Indian Motorcycles, CNN News Channel, Budweiser, Sparco, etc. Also, it became the franchise to show the most number of brands.
2 States: Sunsilk
2 States is a Bollywood movie based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel. In the movie, a few glimpses of Sunsilk are visible. The main protagonist gets a job as a brand manager in Sunsilk, and the brand’s logo is visible in a few scenes. It is a smart way of placement of brand Sunsilk in the movie.
Yeh Jawani hai Deewani: Make My Trip
In this Bollywood movie, the brand name is perfectly placed by the company. Make My Trip is a brand recognized for making travelling easy and fun. The trekking trip in the movie is organized by Make My Trip. In a scene where the lead actress looks at the ticket, the Make My Trip logo is visible. It is a perfect placement of the brand in the movie.
Night at the Museum: Apple PowerBook
In the 2006 movie Night at the Museum, the actor Ben Stiller is seen using an Apple PowerBook laptop in a scene. Showcasing a brand in any scene creates conversation around it. For the brand Apple, the buzz starts just with a glimpse of its logo.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. : Nike, Oreo, Sprite, In Style, etc.
So when it comes to this series, you must have noticed all the characters, and cherished them all. But there are many instances where many brands are visible in the show. Not just one but many. The beverage brands like Coca-Cola, Sprite, 7 Up are visible in many scenes. Other than this, in a scene, a character is reading In Style magazine. Also, the characters wearing Nike’s clothes, having a Porsche car, and Oreo’s poster in the background is visible in a few scenes. Well, you will notice them the next time.
Hasee Toh Phasee: Kurkure
This Bollywood movie has a perfect fitting for the snack Kurkure. It is an Indian snack developed by PepsiCo India. There are few scenes where the actress is visible eating from a pack of Kurkure in her hand. Also, the brand matches well with the personality of the main character in the movie, which is fun and quirky.
The Matrix: Nokia
The Matrix was a 1999 release. In the movie, the lead actor Keanu Reeves is evident using Nokia 8110 banana phone. It is the most famous Nokia phone. Not only the lead character Neo but the Nokia phone too became famous after the movie release. The mobile phone popularity and demand was so high after the release of the movie that it became the leading mobile phone supplier at that time.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Mountain Dew
In the 2011 Bollywood movie, the product Mountain Dew coldrink is visible in many scenes. The idea of presenting the brand is perfect because the movie includes adventure sports that suit the brand. The brand philosophy is to overcome fear to achieve victory. In addition to product placement in a sequence, one actor is saying the tagline ” Dar ke aage Jeet hai” of the brand that goes well with the scene.
Stealth Marketing is a way by which a company can create brand awareness most efficiently. The audience finds the product more reliable when they see it in the movies or series. This strategy can give better reach and create buzz around the brand. So, the next time you spot a brand, you can tell what just happened, Stealth Marketing, of course.