Many companies eventually transition to marketing stealthy products in the mainstream. As part of its strategy, in July 2003, Sony introduced a PlayStation product in Europe called EyeToy: Play—a video camera (the EyeToy) and game software (called Play) that plugged into the new PlayStation 2 console. But first, it has to undo the common perception that the product is an intimidating machine for guys. With undercover marketing, a representative of the company uses or talks about a certain product or service in places where target consumers congregate, as if a spontaneous activity and not a planned marketing effort. Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs. How you decide to act after a stealth marketing campaign. It can happen on a much smaller scale locally, where the effective placement of products of logos can win consumer mindshare and generate leads. Although buggy and unpredictable, the doglike AIBO was an immediate hit. Most people use Windows-based PCs, and to many of them, Apple computers seem overpriced and out of step. Many companies who use undercover marketing focus on physical placement of their products in front of potential consumers. Undercover marketing, also known as buzz or stealth marketing, is a marketing technique that focuses on “hidden” marketing activities. Sony exploited a similar stealth strategy to gain a foothold in the nascent household robot category. How you decide to act after a stealth marketing campaign will have an impact on your brand image as well, so the decision needs to be made carefully. When used thoughtfully, stealth positioning is a legitimate way to diffuse prejudice about a product or company, encourage acceptance, and deliver value to customers. Whether it’s product placement, the way a brand is featured or mentioned, or even the setting, stealth marketing is a nice tool to have in your kit to build some buzz around your products. That’s critical to product placement because you want people in your demographic to see the product. Companies love using stealth marketing because, in general, it’s a lot more affordable than other mainstream marketing channels. One word of caution: There is an important difference between stealth positioning and deceit. Contact Us to view all . Is Transporting Medical Marijuana Across State Lines Legal. You don’t place a product for teens in a soap opera. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. But it was also a fun social activity, a diverting game to bring out during the holidays or at informal get-togethers. The game concept was simple but groundbreaking. One of the keys to stealth marketing is knowing who your customer is. It can be difficult to execute a successful undercover marketing campaign, but if you’re able to pull it off, here are some of the positive results you can hope for: While this kind of marketing typically takes creativity and planning, it can involve less financial investment, which is a huge benefit, especially for small businesses. New tech startups, for instance, use the stealth placement of products to create a strong initial audience who can then handle the word of mouth marketing to make it grow faster says Ross Kernez of Starta Venture. If you’re a company exploring new ways to market your products or increase your brand awareness, think about how you can use stealth marketing to your advantage. Some customer demographics enjoy this type of natural advertising. There are many examples of successful stealth marketing available online that can help you with some ideas. But making a robot that could do anything useful proved daunting. A company using this technique needs to be very careful that they are not misleading their targets or over promising results. Have you ever wondered why the cast on your favorite show is always eating the same brand of cereal, or how everyone in that movie is always using the same type of phone?