Guerrilla Marketing series: Stealth Marketing Strategies and Technique With Examples

Well, in this article I am going to highlight a term and draw your focus on Stealth Marketing. If you are following guerrilla marketing series, then after ambush marketing and ambient marketing one of the unnoticed marketing practice is Stealth marketing.

For a non-marketer reverse graffiti marketing may sound strange. But these particular marketing strategies are not  strange these types of product marketing & advertisement occur in day to day life of a consumer. Only the difference is that consumers don’t understand that they are being marketed. So, read out the article for detailed information on Stealth Marketing Tactics.  

What is Stealth Marketing?

It is one of the most commonly used creative marketing strategies which requires a lot of creativity to market a product. Stealth marketing is an unintended way of producing creative marketing strategies where marketer tries to advertise a product to people without them knowing they are being marketed. It is also called buzz marketing and the main aim is to create a buzz about a product or brand through social media where people use the hashtag of a product and brand. Stealth marketing is carried out in discussion forums as well, where random people will start talking about the product in positive and sometimes in a negative manner to create the buzz. This type of creative marketing strategy happens mostly in new channels, movies, tv-series, etc. 

Why Stealth Marketing?

The main aim of these marketing tactics is not to generate immediate sells but to create business opportunities and brand awareness among people.  From the above explanation, you can figure out that it requires a lot of creativity. Because you are advertising a product and not letting other people know that they are being marketed. Now let me give you an example to make it more clear if you are watching a movie and in a scene, you notice a dell laptop or any other brand laptop in the background. Then that is called indirect marketing/buzz marketing/ Stealth marketing.

2 Main techniques Involved in Stealth Marketing

Product Placement

Product placement is one of the well known and non-traditional advertising techniques where companies and brands subtly advertise their product through films, television, and other media channels. It is one of the most common advertising techniques one can find in tv adds, movies, and tv series where company pay to media cop[any for placement of their product. For example Audi or Bmw any car company can ask the media company to place their car in the important scene where the actors coming out of a car to kill the villain. Many smartphone companies ask the media company to place their mobile phones during an important scene.

Undercover Marketing 

In undercover marketing tactics, the advertiser introduces a new product to the customer in a way that does not look like an advertisement. It requires creativity and unconventional marketing strategies. A creative salesman always tries to market its product without being noticed. Even if you are hearing a new product review from other mouths, that is also undercover marketing.  For example, Turi vodka asked highly regarded night club owners to feature Turi at their night party. Turi hired actors to visit bars and order Turi vodka and recommend others to have it.

Benefits of Stealth Marketing

  • Stealth marketing has helped many brands to advertise their products before its launch. In simple words, we can say it helps in creating pre-launch interest among users. This particular practice is carried out just to target a group of people who show interest in the product and let them crave for the product until it is launched. The day product launches, consumers tend to pay any amount to have that particular product. These marketing tactics help the company to gain short term profits.
  • Stealth Marketing helps in creating a brand image through product placement or undercover marketing.
  • It is a Cost-effective practice as it requires more creativity than investment.

Stealth Marketing Examples 

Sony Ericsson T68i (Stealth Marketing Strategies, Creative marketing ideas)

In 2002, Sony Ericsson launched its new mobile phone with a camera and it was called T68i. As it was the companies first digital camera phone. The company’s marketing team wanted to create a big buzz about the mobile phone. They used various marketing techniques from advertising on radio, placing a tv commercial but they failed to create a buzz. For a more organic, person to person marketing experience. Sony Ericsson started a new marketing technique by handing their phones to 60 actors around countries and asking them to take a picture posing as a tourist, couples. They used to ask strangers to click their pictures as it was the first camera mobile phone introduced by the company actor started teaching them how to operate the phone. The main aim was to grab as many stranger attention as possible and lastly, they succeeded by registering their name in the history of stealth marketing and t68i became the highest selling phone in various countries.

Mini Cooper (Stealth Marketing Strategies, Creative marketing ideas)

In the movie The Italian Job, mini cooper was the most loved and important part of the heist. Indirectly anyone can say that the whole movie was the plot for the advertisement of a mini cooper.

FedEx (Stealth Marketing Strategies, Creative marketing ideas)

In the movie Cast Away, FedEx grabbed a lot of people’s attention as  FedEx parcels were used by Tom hanks.

Prada/Vogue (Stealth Marketing Strategies, Creative marketing ideas)

In the movie the devil wears Prada.  Fashion brand Prada and the fashion magazine Vogue was highlighted to grab user attention.

Starbucks (Stealth Marketing Strategies, Creative marketing ideas)

In the game of thrones tv series Starbucks coffee mug was left on the table. Starbucks didn’t pay for advertising. But that particular publicity stunt grabbed a lot of user attention across many countries.


Reese’s Pieces  (Stealth Marketing Strategies, Creative marketing ideas)

In the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Reese’s Pieces grabbed people’s attention. When an alien in the scene likes to eat Reese’s Pieces candy. Hershey didn’t pay for the scene but helped in the promotion of the movie.'s-pieces-candy-movie-Hershey


Check out more examples of stealth marketing.

In case you want a creative edge for your business and looking for a creative agency, you can reach out to us to make your online business stand out from the crowd.