Marketing

To Your Stealth

Send your PR operatives and undercover product lovers deep into customer territory.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the November 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Big companies, typically slow to adopt cutting-edge marketing strategies, are flocking to low-cost and high-visibility street marketing. Also known as "stealth" or "undercover" marketing, what was the domain of entrepreneurs is now in the hands of giants. When IBM had its logo spray-painted on sidewalks for the "Peace, Love and Linux" campaign, it raised eyebrows (and the ire of public works departments) and got a lot of media hype for a little cash.

"Brands are finding [street marketing] programs are cost-effective and lend credibility," says Kelly Weinberg, senior vice president of sales and marketing for RPMC, a marketing and promotions agency in Calabasas, California, that has created street events for Levi Strauss and 7-Eleven.

A 30-second TV spot may deliver millions of eyeballs, says Sam Travis Ewen, CEO of Interference Inc., a New York City marketing agency, but a well-executed street campaign creates "evangelical" customers.

Consider how these companies influenced people where they live, work and play:

  • Beer.com produced 50,000 bottle caps featuring its name and left them in bars during peak party times such as Mardi Gras and spring break.
  • MainSpring, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, e-business consulting firm, planted subway riders with newspapers featuring fake back-page ads for the company. The idea was to give the impression the firm is well-established and very successful.
  • A vodka company hired ad agency Big Fat to place young hipsters with nice cheekbones at bars throughout New York City. Their mission? Sing the praises of vodka cocktails and oh-so-subtly get patrons to sample the spirit themselves.

Contact Sources

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.