As traditional television advertisements continue to lose their effectiveness, brand managers are being more pressured to think creatively by going undercover to reach consumers surreptitiously. To capture the attention of jaded, fickle consumers, they are urged to devise below-the-radar approaches that are harder to detect. This article examines six stealth marketing techniques and shows how stealth marketing is a viable alternative to obtrusive conventional advertising. Some stealth efforts are so subtle that consumers do not know they are being pitched to. There are emerging ethical and legal issues raised by critics of these techniques. While some stealth marketing campaigns are setting off alarms with consumer watchdog groups, these techniques will inevitably grow more common. They have a powerful role to play when they are tastefully implemented and respect consumers' intelligence. Brand managers are gambling that the benefits of stealth marketing will outweigh the complaints of its critics.
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