Undercover marketing groups marketing communication practices disseminating information or a positive message about the brand or its products without the message appearing to be advertising from the brand or its agency.
Like an undercover agent, brands and agencies may use false identities to promote a product or service.
Undercover marketing has many applications in the Internet environment, but also in the street. For example, paid actors can pretend to be just early adopters of a new technology product in trendy places or places usually visited by the target.
Undercover marketing may be also used to anonymously depreciate competition through false consumer reviews.
Strictly speaking, undercover marketing is slighty different from stealth marketing as the latter doesn’t use false identities.
Undercover marketing is not without risks. When those practices are unveiled, it can lead to severe backlash and consequences for the brand from media and consumers.
Undercover marketing is one of many forms of guerilla marketing.
When undercover marketing goes wrong: