Teaser And Stealth Marketing Tactics Explored
After receiving an email from Banu Sen of Publicis Net Paris telling us about a viral teaser trailer created to promote a new online game which would feature car maker Renault and that a fake game company and fake website where created and disseminated to bloggers as part of the promotion, a lengthy email exchange with Ben ensued regarding the buzz phrase of the day, transparency. Transparency is the notion that all marketing, especially that which comes through buzz, viral and word of mouth channels, be fully forthcoming with what brand is behind the campaign.
Clearly, with fake company names and websites, this was not transparent. However, during our discussion, in which, at first, I was quite surprised a major agency like Publicis and a major car maker like Renault would engage in fakery such as this given the recent uproar over buzz and word of mouth marketers and their associations calling for transparency, I realized it's really nothing more than your standard teaser campaign which has been around forever. There's a fine line, though, between a teaser campaign and a misleading campaign. The prior always, at some point reveals its identity which this Renault campaign does. The latter, which uses stealth methods like the recent U.S. Cellular blue man fiasco or an army of 250,000 teenagers who may or may not reveal their association with the large word of mouth company for whom they work.
Publicis and Renault has done nothing wrong here. Not that anyone is saying they did. Though in the face of transparency insanity, the discussion was worth having.
Topic: Online, Opinion, Viral, Word of Mouth
I think people resent fakery more when it comes from certain brands. Renault might not get away with it, but take ABC-TV. Its phony site for Oceanic Airlines (oceanic-air.com), the fictional company behind the made-up plane crash on "Lost," is a clever adjunct to the TV show. Clicking on the "Terms and Policies" link reveals it's a Walt Disney Internet Group site, but I certainly don't feel cheated for the experience.
You guys really need to get someone to edit your articles before you place them online. In the first paragraph alone there were three blatant grammatical mistakes. I would expect more from your site as I have become quite the fan. Don't mean to be a dick, just thought I would bring it to your attention...
I agree that transparency is a discussion worht having, and I think you are right in this case, but in the ever increasing competitive industry, you can bet that there will be some shiftier and shadier campaigns in the future that will make for some serious controversy...
How much is enough, and how little is too little?
These guys are hardly the first, certainly not the last, and not even the most egregious. Anyone remember the Beta 7 videogame fakery done by Wieden?