Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Keeping up with The Jones

There's a new movie  that is relevant to recent discussions regarding new ways to market products. The Joneses is a story about a family that really isn't a family. Rather, they are pretending to be a family living in a "normal" neighborhood and acting, well, neighborly, but all the while they are stealth marketers. Turns out the faux family has been placed in the neighborhood in order to sell products. You can watch the trailer for the movie here. Stealth marketing, sometimes referred to as "undercover marketing" takes place when the audience is not aware they are the object of a promotion. For example, you could be walking down a city street and someone comes up to you and asks you to take their photo with a camera, all the while they are speaking to you about the virtues of the camera. It's a form of one-to-one marketing that speaks to an interesting form of consumer engagement.

7 comments:

mchenkels said...

This movie raises a lot of questions about the advertising ethics and shows how far some people will go to make sure you know their product. It is scary to think that there could be a family out there in your own neighborhood that is being paid to live there, socialize with you and show you new products. As we talked in class, there are people who are paid to walk around with a phone, ask you to take a picture of them with the phone and start up a conversation with you to get you to learn more. I think this is a very good tactic for advertising because you get the one on one experience and it is more likely to produce a purchase. Even though it is a one on one strategy it can create an ongoing chain of advertising, or viral advertisements. Some may think that this way of advertising is not right because with a one on one situation the consumer has a form of trust with that person that makes it more likely that he or she is listening more than to a commercial. However, people do it all the time with their friends, and ultimately it is the consumer’s choice to purchase and spread the word of the product.

Becky Quinn said...

Stealth marketing can be considered a very controversial form of advertising. The reason for this, I believe, relates to the consumer's lack of control. They are completely unaware that the new neighbor or random person on the street could be a part of a stealth marketing scheme. Should companies be allowed to hire these people to purposefully hawk their product to unsuspecting victims? Up until lately, advertising has presented itself pretty obviously as what it is, advertising. Whether it was a magazine spread, television commercial, or a billboard along the highway, the consumer was aware that what they were looking at was an advertisement. However, now with viral campaigns, word-of-mouth advertising, product placement, and the whole new generation of advertising, consumers are no longer aware that they are being bombarded with ads almost every minute of the day. The entire future of advertising is now being shifted in this new, stealthy direction. Should there be regulations with stealth advertising? Should it be allowed at all?

kmhorvath said...

Although stealth marketing seems a bit extreme and possibly unethical, I can see why it could be effective. When I see someone with a product or brand that I like, I automatically ask them information about it and it might encourage me to buy it. I didn't realize that this form of marketing/advertising actually existed until we talked about it in class. This movie brings to light a topic that is very new in advertising (or at least new to me). This form of advertising doesn't feel like advertising, and it is done without the annoyance of commercials or magazine ads. We are also more likely to believe a person as credible rather than an ad.

Victoria Anne said...

At first, after watching this trailer I thought it was simply a clever idea for a film. But now I realize that it is essentially a clever idea for advertisers. This family, the Jonese's, will be promoting different products among the new neighborhood that they move into. These brand names that are seen in the film will also be seen by viewers. Every one who watches the film will feel similar impact by the Jonese's and the lifestyle they are trying to promote.

This trailer and film in general reminds me of the Telephone music video by Lady GaGa and Beyonce. Just as they used a music video to present certain brands, the producers of this film are using creativity in the movie business to present brand names. This relates to the idea that advertisers are struggling to get their companies known and seen by customers. They constantly need new ideas and new tactics to increase their audience and sales in general.

Although it is questionable whether the film will be successful or a complete failure in the box office, it is again a risk and may potentially help companies who participated.

Katherine Kalec said...

This movie is really interesting to me because of all the truth it holds. People want what others have and in "Keeping up with The Jones" it makes this more obvious that ever. Advertising has sort of hit a crossroads in the past few years with all of the new technology and innovative ways of bringing in costumers. Cameron Diaz posts on her Twitter her favorite water, subconsciously or consciously a follower or someone in an imaginary or legitimate relationship with her will want that too. This is what the movie is illustrating.

It is a constant game of "keeping up" and having the next best thing in this materialistic world we live in. Although some won't admit to it, there are definitely instances with clothes, food, electronics, etc., that people have obtained due to a celebrities advocacy.

Dannell Anthony said...

I have mixed feelings about Stealth advertising. On one hand, it can make you become aware of a new product while giving you firsthand experience. If it is occurring in the way that you stated in your example, I do not have a problem with it. If it happens as a one – to – one marketing setting, where the person is pretty much obvious about what their goal is than I wouldn’t have the feeling that I am being tricked. On the other hand, if it is occurring in the way the movie portrays it, then I would definitely be against it. Even though I believe the movie is obviously to the extreme, I understand that there are other ways that people can falsify their identity to sell a product. I believe that it is unethical to have to market your product in such a way. If the product is really worth buying it should be able to get marketed without having to lie or trick people.

nbriverso said...

I saw the preview for this movie prior to this blog and thought it was very interesting. I actually was unaware of stealth marketing before this discussion. I think the overall movie does reflect that people want what other people have and everyone is always trying to have the latest and greatest to be on the same level. However, I also think this movie shows the growing importance of word-of-mouth as advertisements clutter consumers. In today’s society where there are so many advertisements that consumers have started to block them out, word-of-mouth has become the most effective advertising. I know I personally am more likely to buy something based on good things I have heard about a product from my friends or from product reviews that I read online than based on advertisements or brand name. Advertisers have obviously realized this and are trying to use it to their advantage. Stealth marketing in this way definitely has some ethical issues and I think overall, it will take away the effectiveness of word-of-mouth over time as consumers become away and jaded to advertisers attempts to sway consumers on a one-to-one basis without their knowledge.