IT'S AN AD, AD, AD, AD World

AS CONVENTIONAL METHODS LOSE THEIR PUNCH, MORE MARKETERS ARE GOING UNDERCOVER TO REACH CONSUMERS

The next time an overly friendly blond sidles up in a crowded bar and asks you to order her a brand-name martini, or a cheery tourist couple wonder whether you can take their picture with their sleek new camera-in-a-cell phone, you might want to think twice. There's a decent chance that these strangers are pitchmen in disguise, paid to oh-so-subtly pique your interest in their product. Their game, known as "stealth marketing," is one of several unorthodox ploys that Madison Avenue is using to get through to jaded consumers.

Covert product placement has been around for years, with movie and TV...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!