Deceptive Marketing [Via Sathish - Random Thoughts]

Sony Ericsson is embarking on a new $5 million campaign which will use actors to market their new mobile phone, T68i which can double up as a digital camera. "In one initiative, dubbed Fake Tourist, 60 trained actors and actresses will haunt tourist attractions such as the Empire State Building in New York and the Space Needle in Seattle. Working in teams of two or three and behaving as if they were actual tourists, the actors and actresses will ask unsuspecting passersby to take their pictures."

Yes, Its unethical and very deceptive and I certainly don't approve of such kind of marketing. But is it going to benefit Sony-Ericsson. In my opinion it's going to hurt Sony-Ericsson themselves. How? Let's see. Today we all resist marketing which is thrust upon us. These companies must realize that to successfully market their products, they need to create an environment where consumers will market to each other (mostly through word of mouth, through internet, telephones etc). As Seth Godin writes in his book, Unleashing the Ideavirus, All of us are sneezers to some degree, maybe not powerful sneezers but to some degree promiscous sneezers. So when we sneeze good about a product we liked, it will be the best marketing the product can have. But if consumers come to know of something so unethical and deceptive as this campaign, they will still sneeze but this time sneeze will contain bad words about the product and the company.

Now that I know, If I happen to be at any of these places and someone comes to me and asks me to take their snap, I am going to think twice and chances are if they forward me their T68i, I may not even look at them.