What Is Covert Advertising? Definition of Covert Advertising, Covert Advertising Meaning and Concept

Covert advertising is a modality of the standard advertising concept characterized mainly by the placement of messages about a product or a commercial brand within a different space and before the viewer's unconsciousness.

Through this type of advertising, companies manage to position their brands or products in new frameworks far removed from traditional marketing and before new recipient audiences, mostly involuntary.

One of the clearest examples of covert advertising are the brands shown in movies or television series, the clothing brands of actors in the movies, food or vehicles in television series or sports brands in interviews with athletes.

The main motivation of advertising corporations when putting this type of advertising into operation is to attract the public's attention to their products without using the traditional marketing route.

In other words, it is about offering and presenting the benefits of a product without precisely this presentation having the appearance of advertising. This responds to the idea that not all recipients are willing to receive advertising placements or messages at all times.

Main characteristics of surreptitious advertising

This type of advertising has a number of outstanding features:

  • The receiver is not aware of the reception of the advertising message.
  • The advertising message is transmitted by a third party and not by the brand, creating a lower level of mistrust in the receiver and, therefore, a greater effect.
  • These types of practices are prosecuted and legally punished, since they are considered illicit advertising .

Conceptually, this type of advertising is closely related to subliminal advertising , to the point that the latter could be considered an example of a covert message through sensory pathways.

Tools against surreptitious advertising

State and consumer rights organizations use different methods to prosecute and punish this type of practice. In this sense, the law requires that all advertising placement must be duly marked for the viewer's awareness.

However, there are many cases in which this barrier is ignored by brands, which continue to position their messages in the cinema, television, Internet pages, public spaces, etc.