I'd Love This Product Even If I Weren't A Stealth MarketerCommentary • Opinion • shopping • trends • advertising • business • ISSUE 41•50 • Dec 14, 2005 By Kyle Pafrath Like you, I'm bombarded every minute of every day with advertising. And having been misled more than a few times in my life, I'm immediately skeptical of any product I see on the side of a bus. That's why I was so surprised by the new Mountain Dew True Blue.It truly lives up to the hype: Crisp and tangy, refreshing and energizing, it reminds my jaded taste buds how good a soda can be. Sure, I may be a stealth marketer employed by a national conglomerate to imperceptibly push the product in public, but this beverage is so unbelievably great, I'd subliminally market it to perfect strangers for free!Honestly, this awesome beverage packs such a punch, you'd practically have to pay me not to pretend to talk about it on my cell phone when I'm in earshot of consumers in the coveted 17-34 demographic.Even if I weren't required by my employer to pull a six-pack off the shelf at my local grocery store while emitting a quiet but distinct "All right!" under my breath just loud enough for the other customers to hear, I'd do it anywayjust for the pleasure of furtively turning people on to this amazing thirst quencher.In stealth-marketing parlance, this is what is known as "roach baiting," but I prefer to call it "the least I can do."Seriously, it's an honor to subtly plug something I actually believe in for once. I'm so in love with this one-of-a-kind soda, I want to shout its product name from the rooftops of a lower-to-middle-class neighborhood! Preferably one with an elementary school nearby, where consumers are still young enough that their brand loyalty is not yet fully established. I know it sounds crazy, maybe even a little scary, but honestly, True Blue is just that good.Don't tell my bosses, but I enjoy True Blue so much, I sometimes stealth market it well outside PepsiCo's target demographic. Maybe it's wrong of me to sit in on the senior center's weekly square-dance classes while chugging True Blue, but the rush I get from inconspicuously getting the word out about this tremendous new product is nearly impossible to find anywhere else. Come to think of it, the only other time I experience pure exhilaration like that is when I twist open a 20-oz. bottle of True Blue. Also, I get it from drinking Mountain Dew Code Red and Mountain Dew Pitch Black. Sure, the task of registering for nearly 30 different newsgroup accounts using fake names and e-mail addresses just to generate the honest word-of-mouth buzz this product deserves may sound like a lot of work to you, one of the few Americans who hasn't been bowled over by the no-holds-barred flavor of True Blue. Normally, if I were hired to viral market a new beverage I wasn't particularly passionate aboutfor example, that new Coca-Cola drink, whatever it's calledI would just subliminally insert favorable comments in two dozen or so high-traffic chat rooms and be done with it. Only a very special product could make me devote a week of evenings to surfing literally hundreds of chat rooms, gaining the confidence of unwitting users by establishing a base of common interests before casually mentioning how I recently tried the most hardcore, carbonated pick-me-up the world has ever seen.But hey, don't let me influence you. Try True Blue for yourself!