Ordinary Citizens Recruited As Ad Spies

August 08, 2003 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Miami, FL, — They're everywhere. And when they find you, they're going to get you buy something you may have never intended to buy.

They're Ad Spies - strategically placed, 'ordinary' people who infiltrate crowds and deliver word-of-mouth advertising cloaked in everyday conversation. At bus stops, on commuter trains, at ballparks and even at work unwitting captive audiences are being subjected to subliminal advertising messages that appear on the surface to be casual social banter. Paid advertising mercenaries, Ad Spies could be your friends, next door neighbors or co-workers .. anyone, anywhere is suspect.

The brainchild of TMR Advertising, Ad Spies was inspired by the success of America's special forces in Iraq. TMR executives reasoned that stealth-oriented, clandestinely conducted advertising would have greater impact than traditional, in your face advertising.

The Ad Spies methodology is simple, yet subtle. For example, on the commute home onboard the train someone may mention in passing that he's starved and can't wait to get his hands on a Big Mac. Or, while waiting for a bus a co-commuter might share the fact that this is his last bus commute because he just got a great deal on a new car at a local dealer. Anywhere, anytime … wherever there's a crowd there's likely to be an Ad Spy.

"It's insidious," said Joe Ackerman, a website designer. "This is taking capitalism too far. Thanks to Ad Spies, you never know if someone on the commute to work or in the office is really your friend or is just trying to get you buy a new car."

Ad Spies are recruited, or cast, based on product/service target markets. If, for example, the target market is women 25-54 of a certain ethnic/racial and/or cultural demographic, an appropriate Ad Spy would be recruited who fits those demographic criteria.

"People will do just about anything for a buck," said Ackerman. "And that includes being a paid walking advertisement masquerading as a friend. Where will they [advertisers] draw the line?"

For TMR's Margaret Kessler, it's all about blurring lines, not drawing them.

"Whatever sells my clients' products and services, that's what it's all about in my business," said Kessler. "Sometimes it's not so much the message, but the messenger. And we've got the best messengers in the business."

For more information on Ad Spies contact Margaret Kessler at 954-456-8398, or email her at covertisements@hotmail.com.