The term dark marketing sounds like something is very wrong. It leads us to think just that- dark things. Here in marketing one would think in terms of maybe Alcohol or Tobacco or some brands that can’t be openly marketed or promoted. But one can also look on the other side, like adult diapers. That is something that you can’t openly advertise about but doesn’t necessarily mean is a bad or harmful product. Also, Dark marketing in simple words can be understood as a marketing strategy a brand takes up to engage the customers with the brand without actually having to mention the brand directly to the target.
Much depends on the specifics of legislation within a given market and how the legal department within an organization chooses to interpret this.
Indian liquor brands cannot advertise on TV, but the law does not stipulate that these same brands cannot sell other products using the same name. For example, advertising club soda of the same brand.
Marketers are now moving towards more covert techniques especially targeting the young audience who dislike the traditional marketing communications.
One of the best examples is how Carlsberg advertises its glasses in one of its advertisements or how they say that if they conducted boardroom meetings they would be the best but they don’t imply that whatever they are doing is already the best thing.
Communication in the dark can also be through social media or indirectly linking the product to something or promoting the product at an event which will further go on to be word of mouth marketing.
The difference is that of the brand name being apparent in guerrilla advertising and discreet in dark marketing.
Marketing is a huge term with many concepts and strategies and dark marketing is just one of the arena that is growing on today’s youth.