Surrogate Marketing is a form of advertising that is used to promote and ‘banned’ products like cigarettes and alcohol in the disguise of another product. The actual products are never promoted or projected to the customers in any manner but the brand name is hammered into the customer’s minds through very aggressive push strategies.
Though this practice is said to have been started in Britain, it is extensively used in India. India has very strict laws regarding the advertising of banned goods such as tobacco and alcohol. Thus brands have come up with insanely creative ways to promote their products in the open market.
You may have sometimes wondered why you have never seen ‘Tuborg Zero’, ‘Seagram’s Royal Blue Music CDs’, ‘Kingfisher Club Soda’ and many such other products in the market EVER!!! It is because they are inherently surrogate products that are used to market the brand name and not really the product. They send a very clear message to their target audience, who exactly know what the intended products are and where to find them.
Src – SPM PDPU site