10 Products That Sell Like Hotcakes Without Any Advertising

Zohaib Ahmed
June 18, 2014: You don't need to be a born salesman to sell some products. These babies sell themselves.

Advertising is now almost a half a trillion dollar industry, yet still some don't get the point of it.

Its critics, mostly consisting of economists and accountants, are of the opinion that dedicating massive budgets to advertising and marketing campaigns is a waste of resources. Instead, these billions could be a lot more productive if spent on improving the quality and reducing the cost of the product.

It led one Redditor to wonder what it'd be like if advertising, as we know it, didn't exist. Without TV commercials, print banners and internet pop up ads, would consumers still know what to buy? What would it do to overall sales and market dynamics? General consensus is that in such a hypothetical situation, only the strongest of commercial commodities would survive.

Here are a few such products that aren't marketing-dependant and sell on their own without any real advertising budget:


The world famous hazelnut chocolate spread out of Italy hadn't been officially launched in the Americas up until the turn of the millennium. A market for it still existed there though – such is the addictive taste of the product.

Five Guys

This fast casual restaurant chain has a strict policy of not spending any money on advertising. Instead, it pours its entire advertising budget into an employee bonus program. Long story short, Five Guys focuses on the quality of its food and the working conditions of its employees rather than getting involved in advertising shenanigans. The result is that they have a loyal foodie-base that prefers them over all the rival brands.

Siracha Sauce

This Thai sauce has never been advertised, yet it has spread worldwide through the sheer power of its taste.


Starbucks is one of those rare chains that not only survived, but grew exponentially without really indulging into any major advertising campaigns. At last count, it had 23,187 outlets worldwide. The addictive nature of their caffeinated products may have something to do with their popularity that has defied standard market rules.


Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce has always had an anti-advertising stance and you'd never (or rarely ever) see a TV ad for their products. It makes sense too, as the masses who are generally targeted through TV commercials can't really afford their pricy products.


Costco is the second-largest retailer in the US, but have you ever seen it boast about that in a TV commercial or other forms of advertisement? 


The legality angle aside, drug dealers wouldn't need to tout their products even if they're allowed to do so. The addiction does it for them.

Adult Sites

Sites hosting adult material do find some advertising space on the internet, but their entry on print and TV is banned. Still, we all know that it's a thriving and recession-proof industry.

Toilet Paper

When nature calls, you don't need ads to bring in customers.


The third-best selling video game of all-time with almost 50 million copies sold without no ads whatsoever Amazing!