AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Scare Tactics: Hit or Miss with Audiences?

Posted by jabrieel on July 13, 2014



Apparently, businesses are asking their ad agencies to cut through the noise and reach their audiences. 

Most are failing, but some are having success in differentiating themselves and getting the desired response with the use of horror.

It helps if you can correlate the fear induced by the ad to a relevant call to action.

PSAs tend to work best in this arena.

I have to say being reminded of the real possibility of death if I DO/DON’T do something gets me to act. 

If I see an ad that’s scary, I’ll check it for a few seconds to see if it’s ad for a new show because I’m into the horror/occult genre, but it won’t compel me to purchase anything… Maybe a movie on a rare occasion but that’s about it.

This is relevant to communications because when you’re trying to grab someone’s attention who’s bombarded with day-to-day life and responsibilities, you need to work extra hard to get their attention and make a statement. And, there’s no better way to grab someone’s attention than scaring the living hell out of them. Would a scary ad make you want to buy a product or service or would you pass?


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