October 17, 2014
The other night I found myself overcome by holiday spirit and decided to enjoy a glass of cider by a roaring, pumpkin-scented fire. Warmed by the fire and full of Halloween cheer, I started thinking about what makes a terrifying ad.
A terrifying ad should hit with the surprise of Michael Myers’ knife. It should live in your subconscious like Freddy Krueger. Like Slenderman, it should compel you to act.
A truly effective ad must terrify both the audience’s emotional and rational mind. While there are no hard, set rules to do this, I find that a couple of simple factors separate a really frightening ad from one that fails to horrify.
First, if you really want to scare your audience, your ad should focus on a single idea. Effective ads rarely do double duty. The client might want me to scare the consumer with both spiders and vampires, and I might be able to do that. But to truly scare the bejeezus out of consumers and make them run, screaming from the product, an ad focusing on spiders or vampires will be more impactful most of the time. If a tarantula is crawling up my arm, a vampire might only divert my attention and lessen my fear. More is not always scarier.
Second, the most terrifying ads meet the audience halfway and let them come to a conclusion. Don’t just bludgeon the victim. Let them think there’s something under the bed—then, when they look, jump out of the closet. It’s easy to forget that you are talking to real people with psyches just as damaged as your own. The true payoff of an ad is the audience’s reaction—the scream, the jump, the nightmare that leads to a conversion.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Some people are only scared of geckos or celebrities or beautiful models; but a single, smart, petrifying idea is usually at the heart of a truly terrifying ad.
RT @Healthy_Newark: Thank you @SullyNJ from @PPIGargoyle for this blog written after our big "Building a #CultureofHealth in #Newark" Confe…
December 19 - 9:28 pm - View on Twitter
#InsightTuesday Creative Director Paul Federico reflects on some fundamental issues that prevent equality from prev… https://t.co/meuPy6SHd0
December 12 - 7:34 pm - View on Twitter
After news of the Aetna and CVS merger, CEO Tom Sullivan offers insight into why your health insurance and drug sto… https://t.co/ej2PCH8D8s
December 5 - 8:51 pm - View on Twitter
Check out our Halloween video reel and kit to throw your own Gargoyle-style X-Files party. Have a ghoulish day! https://t.co/mpyjRzBCkr
October 31 - 2:04 pm - View on Twitter
Check out what CEO Tom Sullivan learned from his visit at Google's Headquarters. #InsightTuesday https://t.co/kRSouiJHnH
October 24 - 7:33 pm - View on Twitter
VP Chris Sullivan reflects on the importance of marketing with a cause from this weekends Global Citizen Festival: https://t.co/YdfEZ9Ar8p
September 26 - 8:03 pm - View on Twitter
After a productive summer at PPI, Producer Dennis Nobile offers 3 keys to creating exceptional branded video content:https://t.co/CXAMYt6AHj
September 19 - 7:06 pm - View on Twitter
Our CEO reflects on the news coverage of the country’s recent superstorms and provides insight on what comes next. https://t.co/rzDH0AQeb8
September 12 - 8:05 pm - View on Twitter
#InsightTuesday Our CEO discusses a lesson he was reminded of while gardening with his granddaughter. Check it out: https://t.co/GR9GCJSZMZ
August 29 - 7:43 pm - View on Twitter
It's the #Eclipse2017 edition of #InsightTuesday, & we're discussing great marketing plays on yesterday's event.… https://t.co/QIP5Ozyco1
August 22 - 7:55 pm - View on Twitter
Our CEO discusses Coca-Cola's latest strategic business move and offers three lessons marketers can learn from it: https://t.co/2ciuRZ5lrK
August 15 - 8:44 pm - View on Twitter
Account Exec. Leigh Cesanek offers insight into how B2B companies can utilize Instagram's powerful platform. https://t.co/ezWZ4EQIP4
August 8 - 5:40 pm - View on Twitter
Need a laugh? Assistant Account Manager, Andrea Janiszewski provides insight on the power of humor in advertising.… https://t.co/RCcSSvyOLH
July 25 - 7:20 pm - View on Twitter
CEO Tom Sullivan offers insight on Amazon’s power in the market and what small businesses can do to stay competitiv… https://t.co/eDgg7jDaCc
July 18 - 8:35 pm - View on Twitter
Seeking a fall internship? Check out opportunities with Princeton Partners! We're #hiring. https://t.co/TW5NdTLd9c
July 18 - 7:28 pm - View on Twitter
#InsightTuesday Creative Director Tim Burr discusses an important strategy to achieve positive social change. https://t.co/7CQHFuBIbE
July 11 - 9:49 pm - View on Twitter
Here’s just some of our fantastic Princeton Partners team. The kick-off would not be possible without them! #PIG… https://t.co/BWXipqrVHS
June 29 - 11:34 pm - View on Twitter
Princeton Partners CEO, Tom Sullivan, speaks to the future members of Princeton Innovators Guild. #PIG https://t.co/MAe6apmzz5
June 29 - 11:20 pm - View on Twitter
Good food, great weather and amazing people. The Princeton Innovators Guild kick-off is under way! #PIG #kickoff https://t.co/KScryqOst4
June 29 - 10:36 pm - View on Twitter
CEO Tom Sullivan discusses the launch of the PIG and the inspiration behind the innovative idea: https://t.co/ABIV1ACQfU
June 27 - 7:25 pm - View on Twitter