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Fear in Marketing: How far is too far?

Marketing is filled with noise. Like turning a radio dial without ever being able to tune into a station, it’s becoming harder and harder to gain the ear of consumers.

The static is loud, constant, and near impossible to penetrate. That’s why some of the best marketers break the rules with provocative methods, mediums, and messages. They are deliberately disruptive.

But How Far Is Too Far?
Fear-based marketing is commonplace: marketers try to persuade consumers to purchase products based upon a fear of what might happen if they don’t. Being told to “buy now before it’s is gone” for instance, preys on our human fear of scarcity.

But some marketers have begun to move beyond fear-based marketing into a whole new world of prankvertising: live pranks that scare the sh** out of people in the name of marketing.

In the spirit of Halloween, we thought we’d share some prankvertisments with you and let you decide: is it brilliant pushing of the envelope, or horrific overstepping of the bounds? Is it effectively cutting through the noise or harmfully misusing creativity?

Enjoy! Or be appalled…

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