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Thrill Your Consumers by Giving Them a Frightening Experience

Gil Haddi
November 13th, 2012
Horror movies, roller coasters and Halloween demonstrate just how much people love the vicarious danger of a frightening experience. Designers and marketers have started to take advantage of people's inability to look away from a train wreck to draw attention to their products through increasingly haunting and morbid designs.

With yet another Paranormal Activity movie in theaters, it is obvious that there is a widespread obsession with all things supernatural. The current fascination with demonic culture has inspired a whole range of designs focused on portraying a frightening experience to the viewer, from demonic-inspired pictorials to satanic accessories. The Chris Habana jewelry line for example, plays on the consumer's simultaneous fear and reverence towards satanic symbols. Elements of holy rosaries and 666 imagery is incorporated into the pieces, attracting those who have a flair for the dramatic.

In order to truly excite people with a frightening experience, there has been a trend in interior design towards creating a spooky atmosphere, giving consumers a thrill that they will forever associate with that location. The Alcatraz Medical Prison Restaurant, with its jail cells and blood-spattered painting scheme, is meant to create a spine-chilling setting, providing their customers with a novelty experience they won't soon forget. The uneasy spine-tingling feeling of this environment gives guests a heart-pumping adrenaline-boost that will make them want to tell others about the restaurant.

While this dark style has become popularized in the fashion and design worlds, a more gruesome trend has been popping up in the advertising world through gory guerrilla marketing. As part of the campaign for the hit TV show Dexter, there were several bloody publicity stunts in the streets of Lisbon, Portugal, including guerrilla stabbings where people were crawling in the streets as if they had just been stabbed. These type of horrific, fear-inducing marketing tactics give passersby a major shock, succeeding in grabbing their notice.

The truth is, consumers love having an element of danger in their lives -- as long as they know that there is no real risk involved. Learn more about avant garde marketing tactics in Trend Hunter's Marketing Trend Report.