Three Things Scary Movies Teach Us About Advertising

As I outlined in a previous post, Scary Good Advertising From Horror’s Finest, clichés are commonplace in scary movies, so much so that entire films have been made poking fun at the genre’s tropes  (Scream, Scary Movie, for instance).

But instead of rolling our eyes at their recurring themes, we can turn them into something useful – looking at them instead as universal, proven truths. I’ve done my homework, reviewed the tape and taken down plenty of notes on how to apply the lessons learned from Judith Myers and the Torrance family to advertising and marketing.

You Can Never Be Too Careful
Double-checking under the bed? Asking Dad to peek into the closet? Quite common in slasher and monster movies, but definitely warranted.

But if this meticulous double-checking teaching us anything (aside from monsters having an incredible knack for great hiding spots), it’s that we can never be too careful. Don’t just double-check your copy, quadruple-check it before you send it to the printer. Daily Writing Tips has a fantastic list of tips and techniques to help your proofreading.

Trust Your Instincts
“We should head back” – a worrisome warning usually uttered by the unassuming dolt in the group, moments before the monster emerges. Scary movies are filled with individuals too cavalier and careless to trust their instinct, a gut feeling that in hindsight would ultimately lead them to safety.

Whether you’re worried a campaign might offend someone or a line of copy might be too clever and skip right over someone’s head , my rule of thumb in writing copy is to always trust my gut. If something seems like it could possibly be misconstrued or offend anyone, I remove it or edit it out.

Know Your Surroundings
How many times to we see a hapless, would be victim scrambling through a house where they have no idea where they’re going?  Opening doors that lead nowhere, entering rooms with no windows, seemingly sealing his or her fate.

While you don’t have any spooky houses to navigate your way through, you do have an industry landscape with which you can familiarize yourself. Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, if you know your surroundings, the capabilities each social medium offers, you can optimize your engagement and better reach your target demographic.

(H/T Cracked, Daily Writing Tips)

by Daniel Sweeney | posted | in Advertising & Marketing
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