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13 scariest experiential marketing campaigns

As we all know, the most terrifying night of the year is upon us, Halloween. A day when we’re supposed to dress up and frighten the living daylights out of each other, and perhaps attend a party or two, we’ve compiled this list of 13 nightmarish experiential marketing campaigns that prove 31st October isn’t the only date when it’s OK to get goosebumps.
Sentosa Spooktacular aims to break records for second year running Spooktacular takes place on Halloween at Singapore’s 40,000-square-metre Fort Siloso, an old coastal artillery battery and home to plenty of World War II atmosphere. The event is designed to give people the experience of being in a Thai horror film, making it arguably the world’s first example of experiential tourism.
Telekinetic Coffee Shop incident helps promote average flick
In the run up to the underwhelming Carrie remake, movie marketers decided to give coffee drinkers an experience they would never forget by sitting a troubled girl with the power to move things via thoughts alone at a table, and allowing all hell to break loose.

Public confirm: Chucky is still scary
Child’s Play isn’t seen as the absolute nightmare it once was. In a bid to bring back the fear factor that used to be associated with the killer doll and main star, Chucky, some clever people decided to unleash an actor dressed as the murderous dummy onto the streets, armed with a knife. This is what happened.
Eyewitnesses report The Walking Dead adore movies
We love The Walking Dead, the TV smash about a zombie apocalypse. Despite it’s popularity, though, the show still needs selling. As such in the run up to Series 2 arriving in South Africa a load of unsuspecting folk were invited to the preview of a new romcom, unaware that one film-buff flesh-eater was also looking for a seat.

Devil Baby attacks New Yorkers, animatronics team celebrates
Another film tie-in, through the use of some impressive technologies the executives responsible for building hype around Devil’s Due decided to send out a robotic version of Satan’s spawn and give the citizens of the Big Apple the fright of their lives. Unnerving stuff to say the least.

Hundreds of bikers attend screening without incident
Not everyone believes in ghouls, ghosts and the supernatural. And one look at the headlines is proof enough that we have more to fear from other people- a notion Carlsberg was only too happy to exploit when it filled a cinema with scary looking guys and then sent couples in, two by two, to claim the last remaining seats.

Death lift highlights how good new tellies are
Another nightmare situation that has nothing to do with Halloween other than the heart attack aspect, LG broke the mould when it kitted out office lifts with its new high-resolution TV screens, and tricked people into believing that the floor was falling away, and they would soon follow.
World ends during job interview. Candidate surprised.
LG again struck gold by adapting the lift idea and making unwary job applicants attend an interview during which it seemed like armageddon was beginning outside the office walls. We can confirm that it wasn’t, but take our hats off to those who came up with the concept.

Universal Studios boost engagement for Halloween spectacular
OK, this one is a little complex, so bear with us. To offer die-hard horror fans something extra for the annual Halloween extravaganza, Universal Studios combined a web platform, online games, custom kiosks and in-park integration so attendees could play out an entire narrative unique to their own experience.

Shark attack in capital sparks fears over seafood suppliers
If you’ve seen Sharknado, one of the most successful horror B movies of the post-B movie age, then you’ll know just how silly it is. But not as silly as reactions to this stunt in support of the sequel, which saw Londoners scared by a plastic shark ‘waking up’ in a fishmongers. And you thought they couldn’t survive out of water…

New Yorkers question choice of city following another scary experiential stunt
We actually prefer this one to the South African campaign. Again it’s designed to promote The Walking Dead, only this time in New York, with hordes of zombie-actors lying in wait for passers by beneath the grills used to ventilate the subway system. It gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘ankle biters’.

Beauty salon customers complain after seeing reflection
The Last Exorcism is hands down one of the scariest modern possession movies we’ve encountered, and this marketing stunt certainly helps set the scene. Just imagine a ghastly face appearing as you get your hair done, and then seeing a frighteningly flexible apparition to boot. Not good for sleep.
Muggings and riots used to promote services
Last, but definitely not least, we have marketing bigwigs John St., who wanted to advertise their experiential expertise to would-be clients by poking fun at the whole concept. From home invasions selling beer, to babies being snatched for the sake of a body spray commercial, in our eyes this really is the best of the best.

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