Treat Your Customers to Frightening Ads

Here’s our marketing tip of the month: Scare your customers. That may seem counterintuitive. After all, isn’t the purpose of marketing to discover how not to scare your customers away? But at this time of year, people don’t mind a little fright, as long as the message is clearly communicated and cleverly executed.

Just take a look at these advertising campaigns for proof.

Boo at the Zoo


Who doesn’t remember telling ghost stories as a kid? The San Francisco Zoo’s advertising campaign for its “Boo at the Zoo” Halloween party played on the nostalgia of childhood and captured its audience with the “aw” factor.

Floss or Die


For many, going to the dentist is scary year-round. But one dentist bravely launched an ad campaign hoping to scare customers into his office. The ad featured a hooded figure holding a floss-pick reaper, looking, well, grim.

Fire Service Scare Tactics


Amidst all of the fun Halloween ads, there are also a few that shock and stick with consumers because of their serious nature. Consider the hard-hitting New Zealand Fire Service ad, which made consumers aware of the consequences of not having a working smoke alarm.







Halloween ads, whether sentimentally spooky, cleverly contrived or seriously scary, present an opportunity for marketers to step outside of the norm and capture the attention of consumers. A good way to see if your scary ad campaign is tricking or treating your bottom line is to implement a call tracking service.