When the Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Canada claimed to be the “scariest haunted house” in the world, they were challenged to put up or shut up. Ronn Torossian said they found a way to do just that – put up the evidence and shut up their critics. And, Torossian added, the result is hilarious.
In both a win for both terrific advertising statements and viral social media posts, Nightmares Fear Factory set up a hidden camera that snaps photos of their haunted house guests at the “best” possible time. The resultant images are the best possible marketing they could put out there. Not only do they keep people looking, they make you want to go and test your own mettle.
Torossian says that combination of sustained curiosity and inherent challenge is PR gold. Viewers don’t want to look away, and the entire time they are wondering how they would react. It’s a curiosity that will not diffuse quickly. They will likely continue to wonder about it. And they will definitely share it with their friends … who will ALSO start wondering exactly the same thing.
The inevitable conclusion? We MUST check this out! Even people nowhere near Niagara Falls will feel compelled to go. They may never actually make the trip, but the vicarious thrill of imagining it is the best free PR Nightmares Fear Factory will ever get.
And then there’s the coup de gras. Click over to the Nightmares website and the challenge is right there staring you in the face. They call it the “Chicken Count” and it’s simply brilliant. It looks like a numeric value of exactly how many people have been caught on camera making their most embarrassing terrified face. BUT, wait, there’s more! Click on the counter and a coupon pops up. It’s only $1 off admission, but at this point you really didn’t need much more of an incentive to go. This hidden gem is likely the tiny nudge people need to get them up and headed to Nightmares.
Sure, they know they will likely end up just one more victim of the Chicken Count … but that’s all part of the fun.