Forget Staged Ad Hoaxes—The New Marketing Standard Is Genuine Terror And Trauma

In a new (barely) parody video, agency John St. introduces its new exFEARiential practice.

Our ability as consumers to ignore advertising has forced marketers to re-evaluate how they are sending messages on behalf of brands. Some have gone with utility, others hit with entertainment, and some have actively tried to create a meme-able experience with Candid Camera-style stunts that depict seemingly innocent people being scared out of their wits.

We've seen Carrie in a coffee shop and disastrous job interviews, but now Toronto agency John St. has decided to take things to the next level with ExFEARiential advertising.

"People aren't paying attention to ads anymore so our job is to make them pay attention," says creative director Chris Hirsch in this hilariously stone-faced case study video. "Most ads you can ignore, ours you can't escape."

This isn't the first time John St. has parodied an adland trend; previous efforts have spoofed web kitties and going viral, but given how some very real past campaigns have gone, this one might hit the closest to home.

Let's just hope no brands takes Hirsch seriously when he hints at what's next. "You've heard of sending people into space? Well, we're going to do that, only we're not going to bring them back."

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