The New “It” Strategy: ExFEARiential

There’s a new formula emerging for the creation of viral, branded videos: scare the crap out of consumers, record it, and then share it with the world. In their new self promotion piece, Toronto-based agency john st. introduces us to their new strategic model for capitalizing on this latest trend: ExFEARiential.

Why I’m Curious

Emerging trends often inspire “me too” strategies where gobs of brands start putting their own spin on the latest “it” tactic. (Facebook commerce tabs ring a bell?)

But what’s often overlooked in trend analyses is the ability of brands to boldly fly in the face of strategic cliches. To be more specific, openly mocking advertising trends that are out of touch with the common man, thus painting the brand as more in touch with typical consumers. Going a step further, the positive reaction of snark-vertising helps make the case that negativity may not be as bad as typically perceived.

Take the sentiment of online comments,  for example. Millions of comments make it crystal clear that a massive population has a snarky, negative side. Knowing this, perhaps the true route to “humanizing” a brand should involve a healthy injection of snark and sarcasm. After all, real life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Props to winter for that reminder.


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