Part 2 – How Branding and Marketing Can Benefit the Undead

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October 29th, 2009

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(This is part two of a two-part series on what those dwelling in haunted residences can do to better lure in unsuspecting victims. Click here for part one.)

In my previous post I discussed how the majority of individuals living in haunted residences have severely limited their target market by clinging to age-old ideas of how to present themselves through their properties. This section will discuss specific action items you can act on today which will dramatically increase human traffic through your home.

Live like you’re living
In the advertising world we have professional photographers shoot products and then talented designers create beautiful ads because people are more likely to interact with something that’s aesthetically pleasing.

Apply this principle to your dwelling and clean the place up a bit. Take the boards off the windows. Hang some draperies and put a bulb in your porch light. If you’re feeling really bold, plant a garden. Make it look like someone living is living there. You’re more likely to get an unsuspecting neighbor bringing you a plate of cookies if they don’t think they (the neighbors) are going to be eaten. That way – bonus! – you get dinner and cookies for dessert.

Don’t go overboard on Halloween
Consider your target audience. You may be tempted to hang entrails from tree branches and line your porch railing with skulls. Again, even for Halloween this is too scary. I recommend something like this:

Good decorations

Yes, it’s cliche´ and suburban. But it has the right mix of allure for the kiddies (the cartoon ghost) while the scarier elements (figures in black) help you maintain credibility amongst your peers. The owner of this house had the right intention with the pirate flag, but it looks desperate as it doesn’t go with any of the other decorations and pirates are dated (tip: vampires are in now).

The chain across the front of the street actually works on a subliminal level – people want things they can’t have, so putting up an easy-to-cross barrier works in your favor.

Adapt for the season
There’s a reason there aren’t Halloween decorations of fake cobwebs, plastic tombstones and talking heads in grocery stores all year ’round (yet for some reason, it’s totally fine to have a realistic-looking severed hand in a grocery store during the months of September and October).

The reason is this: people are fickle when it comes to holidays. They don’t like Christmas lights up in April and they don’t like creepy houses in June. So if you can maintain your residence as described here – perhaps actually putting up Christmas lights around the holidays – you can lower the barriers to entry to get people in your house.

If you’re a zombie, ask yourself, “Would a Christmas caroler knock on my door without coercion?” If the answer is “no” you have some work to do.

Take advantage of other holidays
Here are some other holidays which provide perfect opportunities for those who feed on human flesh:

Thanksgiving – Meals on Wheels. Literally.
New Year’s Eve – People like to stay up late and get drunk. Those two factors are working for you so take advantage.
Girl Scout Cookie Time – While not technically a holiday, still a golden opportunity.

Really, all this speaks to a larger point: who wants to live in a dump forever? What do your living conditions say about you? Boarded up windows? Dusty cobwebs? Unkempt yard? I don’t think it’s written anywhere that the undead have to live like pigs. Ask yourself, “Just because my flesh is rotting (if you’re still embodied) am I perpetuating a negative stereotype?” If so, it’s time for change. And that change will bring a higher caliber of victims more frequently.

Stay tuned as we continue this series with Social Media for the Undead which will include the following tips and tricks:

Images courtesy of Pictr 30D and ScottSchrantz.

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