Remember how much you hated watching videos on the internet where something would jump out and scare you? Jump scares. The internet, YouTube in particular, have long acted as a place for mischievous pranksters to spring jump scares on unsuspecting users.
Well, YouTube just gave a film called The Nun the best viral marketing campaign it ever could have hoped for. YouTube has removed an ad for The Nun, an upcoming horror film, for violating its “violent and shocking content” policy. Set to release next month, it’s the 5th installment of The Conjuring franchise that’s focused around a Vatican investigation of the suicide of a nun. But as a potential marketing stunt, intentional or not, the ad kerfuffle has become a brilliant piece of promotion.
The unskippable ad was so upsetting that a tweet warning users against it went viral, racking up more than 135,000 retweets.
Some may not know, but YouTube doesn’t allow “promotions that are likely to shock or scare” on its service, and this particular ad is unquestionably a cheap, yet very effective jump scare. The angle of the ad is very clever, playing on how we consume trailers today: on our computers, phones, and tablets. A volume icon appears on-screen, ticking down and up before a shrieking nun appears suddenly.
Not only has the ad now received the kind of organic, viral attention campaigns used to aim for, but YouTube’s removal of this trailer makes it infinitely more interesting. You take away something that people are in an uproar about and it only makes it that much more appealing to try to find and to consume. If you REALLY want to see the ad, please do so at your own risk.