Creative Emotion Fear Strategies?

Fear Based Marketing – Good or Bad Promotional Strategy?

Could be “Affirmative” for Marketers and their Clients?

Fear is your friend, well maybe not YOUR friend, but fear is the friend of someone who is putting together an online marketing campaign and friendliness can b.

Negative Flip Side

That said though, if you are planning to introduce an element of avoiding the less of two evils, be incredibly careful. Tread lightly please. We live in overly sensitive times and that is not to be taken lightly.

Avoiding the Shock

Here is an example of promoting something using the technique of avoiding the electric shock in the lab.

One Percentage Versus Another

The first will cause you pain, statistically speaking, 97% of the time, as well as there was another option which had a solution that would keep you from having to hurt, 50% of the time.

Choose Your Poison

Which would you choose? Avoiding extreme discomfort 3% of the time, or averting that negative condition 50%??

Which Would You Pick?

If you are like most people, you would say you would rather avert the unbearable 50/50.


In other words, choosing less pain rather than more. Most customers would say this as well, which is why many businesses use what I like to call, FBM (Fear Based Marketing).

Watch Out

It is human nature. The survival instinct. Keeping a distance between you and the tiger with fangs and claws.


You must be careful with this k something using this strategy. You might want to gage it and not go terribly into the fear realm. If you turn up the volume of fear to much in conjunction with an online marketing campaign, some prospects could view it as being insensitive in which case it can backfire.

Proof To Future Customer

And this is true. It should be more according with reason, or best yet, actual authentic third-party studies. And as lucky would have it, a recent study on the avoidance of pain and the seeking of pleasure discovered that people are more likely to act on the former rather than the latter.


Why pain above pleasure? Some scientists believe that to avoid pain is a primal instinct for survival. Imagine an enormous tiger with sharp fangs and a growl, is coming quickly toward us.

Which is Best?

Which would you select? Would you choose to go right and avoid getting mauled and becoming scratched up and bitten into by the teeth and claws of the oversized and angry beast? Or would you let the tiger do what it does as you move to the left for some pleasure?

And the Response is?

The answer for most is the avoidance of pain.


Marketers know that pain and fear go hand in hand. Let us say for the sake illustrating a marketing concept, that pain is the consumer problem that needs to be solved with a product. The problem that if left with no solution could get worse, it might create even trigger negative emotions.

Types of Feelings

Our prospect or potential consumer has a great dislike to the emotions that they experience if the problem has no solution and gets worse and worse. These feeling could include unhappiness, sadness and even depression and anxiety.

Product to the Rescue

So, the prospect wants to avoid a fear by purchasing the product. This is the use of both avoidance of fear and the move over to pleasure. This “feel good” mode can start with relief that the chance of living the fear is over, and pleasure overtakes including happiness. Happily ever after? At least for now, or until another Fear Based Marketing strategy unfolds!