The Biggest Viral Campaign Of The Season

nightmares fear factory photos

The following is an interview I did in October 2012 with It’s based on my work with Nightmares Fear Factory and the fact that my social media campaign went viral twice.

How These Photos Of ‘Scared Bros At A Haunted House’ Became The Biggest Viral Campaign Of The Season

Five baseball cap-wearing bros, cowered in a corner, eyes wide, limbs akimbo, clutching at each others’ poorly developed pecs.

It’s no wonder that the awe-inspiring photos of =””>”Scared Bros at a Haunted House” went insanely viral first in 2011 and =”″>then again in 2012.

Click here to see the photos

Although meme-machine BuzzFeed is responsible for pouring gallons of gasoline on the photos’ flames, what some viewers don’t realize is that the pictures were part of an intricate, borderline genius, marketing campaign created by =””>Nightmares Fear Factory, located on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, to promote its haunted house.

How it got started

“People just started noticing and think we just started posting pictures last year,” Vee Popat, Nightmares Fear Factory’s social media and marketing strategist, told us. “But we’ve been doing this consistently every day for 365 days for years.” (That’s right, “bros” are even photographed freaking out on Christmas).

Ten years ago, founder Frank Lapenna got the idea to take pictures of people at key scare-moments in the pitch black maze from Disneyland and other theme parks that sold photos of guests on roller coasters.

“So 10 years, he started standing in this one spot and taking picture of people, and we’d all laugh at them,” Popat said.

Eventually they installed a still camera and video camera that would capture the exact moment of optimal fear in the pitch dark, and a tradition was born.

Since it was a pre-Facebook era, and MySpace wasn’t really a photo sharing site, Lapenna tried to make the content social the only way he knew how. “He thought, why don’t we email people the jpeg,” Popat said. “For the obvious reasons, they’ll share it with their friends.”

And so it began.

How it went viral

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