National Geographic’s terrifying escalator ad


“Ready for an adventure through the Brazilian forests?”


National Geographic gave commuters quite the fright with this experiential advertisement placed at the bottom of an escalator in Brazil.

The startling graphic and optical illusion, which consists of a 3D drawing of a crocodile jumping out of water, created an intimidating – and memorable – experience for those about to disembark.

The purpose of the chilling imagery was to promote the new television programme ‘Mundo Salvagem de Richard Rasmussen’.  And it certainly worked – we all know about it now don’t we?

The experiential advertisement, originally posted onto Reddit, has got people talking all around the world – the mainstream UK press picked up on the innovative advertising that was displayed half-way across the world in Brazil.

How’s that for some exfeariential marketing?

Instilling fear into consumers in a playful way has become rather a popular way for brands to grab attention and to get people talking: did you see AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ experiential stunt? Or Yovis Viaggio’s holiday-from-hell experience?

And targeting commuters is always a good choice – as more and more people trade in cars for public transport passes, brands are recognising the huge potential reach at bus stops, tube, subway and train stations. Did you see last week’s experiential hair-rising poster campaign at a Stockholm subway stop or our post on Marketing Society about Coca-Cola & Florida brightening up the commute?


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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.