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Things Aren’t Always What They Seem


Halloween has arrived. Notice all the signs that scream 'Halloween is here' start long before October 31st? No evidence is more telling of this than the sudden appearance of horror films and shows across television. No matter where you get your cinematic fix, all that seems to be on and recommended are the scary films that have us jumping in our seats, ducking under blankets, and placing our drinks down to avoid becoming the victim of a jump scare.


Whether these movies are seasonal treats you love to binge-watch, or movie nights you are tricked into experiencing, horror films are a Halloween rite of passage. As the popularity of horror movies during October rises faster than zombies out of graves, nearly anything is at risk of feeling more dangerous than it appears. No longer do we only have to fear the cliches of the ouija boards and the masked murders, but various movies have demonstrated how everyday items can transform into our worst nightmares. While we could provide case after case examples, one stands out. Dolls.


For eleven months out of the year, the dolls in our house are our treasured childhood companions. But when October comes around, thanks to numerous slasher and horror films, these otherwise family-friendly toys can take on a much more sinister feel.


For nearly a century, we have been introduced to an array of spooky, weird, and in many instances, demonic dolls. You have Chucky, Fats, Billy, and many more, including the most iconic of them all—Annabelle. Known for her presence in The Conjuring Universe, this terrifyingly unsettling character is the cause of nightmares. In the films, she is a deformed porcelain doll, but in reality, she is inspired by the true tale of a reportedly haunted Raggedy Anne doll. Either way, her story and behavior are terrifying.


Before giving all dolls a bad rap, it’s important to point out that in most of these instances, including Annabelle, the dolls themselves are typically not evil. They are possessed and not acting on their own accord. Though still scary, the truth speaks volumes that they are not entirely what they seem to be.


Marketing is the same way. Often, it is easy to get caught up in the vivid perceptions surrounding marketing and not see it for what it really is. There is no denying that marketing can appear scary. With so much data to consider, goals to accomplish, and work to be done, the sheer size and weight of its value can be overwhelming enough to terrify any organization. But that does not make it evil.


The misconceptions around marketing lead to many organizations trembling in fear over the questions it makes them face. Disregarding what marketing calls for can seem harmless if we are otherwise meeting our goals. But as we saw in Annabelle: Creation trying to lock the truth away never works. Being possessed caused an otherwise sweet doll to implode and wreak havoc, and a lack of marketing will eventually do the same to your organization. In both instances, Annabelle (the doll) and your marketing are innocent. But ignoring the realities they present will ultimately come back to haunt you.


So rather than be frightened and intimated by marketing, take the time to learn its full story. When you study, learn, and engage in it, you will find that the actual demon of marketing is the public falsehoods and scary depictions painted by those who don't understand it.


So what can Annabelle teach us? Take hold of marketing before it takes a hold of you!

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