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A haunting solution for the student market

The student market is a tough crowd. Over-saturated with commercial messaging. Skeptical of being 'sold' to. And discerning about where they spend their limited disposable income. So, if you're a brand marketing to students, how do you surprise, engage and coerce them? You box clever.

As one of Ghost Pops’ periodic targeted bursts to students, M&C Saatchi Abel’s creative team went undercover, placing an online ad for ‘dirt cheap’ student accommodation in a fancy Saxonwold house.

The webpage,, was hosted on Gumtree and looks exactly like a Gumtree ad for a fully furnished home: close to all amenities including Wits University, recently revamped, with four luxury bedrooms and a sparkling pool, ‘ideal for students’, ‘pets recommended’, for only R5000 per month.

The catch? When you browse the photos of this too-good-to-be-true property, weird stuff starts to happen. Spooky voices, sinister music, howling wolves, panicked cries and fearful screams. Yup, the mansion is haunted, thanks to some very clever back-end development and front-end design.

And in case you don’t immediately get that it’s all a parody – a form of webpage possession, if you will – you’ll work it out when you land on a Ghost Pops-branded landing page, with a Share icon. Clever, clever, clever.

5 Jul 2016 12:31