10 Chilling Horror Stories Every Digital Marketing Agency Fears

Anna Dominik Banzon

Author & Editor

Content Team Lead

Published on: Oct 23, 2020 Updated on: May 16, 2024

Walking alone through dark streets and alleyways. Feeling something or someone watching and following you around. Hearing eerie noises or scuffled footsteps in the middle of the night.

Those are just some everyday creepy moments that every human has experienced at least once in their lives. Just like how there’s a specific set of fears marketers are afraid of,  there’s also a special kind of panic that ensues when something in tech or marketing goes wrong.

Forget your everyday horror stories, here are real-life digital marketing horrors that will have marketers cradling their pillows and leaving the light on when they sleep.

Warning: These may be scarier than Bly Manor or whatever horror show Netflix recommends for Halloween, so proceed with caution.

1. Fear of Monday

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Fear Of Monday

Here’s the shortest horror story you’ll hear— Monday.

We may pride ourselves to be a tough and hardworking digital marketing company but we have kryptonite, too! Just the thought of replacing our beds and Netflix binge-watch with a slightly uncomfortable office chair and emails, codes, or spreadsheets gives us a small shudder every Sunday night.

That’s just the thought of one working day. Thinking about the whole work week? The absolute horror.

Monday aside, here are actual experiences that make our tech and digital teams recoil in horror.

2. Land of the Dead

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Land Of The Dead

We’re a simple team, just give us an internet connection as strong as our brewed coffee then we’re good to go. But take one of those out; well, we can’t guarantee your safety.

Our trusty administration team, who really holds our office together, fears hearing the words “no” and “coffee” and/or “internet”  in one sentence. But on one occasion those three were used and it was madness.

For a couple of minutes (that felt like hours) the office was basically land of the dead — an offline digital marketing company topped with a full-team of cranky individuals who are running low on caffeine and patience.

Safe to say that after that fateful day, our pantry’s always filled with coffee, both the brewed and instant kind. Plus, some have taken it upon themselves to stock on their own sources of caffeine, just in case the apocalypse comes for a second wave.

As for the internet, well, we didn’t actually mind being non-operational for a bit… Kidding! We have pocket wi-fi’s and mobile data all charged and loaded at all times.

3. A Slight Bump on the Road

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner A Slight Bump On The Road

Don’t be fooled, not only pre-schoolers need nap time!

Sometimes marketers need power naps to recharge their batteries. Though one particular team member was starting to regret his decision after one incident. We’ll let him take the floor on telling this one:

“We usually take naps in the lounging area of Propelrr, just above our meeting room. It’s a dim and quiet space, perfect for relaxing. The ceiling, though, has solid cement that if you miss seeing it, you will hit your head and get a big lump on your head.”

“One time I was sleeping there during lunch break and I forgot to stop my time-tracker. Knowing what a hassle it is to fix that, I immediately stood up from the bean bag on the lounging area and hit my head so hard on the ceiling. Because it hurt a lot, I had no choice but to return back to the bean bag and just feel it. To keep my horror story short, I had a lump in my head for 3 days.”

OUCH. 3 days? At least you’ll definitely remember to take your time and your time trackers seriously.

4. Crawl

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Crawl

It’s a known fact that content creation isn’t easy. There’s a lot of ideation, production, and approval that goes on just to publish a good and relevant article that ticks all the boxes under your SEO checklist.

On one occasion, our whole Content Team missed one thing: proper linking. Just as we were about to click “publish” we noticed that all the supposed internal links aren’t actually internal— they’re from a whole different domain! Uh-oh.

Every SEO and content marketer knows that links are your lifeblood online. It’s such a small yet crucial detail that can easily hit a dent in your performance. Good thing we were saved, just imagine what would’ve happened if we did push it live— scratch that, we don’t ever want to think about it happening.

5. Wrong Sent

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Wrong Sent

Our classic equivalent to the Wrong Turn! Just like the actual movie, we have our own set of series. Since we got a lot in our book, we’ll just reveal our most heart-stopping one yet.

We love a good office meme! It brings a lot of laughs to our group chats — but not when it ends up on your client’s inbox.

Yup, we accidentally sent an inside joke to one of our clients waaay beyond office hours. We tried the quick “delete for all” option and just prayed that nobody, especially our clients, saw it. But sadly, the fates were not in favor.

Out of sheer panic, we didn’t get to “delete for all” instead it was just “delete for me only”— which left the dear sender crying and screaming like Three-Finger was about to get her.

This happened in the middle of the week so our protagonist still had to go to the office and face whatever punishment was waiting. Think she would’ve preferred to be on the set of the Wrong Turn rather than this reality.

6. Peeping Watermark

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Peeping Watermark

Honestly, the title alone is giving every graphic designer a heart attack right now. We gave you a warning early on!

Visuals are a crucial element in any content or ad. It’s that pop of color or graphic that really catches the eye of people to click — wait, is that… watermark?

It must be from the rush of approvals or the back and forth revisions that once we got a green light for an ad that we totally forgot to replace the photo.

We did eventually change it, but that instance alone sends some pretty traumatic memories to the whole marketing team. Truly, a never again experience.

7. Overspend, 28 Days Later

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Overspend, 28 Days Later

That’s it, that’s the story.

This was actually in the running for the shortest horror story ever told if not for the 3 succeeding words.

But as we all know, PPC Management is tough work. There’s a lot of factors and levers to create a well-running campaign that achieves your objectives and stays on budget. Just the thought of slipping on either one of them is enough to give us the heebie-jeebies.

Though the “budget” is giving us A LOT of war flashbacks for our PPC Team that they may need to stop and restart their thoughts for a while.

We won’t get into the details to keep the sanity of our team safe, but just know that it happened and we’ll never go back to that ever again.

8. A Programmer’s Nightmare

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Programmers' Nightmare

If there’s one thing our development team fears the most, it’s bugs.

It’s not the creepy-crawly kind, though we bet they’d much rather prefer that, it’s the type of bugs that ruins their programs and potentially, presentations.

Take this story for example.

One of our software engineers in Web Development recounts where all the things that could go wrong happened during a presentation of an app to a client.

To keep things short, we’ll just enumerate it here:

  • The team had created 3 apps for a client presentation.
  • Minutes into the presentation—the first app crashed. Yikes.
  • At this point the presenter was already flaring up due to these unforeseen circumstances— damn those bugs!
  • Since there were 2 more apps to present, said engineer just sat there silently dreading what else would come about in this meeting.

Fortunately, the third app was successful and the meeting ended up better than expected. Our software engineer thought he would get a good, hard scolding, but was instead offered a cold bottle of beer to cap off the day’s work.

A horror story that ended on a good note, we suppose? Good for him!

9. Crash Landing On You

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner Crash Landing On You

Time is money, and for this story, we mean it — literally.

In the age of mobile banking, update releases are important to improve the overall features and customer experience of a mobile app. That’s one of the jobs of our mobile development team.

It was one cozy morning when a client called up this developer to inform her that their mobile app was crashing with the recent update release. This meant that users couldn’t log-in and transact with the app.

Honestly, that paragraph alone can send a shiver down your spine already!

What follows is a caffeine-induced busy morning of trying to debug and fix the cause of the app crash issue. Fortunately, a hotfix was able to resolve the problem—but imagine how many customers were frustrated just because they couldn’t log-in the app and worse, how angry the client was for losing money by the minute or maybe even second?

A big loss on our developer’s sleep, but also a big loss on those morning transactions. Definitely not our proudest moment.

10. The Disabled Account

Propelrr Dia De Los Muertos Banner The Disabled Account

What happens when you accidentally disable an ad account? All hell breaks loose.

That’s what happened to our team who experienced a week-long hellhole of trying to revive an ad account. See, it’s not like a light switch you can flick whenever you can— there’s a process involved with it. Just imagine the sheer panic and fear of trying to troubleshoot your way out of the situation.

As if that wasn’t enough, want to know the real gut-wrenching horror behind this story? It’s not telling your boss or supervisors about it. That alone is worthy of a thriller movie plot.

The team tried to contact the ad platform thrice, which was the max number of times you can ask for any account-related support. Unfortunately, due to improper authorization, the request for re-approval was denied three times. Of course, the matter was eventually brought to our superior’s attention and the account was turned back on and the team was dealt with properly.

That experience was like a scene out of a horror flick. They’re still alive and with us, don’t worry, but memories of that episode still haunt them to this day.

And that’s a wrap!

We love a good scare here and there. These horrific episodes are learning curves for us, yes, but they’re also memorable stories to recount with our colleagues. Plus, they also make a mean blog for the holidays, don’t you think?

Got any better horror stories of your own? Try us! Let us know your worst experience in the comments section! You can also hit us up on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn for a more candid discussion with the team.

Hope you get more treats than tricks, folks! Happy Halloween!