Don’t let the back and forth kill you.

This 2015 ad dared to be different and, in the process, carried its product through to a major acquisition.

Don’t let the back and forth kill you.


An ad so good it’s almost scary.

Fair warning. This ad is a little... different.

But that's what makes it so compelling. It breaks tradition and dares to do something bold.

Advertising can be horrifying

Back in 2015, a young product team hired a Las Vegas horror production company to produce an ad for their scheduling software. The product was called Assistant.to and promised to make scheduling meetings less annoying.

Most software ads at the time mimicked Apple's campaigns. Clean, simple, minimal. White backgrounds with product screenshots on stock images of laptops and phones. Don't forget the upbeat jingle.

You know what I'm talking about.

Assistant.to wanted to stand out. They decided that an ad that was less sterile, more messy was better. It worked.

Floating Eye Films delivered something that — while stoking our fears of workplace violence — was funny, fresh, and perfectly captured the nuisance of the back and forth.

A damn good ad sets you on the pathway of success

In a world of mass-produced scheduling products and software ads that all feel exactly alike, Assistant.to broke the mold. And it paid off.

Just a short time later, the product was acquired by Cirrus Insight for an undisclosed amount.

While Cirrus is not so bold to market their products with horror films, that offbeat ad surely lead to the popularity of Assistant.to. Without that little bit of genius storytelling, who knows if Cirrus would've come across the product.

And that's the power of unconventional advertising.

— Mike Doane


P.S. Don't walk away empty-handed

Above the Fold is a newsletter about the power of marketing. Every week I'll send you stories just like these on the art and craft of corporate myth-making.

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