What if notifications, billboards and alerts would actually get you excited? Thrilled even? This is what THRILLBOARDS are all about: companies putting a message out there, offline or online, that actually means something to you, the customer, and makes you want to buy right away. It implies you as a customer understand why the THRILLBOARD is there to begin with, and what its specialized message is trying to get across.

An excellent example of an offline, urban THRILLBOARD is Krispy Kreme’s neon Hot Light sign. The successful doughnut chain’s Hot Light turns on during certain hours of the day and night, signaling to passers-by in-the-know that Krispy’s ‘Original Glazed Yeast-Raised Doughnuts’ are fresh off the line right that moment. Which means Krispy Kreme fans triggered by the promise of instant gratification will get their much-beloved doughnuts super-fresh and hot.

In the online world, Amazon.com knows a thing or two about using THRILLBOARDS: in the top right-hand corner of any Amazon page, a twinkling ‘Gold Box’ awaits you, offering a number of tantalizing deals that are good for a limited time only. Once you open the box, you have 60 minutes to decide whether or not you want to buy each item on offer, after which time it expires.

This mix of real-time thrills, instant gratification and appealing to customers-in-the-know should inspire creative marketers. To start off with, TRENDWATCHING.COM recommends the following THRILLBOARDS: loud bells ringing inside and outside Toys “R” Us stores whenever a new shipment of hot ‘toys du jour’ arrives, or Ticketmaster.com featuring wildly flashing banners on their homepage whenever ticks to sold-out shows or concerts are returned.