Horror & Human Resources: An Ad Campaign in the NYC Subway


We’re all about HOW-lloween over at the HOW offices. So when we caught wind of a ghoulishly humorous advertising campaign from creative agency Circus Maximus and Justworks, a benefits, HR and payments platform, we couldn’t help but share.


Demonstrating the still-exciting possibilities for the out-of-home advertising world, the project illustrates the challenges growing companies face when managing human resources as classic horror movie monsters, all of which appear throughout New York City’s Union Square Station and MTA subway cars. Justworks, of course, is presented as the solution to these challenges.

The artwork was done by poster artists Sam Hadley and Blaine Hefner, who are both known for their classic horror movie posters.


Check out the designs below and read more from the company about the project.

The creative campaign features four illustrations depicting back-end business operations in posters for classic horror films. Paperwork, compliance, benefits and payroll are caricatured as villains and monsters from classic horror films, and movie titles bring these challenges to life with ad copy including “Zombie Employees who Crave Benefits,” “Return of the Bride of Paperwork II” and “Extraterrestrial Details from Hell.” …

“Being entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand the difficulty of starting a company and know that the details can scare the living daylights out of you,” said Ryan Kutscher, founder of Circus Maximus. “When you’re an entrepreneur, every day is the scariest day of the year. We developed this campaign to showcase this and highlight the hard parts of running a business that Justworks helps companies handle.”

horror-poster-ad-campaign11 horror-poster-ad-campaign8horror-poster-ad-campaign10

Project Credits

Chief Creative Officer: Ryan Kutscher
Executive Producer: Paul Sutton
Art Director: Pat Horn
Illustrators: Blain Hefner, Sam Hadley

Check out the online courses at HOW Design University to see how you can expand your skill set. Learn about in-house management, motion design and animation, creative business leadership and more.