Let's look at the etymology of the word.
Obscene comes from two Greek works: "ob" meaning "from"; and "skene" meaning "tent or covered place" -- in this case, stage. Greek theater--the Hollywood of 2,500 years ago--was intense, powerful and bloody, involving battles, murders and infidelity. Sound familiar?
Unlike Hollywood however, the Greeks kept their most horrific moments away from the eyes of the audience, placing them off stage, therefore making those sections ob-scene.
Why? Because they knew that the imagination of the audience was far more powerful than anything they could create live.
In the famous Greek play "Medea", the title character murders her own children to take revenge on her husband. The Greeks staged this murder to be obscene: Medea exits the stage to murder her kids. You heard blood-curdling screams. You saw blood spray onto the stage. But the rest was left to your imagination. And there it lived as a gruesome, unsettling nightmare.
One of the most brilliant examples an obscene marketing approach is the trailer for Andy Nyman's and Jeremy Dyson's unbelievably cool play, "Ghost Stories" which opened this month to rave reviews at the Duke of York's theater in London. Here's a photo of Andy in front of the theater.
If you watch the Ghost Stories 1:33 trailer (see link below), you'll experience the technique of obscenity in full force. In spite of pressure from some news organizations to release footage of the show, Andy and Jeremy held firm. And what a smart move. The audience going into "Ghost Stories" is vibrating with excitement, anticipation and terror. Before the show even begins people are twittering--literally (with tweets) and physically (with terror).
What's more, "Ghost Stories" delivers big time on its promise. It is a truly terrifying experience--no doubt, the most scared I have ever been in a live theater show. Ever. Period. Bar none.
So, how does this apply to you?
While "Ghost Stories" keeps the entire "product" hidden, you can practice being obscene with just one component of what you offer. Here's what you do:
1) Think of one cool feature, benefit, service component, experience or bonus item you can offer your customers/clients
2) Then, get past customers to offer testimonials, talking about that element in such a way that doesn't reveal what it is but entices your prospects, making people so curious they have to come check it out.