The 10 Best Halloween Ads of All Time
Halloween is the perfect time for brands to get a little weird with their commercials. Heart-warming scenes of families eating their morning cereal are suddenly replaced by flesh-eating zombies, insane ax murderers, and demon children. It’s fantastic.
Want to get a little spooked? Grab some candy corn, my friends, because you’re about to experience ten of the most horrifyingly awesome Halloween ads of all time:
1. Kmart, “Halloween Challenge”
This video is refreshing because it doesn’t need to make its viewers scream and pee themselves in order to be memorable. Instead, Kmart figured out how to incorporate their product, break a world record, and use a celebrity dancer all in one amazing ad. Now I won’t feel so bad the next time I can’t decide what to wear—Monty Rezell changed costumes 150 times in six hours!
2. Westlake Hardware, “Zombie Report”
Who knew that a store that sells manure and screwdrivers could be so entertaining?This ad rides the wave of the zombie craze, and it rides it hard. Human to zombie subtitles, hilariously dedicated extras, and a volunteer who wants the monsters to “live their undeaths without fear” make this spot exceptional. I’m officially an advocate for the rights of the living dead.
3. Snickers, “Halloween Lady”
Snickers created a Halloween sensation with their terrifyingly creepy “Grocery Store Lady.” Personally, I would put Snickers in my cart just to reduce my risk of seeing this nightmare-inducing woman (and her sneaky child minion). Some people must be into her, though—the ad has almost 2 million views on YouTube. Looks like we’ve all gone to desperate measures to get our hands on some candy.
4. Booking.com, “Haunted Hotels”
Halloween isn’t exactly the most popular time to travel. Booking.com managed to think of a way to change that. Their series of creepy ads features haunted hotels that appeal to those who actually want a ghost whispering in their ear at night. I, on the other hand, am going to stay safe in my bed and watch Halloweentown reruns all night.
5. Skittles, “Skittles Web”
I was not expecting this ad to turn into an arachnid-human bromance. But that’s way better than the typical “kid gets stuck in web for Skittles” commercial that I was anticipating. Of course, you have to watch the whole ad to catch the second twist at the end.
6. Geico, “Horror Movie Commercial”
This spoof of horror movies is so funny it was even featured on Adweek, and for good reason—who doesn’t want to yell at their screen in frustration when the characters in slasher films make dumb decisions?
I’m a film student and avid horror movie hater, so this commercial has a special place in my heart—particularly because of this exchange: “Why can’t we just get in the running car?” “Are you crazy? Let’s hide behind the chainsaws!”
7. Nike, “Run for Your Life”
Nike strikes a balance in this commercial between terrifying its audience and promoting its product. Its message? Sure, you never know when Freddy Krueger might attack you in the woods, but you’ll be fine if you have your Nikes on! It’s a fact—people who run are more likely to avoid heart attacks and escape ax murderers.
8. Blackberry, “Missing Our Deals Will Haunt You”
This ad is as if Samara from The Ring came back to life and started working as a phone salesman. Want to know what happens when you piss off a demon-child because you missed out on a killer sale? Watch it.
(Really, though, missing a deal from Blackberry hasn’t haunted anyone for at least 6 years.)
9. Cravendale, “Hint Of”
If the little dead girl is a Halloween trope, the pink ghost cow is definitely not. That makes this Cravendale ad unforgettable. Anyone want a carton of strawberry milk?
10. Delux, “Wash and Wear”
Fun fact: To keep your house ghost-free, just coat your walls with Dulux paint! Whoever thought of the premise for this commercial deserves a giant pillowcase filled with full-sized candy bars.
Bonus: But Jillian, what’s the worst Halloween ad?
I was hoping you’d ask! That special superlative goes to this Subway commercial. Really, the sandwich shop is trying to encourage women to lose weight for their sexy Halloween costumes? It’s no surprise they’ve been getting some serious backlash for this one.