Drivers are put through the car wash from Hell, children go crazy for candy and IKEA becomes even more frightening. Welcome to a special spooky edition of the top ads of the week.
Just like ‘The Simpsons’ do every year, we wanted to celebrate Halloween in fittingly spooky style. Unlike ‘The Simpsons’, this blog, once great, won’t gradually decrease in quality until it’s a shadow of its former self. We promise.
Anyway, we have rummaged through this year’s crop of Halloween ads to spot the treats among the tricks.
5. IKEA – ‘Halloween’
Kicking off our ghoul-tastic round-up is a clever little parody from IKEA Singapore. Taking off one of Stanley Kubrick’s most memorable scenes (a canon that includes a masked Tom Cruise wandering through an orgy), the spot replicates the famous tricycle tracking shot from The Shining. Except it takes place in an IKEA store.
Come for the fun concept, stay for the brilliant details (note ‘Red Rug’ written on the wall).
4. Crest – ‘The Effect of Halloween Candy’
Halloween is the time of year when sugar-mad children run rampant through the streets and candy stock prices soar. That’s true in the US at least, I’m pretty sure we Brits just put a party hat on and go about our business.
Spearheading research into the effects of Halloween candy on children, toothpaste brand Crest made the scientifically-sound choice to unleash some kids on a mountain of sweets. The resulting spot shows the test spiralling wildly out of control, not dissimilar to the Stanford Prison Experiment.
The only conclusion is to keep your kids away from candy this Halloween, and instead give them tube after tube of toothpaste. I think.
3. Vytautas Mineral Water – ‘Bounce Back’
Well, here’s a weird one. Splashing about in the usually tranquil shallows of bottled water advertising, Lithuanian brand Vytautas doesn’t save a thought for good taste in its Halloween spectacular.
Titled ‘Bounce Back’, the ad features a comatose man suddenly revived by the life-giving powers of Vytautas Water. This is all well and good, until a sudden twist takes us up to a whole other level of gross. To return to ‘The Simpsons’ for a moment, think of any ‘Itchy & Scratchy’ episode and you’re basically on the money. Except it’s way more lewd.
It may not be the scariest ad you’ll see this Halloween, but I’d definitely minimise the tab if your boss comes around.
2. Trulia – ‘Trulia’s Haunted Open House’
Just like your obnoxious friends, brands absolutely love a Halloween prank. What better way to ingratiate yourself with a customer base than scaring the living daylights out of them?
Trulia is a US real estate search engine, and their spot lures in some unsuspecting home-buyers only to barrage them with ‘Poltergeist’-style jumps. Besides the standard issue ‘things that go bump in the night’, Trulia ups the scare game by hiding an elderly woman in a mechanical bed and a woman in a massive doll suit.
Bizarrely one of the more joyous prankverts I’ve seen recently, there’s some brilliant reactions from the participants. In the words of one spooked lady, “I hope it’s a cat and not a ghost”.
1. Ford – ‘Spooky Halloween Car Wash Prank’
Taking Trulia’s quotidian location to the next level, Ford’s prank goes inside that mystery box of modern life: the car wash. Using the prankvert’s usual deceptive tactics, unsuspecting members of the public roll into the car wash in a vehicle laden with hidden cameras.
What happens next is testament to the power of creepy lighting and cheap rubber masks. Though the trick only seems to work properly on half the participants, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a car wash-based horror film coming out in the next year. How about ‘Scar Wash’? We can work on the title.
In any case, watch out for sneaky brands setting Halloween pranks this weekend. Ready, steady, spook.