Alarming Ads, Bloodcurdling Billboards, Spooky Signs – Halloween Advertising that is Creeping it Real


Why do skeletons hate winter?
Because the cold goes right through them!

Halloween has gained hugely in popularity in recent years. With ancient roots in European culture, it began as the Celtic festival of Samhain. Celtics would dress in scary costumes and dance around bonfires in order to ward off ghosts.

The date – 31st October, also holds significance as it represents the end of summertime, where the days get shorter, darker and colder. In times long ago, pre central heating and artificial lighting, this season saw a rise in death tolls due to these harsh conditions. Hence, the further associations with gore and death.

The name itself derives from the All Saints Day celebration termed ‘All Hallows-Eve’ in Old English Alholowmesse. This has evolved into the current ‘Halloween’.

Read on to get our lowdown on the creepiest, most inventive Halloween ads.

LYFT x Stranger Things

Lyft the American ride-share company (similar to Uber) offered some unsuspecting passengers an out of this world trip. Collaborating with the hugely successful hit TV show, the riders were shocked with flickering lights, their drivers coughing up insects, a creature trapped in the car roof and a monsters hand in the glove box. 5* driver rating from us, 1* from them.

Svedka Vodka

The spirit company created a retargeted banner as ‘curse’ which, once clicked on, followed internet users around online. Reappearing in sidebars and pop ups, to ‘rid yourself’ of the curse you must share one of their articles thereby ‘spreading’ the curse to your online followers. We are so impressed by the creativity behind this ad that cleverly plays on advertising strategies.

Kellog’s Vending Machine Prank

Creating a fake ‘Scares Vendor’ advertising free cereal bars to shoppers in a mall, Kellog’s installed hidden cameras. When unsuspecting victims pressed ‘dispense’ they were greeted with a scary trick rather than the delicious treat that they expected.

Spotify’s ‘Stay Scary’

Celebrating what it means to be a ‘scary’ artist, Spotify’s first Halloween campaign explores past and present spookily entertaining singers who have redefined and created their own genres.

Not strictly for Halloween, but sticking with the scary theme, IT2’s recent Out of Home campaign came under fire for being too terrifying. Read more about it in our previous blog post about controversial advertising.

Similarly, an amusement parks Halloween billboard advertising their ‘primevil’ terror event has been banned by the advertising standards authority for scaring children.

The clowns menacing glare seems to peer right into the depths of your soul. Much like Pennywise’s threatening grin, clowns seem to be a particularly disturbing Halloween image.

We can’t wait for Hallows Eve and all the Halloween advertising treats that come with it!

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