Our American counterparts have turned Halloween into a huge commercial resource that can be tapped into annually. This year, the ad agencies across the Pacific have once again illustrated how far the simple premises of horror, costumes and bucket loads of treats can be stretched.
Best use of kids for commercial gain: Crest and Oral B
Crest and Oral B gathered a group of adorable Halloween-clad kids to taste their “healthy candy”. The reactions from the kids are priceless, but viewer discretion is advised. This ad contains graphic depiction of puke striking an astronaut’s helmet. Honourable mention: AT&T's candy-crazed cowboy.
Best twist ending: Mini Countryman
Featuring a double twist, this scream-filled celebration of horror successfully shows that a jock, a sorority girl, Leatherface and a club-wielding murderer can comfortably cram into a Mini Countryman while trying to evade the pitter-patter approach of a horde of knee-high princesses.
Best use of a haunted house: Century 21
In an effort to prove that there’s no home they can’t sell, Century 21, a real estate firm, combined humour and eeriness in campaign of five videos of “slightly haunted” homes. Borrowing quite strongly from the Paranormal Activity style of filming, these videos were a treat for horror aficionados (Bookings.com also created a campaign to stay at haunted hotels).
Best creation of a tiny product to give away to annoying kids: Pepsi
If we've learned anything from New World's Little Shop, it's that everyone loves tiny groceries. Tide is also getting in on the act with some haunted Vines.
Best zombie apocalypse: Die Hard platinum batteries
The ubiquity of zombies in films and pop culture has made them a bit of a cliché in recent years. Y&R Midwest has however managed to resurrect the genre with this visual feast for the eyes.
Freakiest ad: Carrie
It's not specifically Halloween-related, but the telekinetic girl has been making the YouTube rounds over the last few months, and for good reason. This heart-stopping effort, used to promote the release of the remake of Stephen King's classic thriller, from the tricksters at Thinkmodo left everyone with a simple question: “What would you have done if you were in that coffee shop?”