Some ads seem designed to scare the shit out of us.
Whether it’s a viral marketing tool or hammering to get the point across, there are those creepy ads that you just can’t look away from, no matter how much you might want to. Here are some of B&T’s top picks:
Little Baby’s Ice Cream
Ice cream brand in the States, Little Baby’s Ice cream, has been known for delivering some of the creepiest ads. Its recent 30 second spot replaces the actor’s eyes with screaming mouths for “eyes scream”. Get it?
Another ad that is just as disturbing as the screaming eye sockets would be Little Baby’s ice cream man from a few years ago. As if scooping ice cream out of your head wasn’t creepy enough, check out the guy’s eyes.
THe Grim Reaper
In 1987 Aussies were shocked at the AIDS/HIV campaign for the National Advisory Committee on Aids (NACAIDS) created by Siimon Reynolds. Depicting humans as bowling pins, the Grim Reaper knocked them down, a symbolic reference to how the virus would affect the population.
In an interview with Peter Thompson from ABC in 2008, Reynolds explained how the idea came about.
“Me and my friends were doing a lot of bowling at the time,” he tells Thompson. “So bowling was in my head. I was bowling every week. And I used to love the animation at Christmas with… for Scrooge, where the Grim Reaper came and visited Scrooge. And I thought, ‘Well, maybe the Grim Reaper could machine-gun them.’ Then I thought, no, that’ll be a five-second ad and it’ll be too short. What’s another way he could kill them? He could bowl balls at them. And those two things came together.”
The delicious chocolate egg that contained a tiny present precious to a small child was horrendously creepy when it came to life in the late 1980s.
UK phone retailer Phones 4u came under fire in 2011 when a woman was haunted in the parking lot by a decrepit and unkempt ghost of a little girl in the company’s ad.
Another spot for the brand saw a man being chased in the darkened woods by a white-eyed and dishevelled zombie. The campaign ‘Missing our deals will haunt you’ received a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for its content and the time the ads were being broadcast.
Krinkles the Clown
Krinkles was the brand mascot for Post’s Sugar Krinkles Rice Cereal in the 1950s. He appears to get off on how much shit he’s getting people to ingest.
The public service announcements (PSA) from the Australian Government often have the shock factor element.
Take a look at the loss of breath.
Deemed by some as the “creepiest and most terrifying” PSA in the world this Finish spot shows how children see their parents when they’ve been drinking.
The ad was created by Havas Worldwide for an anti-alcohol campaign message.
Play Hooky and Die
The PSA-style ad that saw teenagers’ heads explode, their remnants scattered around, also deserves a place on this list. The ad was created for WA’s foundation Learn for Life by short filmmakers Henry Inglis and Aaron McCann.
The spot was released in January this year and at the time Inglis told B&T the aim was to make people laugh at the ridiculousness of it.
“It also parodies overdramatic PSA’s that make authoritarian over-the-top statements. ‘This is what happens when you slack off’ is a ridiculous statement that isn’t intended to be taken seriously,” he said.