Portals to the Spine-Chilling

As it’s Halloween month, we thought we’d stir up a bubbling brew of scary digital and online campaigns. Not to be consumed after dark.

von Mark Tungate , Adforum

All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Eve, Hallowe’en or simply Halloween – however you spell it, the celebration on October 31 is traditionally the time when the border between this world and the next becomes porous. A time for honouring the departed, but also a time for dressing up, trick or treating and enjoying a good ol’ fright fest.

There’s been a commercial edge to Halloween forever, so it’s not surprising that brands have wanted to get in on the act. Especially those of the sugary kind. Last year, though, going door-to-door was out of the question. So Reese’s and McGarryBowen came up with a bizarre solution – they took a door out onto the streets.

Meanwhile, Google encouraged users to create a Halloween ambience at home by using its Nest audio speaker and streaming scary movies. To cast the spell, the agency Swift rounded up a cast of ghoulish (but endearing) characters.

Let’s jump back in time to 2018. Why? It was so much better back then! All right – in fact it’s so we can watch this Halloween classic, when Burger King took a dig at McDonald’s by offering a free Whopper to anybody who came dressed as a clown. Because as everyone knows, clowns are terrifying.

Here in 2021, Havas in Costa Rica recently used horror stories for a good cause – accident prevention. The agency created a series of spooky radio spots using sounds known to keep drivers awake at night. Because falling a sleep at the wheel can have horrifying consequences.

If you love a good scare, Netflix offers plenty of options. But experiencing horror from the comfort of your armchair is different to getting spooked in real life. With its agency Publicis Italy, the streaming giant decided to take the thrills into the street.

Horror movies come with a sack-load of clichés, including the unnerving flickering light. So MullenLowe Brazil created the “scary lamp” – a lamp that connects with the movie you’re streaming, and flickers in unison.

As you may have gathered, there was no client behind the project – the agency made the lamp as a prototype. For fun? Creative director André Havt is clearly a Halloween fan.

For the big finale, let’s move away from fake scary to real scary. The agency Coming Soon in Portugal has won numerous awards for its annual trailers for the “Queer Lisboa” film festival, now in its 25th year. This year’s spot is strikingly different – and we reckon you’ll remain hooked until the grim twist at the end.

Enjoy Halloween month. See you on the other side.