Scarily Good Halloween Ads: Six of the Spookiest

Halloween brings out the best in us all. Sure, we might dress up as horrifying monsters and scare the living daylights out of each other in exchange for sweeties, but it’s all in good jest. One of the best (or, if you’re a Halloween Scrooge, worst) things about Halloween is the ads that come out.

Promotions are always more palatable when they’re being peddled by the undead, or a mysterious Transylvanian man – especially if they’re simply smeared with guts and stuff.

Awesome Halloween advertising is one of our favourite seasonal trends in marketing. Before everyone starts wondering what John Lewis will pull out of the bag for their Christmas ad, brands and organisations get their shot at spooky seasonal advertising glory.

Even Rooster had a go this year – and while our pumpkin creation might not be the big budget, interactive extravaganza that some of our entries are, little Pedro Von Pumpkinface certainly is a cutie pie. You can do a lot with little more than a camera and a pumpkin.


Halloween ads have become a beloved annual fixture, the precursor to the (unspoken but mutually-agreed) official arrival of Christmas when the Coca-Cola ad airs.

Every year, the stakes get raised – and Halloween 2017 has certainly delivered. This year, we’ve been totally horrified and disgusted by the work brands have put out (it’s Halloween, so it’s basically the only time when that’s a good thing). Here are six absolutely rotten Halloween ad campaigns that we’ve loved in 2017.

Burger King: #ScaryClownNight

This one’s for our good pals over on the other side of the Atlantic – unless you’re scared of clowns, in which case you’ll probably want to steer clear of Burger King restaurants in Miami, Boston, LA, Austin and Salt Lake City, because it’s more than likely going to be swarming with creepy circus-dwellers.

From 7pm to close on Halloween, the first 500 guests that enter selected participating Burger Kings get a free Whopper – if they’re dressed as a clown. Count us out of that one, we’ve already been plenty traumatised by Pennywise the Clown making his comeback this year.

Fanta: The 13th Floor

The horror. THE HORROR! Fanta’s immersive experience has been built for Google Cardboard, Daydream and VR. It’s a cool and clever use of YouTube. It’s also very, very creepy. Claustrophobes should definitely avoid this promo, as should anyone with a fear of lifts. Or wide-eyed, gravity-defying humanoid creatures.

Actually – anyone of a nervous disposition should give this a miss – especially with a headset. We’ve been having nightmares and flashbacks ever since, and have been oddly thirsty for Fanta. But if you’re curious, brave and love a scare, this effort from Fanta really hits the mark.

ASDA: Home For All Things Haunted

It’s the brand we all associate with Halloween – at least when it comes to those last-minute, readymade costumes and bulk buying freaky sweeties. ASDA’s Halloween 2017 ad is everything you’d expect from a major supermarket: funky hit from 1986? Check. Cool special effects? Check. Kids with moxie, moves and monster makeup? Check.

It might be a little tamer compared to killer clowns and an elevator that goes to heck, but again, that’s what you’d expect from a major supermarket. It’s family friendly and lots of fun though, so it gets a big thumbs up from us!

Fios by Verizon: Dark Ages

You haven’t heard of Stranger Things?! Your only excuse would be because you’d been living in a cave on Mars, with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears. The spooky, ethereal nostalgia trip has spawned some of the greatest young actors in decades. One of the stars, Gaten Matarazzo (who plays fan favourite Dustin in the show) returns to support the Verizon brand, promoting their fibre optic broadband.

Cash in you say? Well sure, but what celebrity endorsed ad isn’t? And besides – slow internet is genuinely a scary thing to behold. It’s harmlessly goofy with an excellent dramatic delivery, if a little heavy on the product features.

Svedka Vodka: Banner Ad Curse

Okay, this one’s annoying, anxiety-inducing and absolute genius all at once. Just watch it.

Did you watch it? It’s a similar (but thankfully not intimately similar) premise to that of acclaimed horror movie It Follows, but a lot less deadly – and a lot more real. Get ready for some additional first world problems! Oh, and before we forget – go here to break the curse. We’re not evil, not even on Halloween.

Pinterest: 3D Haunted House

Another immersive experience, Pinterest has made quite an impressive effort here. It’s a little too cutesy to cause anyone to jump out of their skin – but it’s still a very cool concept. The house is crammed full of costume ideas, makeup tutorials, recipes and DIY decorations.

Pinterest 3D Haunted House

It’s also crammed full of product placement and sponsorship, which is sneakily hidden, only acknowledged by the signpost outside the house. As far as Halloween promotions go, this one seems the most… promotional. So, while it’s a cool idea, it takes the audience for granted a little too much. Ah well – C’est la marketing!

Have a happy Halloween! Remember – if you eat a ton of chocolate and watch scary movies, the nightmares will come. You might be able to use them as inspiration for your next Halloween marketing campaign!

Want to make a campaign that won’t scare the pants off your customers? Rooster does marketing better. Talk to us – call 01962 841 200 or drop us an email at [email protected] today.