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Creepy campaigns: Top ten scary adverts for Halloween


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

October 31, 2011 | 5 min read

It’s Halloween, and with a survey for Thorpe Park finding almost half of Britons are afraid of the dark, loud noises or confined spaces, The Drum has taken a look at what adverts make you want to hide behind the sofa.

We asked via Twitter what adverts scare you, and were inundated with responses, as well as a long debate on if the BirdsEye bear-in-freezer adverts are scary. The bear himself even got involved in the debate (“scary? am I really?... is it sinister to be concerned about your Omega 3 intake?”).

So, freezer bears aside, we take a look at the ads that run a shiver down your spine. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…


This advert received the most suggestions on Twitter. A The Ring-esque girl appearing in a deserted car park to chastise you for missing a mobile phone deal? Not good.

Dirt Devil

Dirt Devil-The Exorcist from MrPrice2U on Vimeo.

A woman stuck to the ceiling of her room screaming, a priest with no clue what to do – never a good omen for a film, but great in this advert.

Metz Schnapps

This Judderman advert creeped out a large number of people on Twitter as well, with its fairy tale style and atmospheric music.

Playstation 3

Plastic doll. What can be so bad about a plastic doll? Well, when it starts laughing like something possessed…


What do you do when a zombie crashes into your house and tries to attack you? Spray him with some deodorant.


Paint. It saves you from having boring walls and, erm, repels ghosts. We feel this fact should be known by more people.


Road safety can be scary – a child coming back to life with un-cracking bones proves that, several Twitter votes said.

Road Safety

And this just doubles up on road safety freakiness.


A lovely countryside drive + German energy drink K-Fee= a bit of a fright.

Dead Island

This zombie video game advert – which won the Grand Prix at this year’s Scottish Creative Awards – is perhaps the only one which needs to ‘scare’ the audience.

But does a scary ad make for a memorable ad? Replies to our tweets asking for scary adverts were instantaneous, whether it was a recent advert or one from further back. And it could be argued that viewers are more likely to be glued to their screens during breaks if the Dirt Devil or Phones4U advert comes - at the very least to find out what the advert is for.

Leaving the pondering aside, it’s Halloween. So, whether these adverts have chilled you to the bone, or made you realize how scare-free you are, choose your favourite and tell the colleague next to you to watch the great advert you saw on The Drum, then enjoy their face as they watch...

And remember folks...they're only adverts! Don't have nightmares.

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