Five most unnerving Halloween candy commercials
For the next few weeks, our favorite candy companies -- or at least the ones that spend the most on TV advertising -- will be shoving their chocolate-, peanut butter- and nougat-filled ads down our throats. Yes, it's the high season for candy advertising -- already weird enough, but even weirder because Halloween is fast-approaching. Here are the five best Halloween candy commercials this year. We welcome your teeth-rotting invasion.
Snickers - "Grocery Store Lady"
This commercial is weird, yes, but does it have creepy, pervy undercurrents? That's debatable. However, it should have you talking when the spot is finished. A few obvious questions present themselves: What's with the kid peeking out of the mid-section of the costume? And the Geisha girl mask: why? Also, the voice coming from the costume doesn't sound like a kid faking a woman's voice; it sounds like a grown man faking a woman's voice. Which means that a boy and a grown man are in that costume together, working out some elaborate ruse to make sure the neighborhood kids get more Snickers. Weird, and the reason this is the best Halloween candy commercial of 2010. Bravo, Snickers.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - Movie Theater
This is an old-school Reese's commercial, and let's face it: The scariest part isn't the jumpy horror-movie music. It's when the lanky blond dude with the glasses walks up behind the girl (:15 seconds in) buying the Reese's at the concession stand and gets close enough to smell her hair and says, "Me, too."
Milky Way - Adult Trick-or-Treaters
When I was a kid, as soon as school let out on Halloween, I would rush home and try to catch whatever afternoon cartoons were running Halloween specials (which they only showed once a year, duh -- check out the now awesomely bad Swamp Thing cartoon for an example). Then I would go out and load up on as much candy as possible, first heading to the rich neighborhoods, where they would have barbecues and would be giving out actual candy bars. So that brings us to this Milky Way commercial. In what universe do parents raise an incredibly mature child who stays home on Halloween to hand out candy to adults? Is this commercial cut from a Disney Channel show meant for tweens, where all the adults act like children and the kids solve the problems? Awful, yes. Yet...I can't keep my eyes off the silent, sunglasses-wearing man in a bunny suit in the background who appears at :15 seconds in.
Hershey's Products - The Real Ghost
It's easy to blame organizations like the Parents Television Council for the decline of commercials like this gem from 1981, a TV spot highlighting Hershey products. Can you believe there's a real ghost here? Pretty unheard of today, when candy commercials clearly are targeted toward adults (see above) who actually make the purchases, not children who will ask for the products. The best part of this commercial is that Hershey's is advertising its full-sized candy bars, which in this era of "fun size" -- I can't think of a more apt misnomer -- are rare finds on Halloween night.
Dunkin Donuts - Halloween
This is being included because it suggests that doughnuts are regularly given to children on Halloween night. This is a notion that I wish to continue in this space. Hopefully it will catch on, and doughnuts will become a regular part of Halloween for American children. Also, this commercial has a genuinely scary -- for a commercial, at least -- scene in which Frankenstein's lifted-sole feet are lurching toward the unsuspecting doughnut-makers.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.