I’m obsessed with fall and I don’t care who knows it. Give me a deliciously divisive seasonal latte, a freshly fallen leaves scented–candle, and ask Alexa to turn up the “Spooky Sounds,” because fall is here and I am here for it.
Brands also love fall. It gives them the chance to use all those skeleton puns they’ve been eagerly saving up (I would make a skeleton joke here, but you wouldn’t find it very humerus.), and send us lots of emails with “More treats less tricks!” in the subject line.
This month’s ad round-up isn’t all spooky and pumpkin-based (for the sake of your sanity), but it does feature some clever spins on traditional Halloween marketing, as well as some creative print ads and tear-jerkers. Read on to see what made the cut.
10 of the Best Ads from October
If you’re a consumer in 2017 with internet access, you’ve probably been haunted by the ghost of a late night online window shopping spree. But instead of a regular old revenge-seeking ghost, this particular brand of haunting comes in the form of targeted ads. Spooky.
In a valiant seasonal attempt to transform targeted ads into more of a treat than a trick, Svedka Vodka teamed up with the folks at Toronto-based agency Bensimon Byrne to unleash a spooky curse on vodka devotes. Lured by the promise of seasonal cocktail recipes, those who dared to click were actually shown the video below:
2) Common Sense Media
There have been plenty of cautionary articles and ads warning that our phones are turning us into zombies with rapidly declining attention spans, but none of those had Will Ferrel in them. To highlight the havoc our favorite devices can wreak on family time — especially family dinners — Common Sense Media enlisted Goodby Silverstein & Partners to create a funny series of PSAs featuring the comedian as a phone-addicted dad.
Trick-or-treat anticipation typically leads candy companies to up their ad budgets with some pretty formulaic, chocolately close-ups, but Mars decided to think outside of the jack-o-lantern (sorry) with a series of satisfyingly weird short films.
In the spot for Skittles below, Floor 9.5, director Toby Meakins and writer Simon Allen built the creepy short around the concept of being followed from the front.
4) Bud Light
To introduce American BBQ-favorite Budlight to UK consumers, Anheuser-Busch InBev created the ultimate millennial lifestyle ad — with a refreshing twist of self-awareness. The SNL-esque parody features every trope we’ve come to expect from beverage ads, plus some absurd add-ins sprinkled in for good measure, like a pet rabbit and a bearded guy in a Bud Light-branded kimono.
5) La Cimade
In these simple, stunning ads from French human rights organization La Cimade, the struggle of refugees to survive is strikingly juxtaposed with Olympic athletes’ drive to win. The series of ads, created and directed by Josiane Paris’ Valentin Guiod and adam&eveDDB London’s Min-Hyung Choi, were developed after Paris won the bid for the 2024 Olympics. The goal was to raise awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis, and remind the French people that preparing for the Olympics is hardly the biggest challenge they currently face.
In their debut ad campaign, Tile offers an emotional (and adorable) take on the true value of their Bluetooth tracking system. In the spot, a bedraggled and clearly beloved stuffed panda toy wanders the streets, seeking out his lost owner. After a long and melancholy journey, Tile’s tracking system saves the day (of course). The charming campaign was produced by Deutsch and Smuggler director Mark Molloy.
7) Kansas City
In a unique effort to pitch Kansas City, MO as the location for Amazon’s second HQ, the mayor of Kansas City, Sly James, purchased and reviewed over 1,000 Amazon products. The hilarious stunt was orchestrated by Kansas City-based agency Barkley, with help from the Mayor’s own communications team. Whether or not it helps Kansas City make their case to Amazon, the spot was undoubtedly a quirkly way to set the city apart from the pack.
To promote their new brand facelift and “Be an outsider” tagline, Maine-based retailer L.L.Bean worked with The VIA Agency to develop a campaign that encouraged people to go outside — literally. They took out a full-page ad in the New York Times that could only be viewed in outdoor sunlight, thanks to some very special ink.
9) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Flying coach or economy class is effective and cost-efficient, but we all know it’s a far cry from luxurious. To coax travelers over to the more comfortable (read: expensive) side of air travel, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines distributed VR headsets to economy class airline passengers. The virtual reality experience gave passengers the opportunity to see how their flight could have been on a KLM plane.
Irish telecom company eir pulled a delightfully oddball stunt to illustrate their “no more black spots” promise to mobile users. With help from agency Rothco, they replaced every single dot in an issue of The Daily Mail Magazine with a brightly colored dot.