You probably won’t be able to after these…
Ah, capitalism. Without it we wouldn’t have such ridiculous, funny, or memorable commercials. But what happens when a commercial decides to dip into horror? Well, it catches your attention, that’s for sure.
This list excludes PSAs, as those are designed specifically to scare viewers. I also have excluded the K-Fee screamer ads because I’m not a big fan of poorly executed jumpscares. Remember, this is a list of favoritism rather than which ads are the scariest.
Honorable Mention: Japanese Kleenex Commercial
You know a commercial is creepy when people come up with urban legends about it. While I personally do not find the commercial all that unsettling, I can see why some people would. Among the various urban legends are that the actress gave birth to a demon baby, that people involved in the production died horribly, and that the commercial changes if viewed at midnight. The legends alone grants this an honorable mention.
5: McDonalds- Japanese Commercials
The only time that a fictional clown has ever freaked me out is in this series of commercials put out by McDonalds in Japan. A woman is gradually stalked by Ronald McDonald as each commercial ends with him singing some sort of theme song for the company. It is actually assumed that by the last commercial, he has murdered the woman. Yikes. Creepy enough to make my list, that’s for sure.
4: Playstation 2- The Third Place
David Lynch strikes again in this legitimately disturbing ad. It also counts as a DADA ad as it only reveals what it is advertising at the end and makes absolutely no sense. Still, its trippy imagery and offputting themes allow it to make the list. Sadly, I find that this ad is underappreciated compared to the next three…
3: Autoway Tires- Ghost Woman
Who would have thought a Japanese urban legend would have a part-time job selling snow tires? This commercial actually has a HEALTH WARNING before it shows because the unexpected appearance of the Slit Mouthed Woman is rather jarring. It is a surprisingly effective jumpscare and does get its message across: Be careful driving on snowy, desolate roads at night.
2: Little Baby’s Ice Cream- “This is a Special Time”
This commercial is infamous by now for being so unsettlingly creepy, but you know what? It actually WORKED for me. I really want to try this ice cream, and honestly, their flavor selection is quite interesting. However, that does not mean that I wasn’t creeped out the first time I witnessed an ice cream man eating himself. It’s still a bit…offputting.
And my favorite creepy commercial is…
1: Metz Schnapps- “The Judderman”
Of course an alcohol commercial would come in at number 1 right? Well, it’s not just that. This advert was actually voted as the scariest in Great Britain some time ago. This commercial piles on the dark and twisted fairytale charm along with some genuinely creepy imagery. The marionette Judderman at the beginning is particularly unsettling, as is the idea of being lured to a dark fate with alcohol. The dark implications abound! “Beware the Judderman, my dear, when the moon is fat.”