In contemporary American culture some television commercials have become just as much a source of entertainment as the shows they support. And just like the primetime networks, which hit their high notes during Nielson sweeps, advertisers seem to put extra effort into their commercials at certain times of the year. The only “commercial season” I look forward to more than the Super Bowl is Halloween, and so here are my picks for the best Halloween commercials of all time.
Feel free to pitch your favorites in the comment box below. A Pepsi/Doritos Halloween Frankenstein is sent after party refreshments and returns carrying a huge delivery truck stocked with Pepsi and Doritos. Who can forget Dracula's line when he opens the door to greet Frank: “What, no dip?”
McDonald's Ronald McDonald and the Halloween Chicken Nuggets It was a sad day for children everywhere when McDonald's abandoned its kid-oriented image to focus on adult customers. There are few McDonald's playgrounds and nary do I see an advertisement featuring Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar, Grimace or the animated Chicken McNuggets. Watch this one the whole way through and you'll remember Ronald making the magical golden arches with his fingertips.
Radio Shack This one isn't necessarily laugh-out-loud funny, but it does make a point that Radio Shack's batteries can power Frankenstein. The dramatic switch to “mambo-Frankenstein” and his wife's “two left feet” quip make this an instant classic.
Psycho Bud Light Remember Spuds MacKenzie? What a generational icon! Those who remember this babe-gettin', beer-swillin' canine will get a kick out of Spuds' visit to the Bates Motel.
McDonald's Halloween lineup This commercial takes the McDonald's franchise advertising to the opposite extreme – a creepy criminal police lineup in which each suspect is asked to show what they were holding at the time of a murder. The first three have axes and chainsaws; the last guy turns out to be a masked trick or treater – holding a sack of McDonald's food.
Elvira’s Coors Light Halloween No Halloween commercial list would be complete without a tip o' the hat to Coors Light's Elvira spots. This one features a Thing-like hand bearing a can of Coors Light, straight out of the Addams' Family empire.
M&M's Headless Horseman I don't know whether Washington Irving would have been proud of this ad or not, but the clever play of the Red M&M as the “headless” horseman is a memorable Halloween commercial.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Halloween commercial This is an oldie-but-goodie. Remember the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups commercial that depicts a chocolate bar sticking out of a jar of peanut butter? That's old school, for sure. Another Reese's classic came from the “There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's” campaign in which Dracula leaves two fang holes in a peanut butter cup to suck the peanut butter from the inside. Classic!