Throwback Thorsday: Vintage Halloween Commercials


The Halloween season is officially upon us which means that it’s time to dress up, watch horror films and bask in the nostalgia of youth. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Halloween-centric commercials around these days, but is’t that what YouTube is for? Please enjoy this collection of retro Halloween promos from years gone by.

Elvira Mistress of the Dark for Coors Light

T.V. stations used to air horror films hosted by wacky personalities. One of the most popular of the horror hosts was Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. As well as being my first crush, she also appeared in campy made-for-TV movies, and was the pitchman for Coors Light during the late ’80s and early ’90s. You may not care for the beer she was selling, but you have to admit that she was the best part of these commercials.

Ray Bans – Sunrise

This ad was a wonderful little surprise when I first saw it air in the 1990s. Though not necessarily Halloween related, whoever decided to use vampires to sell sunglasses was an absolute genius.

Peanut Butter Crunch Zombies

This is one of the most memorable Halloween commercials from my childhood. While zombies are everywhere now, you have to understand that there was huge gap in big zombie movies between 1985 (Day of the Dead and Return of the Living Dead) and Resident Evil in 2001. So this commercial was kind of ahead of its time.

Stephen King for American Express

To some of you, Stephen King is just a horror writer who has been around forever, but there was a time when the guy was the most popular writer of all time. Kings literary celebrity gave him the cache to direct a film and even appear in his own credit card commercial. While he’s no Vincent Price, this commercial starring King is a wonderful bit of culture from a time when an author who wasn’t J.K. Rowling was this popular.

Dark M&M’s

There’s really nothing to say about this commercial other than it’s a remake of the opening of the Addams Family. The CGI M&Ms are sufficiently creepy, but this ad is memorable and does a good job of marketing their “Dark” line of candies.

Snickers – Mrs. Jensen

This is easily the creepiest and most hilarious commercial on this list. Two kids disguised as an adult woman, force their neighbor to take a basket full of Snickers candy. I can’t fault their love of Snickers, but their disguise looks like something Ed Gein would consider evening wear.

Skittles Spider Commercial

Finally, this little gem came out this year and inspired me to create this list. The premise itself is clever enough, but the long version of the commercial is a brilliant little short film all its own.

So what are some of your favorite Halloween commercials from days gone by? Let us know in the comments.

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