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Nightmare Fuel / Advertising

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"This is like if you took every psychopathic thought anyone's ever had and put them all together to make an advert."
easportsbig899note , on TNT's "Walking the Bird" promo.

Isn't it surprising the lengths some advertisers will go to make you buy things?

Particularly scary commercials can become a Memetic Mutation, and in decades' time fall into Pop-Cultural Osmosis. Unfortunately, the side effect is that nobody can remember, "What Were They Selling Again?"

Due to the sheer amount of nightmare fuel they always give off, PSAs and PIFs not only have a subpage, they have subpages of that subpage.


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  • This ad produced by Scion manages to make something that would be Narm (IE, people with square heads) and turn it into horror with the use of Body Horror, Uncanny Valley and What Were They Selling Again?.
    • And then there's the ending, where the one guy who doesn't have a square head is tased and put in the box, and his terrified screams are muffled by the website, which is even creepier.
    • This Honda ad also revolves around square headed people, and the Uncanny Valley is even worse, especially the kid at the end.
  • There was a series of Volkswagen commercials that, at first, seemed rather simple and aimless, featuring friends talking about whatever silly little subject comes to mind, when suddenly, BAM! Car accident. No one is hurt, but the commercial then cuts to one of the friends looking at the wreckage, saying "Holy-", the commercial cutting off to the pricing and safety features of the car. Check out one of them here.
  • In December 2013, an advert for the Japanese company Autoway Tires generated a lot of headlines, with newspapers asking "Is this the scariest advert ever?" How scary is it? So scary that it comes with a disclaimer and health warning at the very start. The ad shows a dark, snowy road from the driver's night vision POV - the perfect setting for the horrific Jump Scare that follows the Slit-Mouth Woman from Japanese folklore appears in front of the car. Also an example of What Were They Selling Again? - many news outlets pointed out that the viewer would be too shocked to concentrate on what was actually being advertised. We strongly advise against checking it out. It's that bad.
  • A memorable Audi RS4 ad shows the car being tangled up in a creepy spider web, with the commercial eventually building up to a Giant Spider dropping down, screeching loudly, and then charging towards the camera before transforming into said car at the last second. Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • An old ad for Vespa scooters shows King Kong destroying a city as the populace flee. Suddenly, a heroic young woman drives in on a Vespa and manages to charm him! Kong takes her off her scooter and she continues to flirt more with him, and it looks like it's all going good until Kong suddenly devours her and pulls out her bra from his teeth, which he uses to polish the Vespa she left behind. Looks like in this case, beast killed the beauty.
  • There was an old Rolly Pontiac commercial that was a parody of The Phantom of the Opera dubbed The Phantom of the Dealership. It's as cheesy as any local dealership commercial, with the Phantom's overdramatic voice and the way he disappears with the swish of his cape. But then comes this line, "The professional staff at Rolly will take care of you." As this line plays, the Phantom slams the trunk of a car...with a bound and gagged man in it!
  • This infamous ad for the GM EV1 has the camera panning ominously over disembodied silhouettes, accompanied by creepy music from the 1990 horror film Jacob's Ladder, as a creaky-voiced old woman repeatedly intones, "How does it go?"
  • This 2016 Argentinian Ford Ka commercial (supposed to showcase its heating feature), featuring anthropomorphic corn people parking in a drive-in theater before bursting into popcorn while laughing at each other. We might suggest not looking at it if you're prone to trypophobia.

  • German ads for K-fee energy drink. These ads were Screamer Pranks, starting off with a calm environment... then a goblin or zombie (depending on the ad) would come out and scream its freaking head off and then say that "You've never been so awake". It Makes Sense in Context considering that it's a caffeine drink. What's funny though is that they parodied three of them for their decaf version.
    • Another variation is often referred to as the "Ghost Car Ad" due to the prank associated with the ad- telling people that a ghost appears when the car goes around the bend. It doesn't, it's another zombie screaming its head off.
  • This Coca Cola commercial urges viewers to watch and unlock secrets about the formula. It's extremely disturbing, complete with blink-and-you'll-miss-it weird, flashing images and creepy smiling ladies from the sixties.
    • The keys which you had to click to unlock the secrets don't work anymore, but back when they did, they had several "clues", including a website that contained a "webcam" (actually a video on a loop) of the vault where the secret formula is held. While it had some weird things like a dog walking by and a ninja throwing a smoke bomb (that would loop the video back to the start), the creepiest part was the ghost of John Pemberton, the creator of Coca Cola, appearing at various points. Towards the end, his ghost appeared right in front of the camera, with his finger on his lips and doing a very unsettling "Shhh...", no doubt startling those who saw it.
  • This commercial for Australia's Bluetongue Brewery Beer features a Japanese businessman getting the "Full Whale Experience" at a sushi bar. It was made using money donated by the Sea Shephards, a group of eco-pirates (of Whale Wars fame) who disrupt Japanese whaling activities... that, or Bluetongue really hates the Japanese.
  • This Tango advert, where a man is attacked by a clawed, bright orange disembodied foot. It doesn't get better when the foot's owner shows up to claim it.
    • Speaking of Tango adverts, this ad from the same era is confusing, scary and just plain freaky. The two figures seen by the man drinking the Tango can remind one of various horror movie archetypes, and that's before his head comes off.
  • Mike's Lemonade and Iced Tea had some unique taste in their commercials
  • In the early 2000s, Nestea ran an ad campaign that involved a snowman whose snow acted as skin. When melting, he'd become a skeleton, and had to find a bottle of Nestea in order to regain his snowy skin. These commercials sometimes aired on children's TV channels, and while these commercials were funny to older viewers, children were scared shitless by them.
  • "Beware the Judderman my dear, when the moon is fat." This infamous Metz advert from 2000 features the Judderman, a ghoulish, Jack Frost-like creature who lures weary travellers with his bottles of Metz. The people behind the ad went to great lengths to make it as creepy as possible, including using a hand-cranked camera to film it, playing creepy music, and hiring a ballet dancer who could perform the eerie movements of the Judderman. There's even a crow whose head spins 360 degrees. In fact, they succeeded a little too well, as children were terrified by it, and the ad was eventually banned from early evening television. It was later voted the scariest advert ever by the British public.
  • And while we're on the topic of alcohol, how about this disturbingly surreal Drambuie ad?
  • The Pepsi One commercial starring Kim Cattrall as Little Red Riding Hood has her trying out different sodas. She rejects two of them, tries the Pepsi One and says "This one's just right". Her eyes turn green and wolf-like and there's howling in the background as if she was going to turn into the Big Bad Wolf. It's scary for those who don't see it coming.
  • There was a needlessly scary advert for Hooch Lemon, with a man sleeping in the most uncanny cliff-side house imaginable. A mosquito has a sip of the drink and cuts a hole through the apartment's window. The man wakes up, gets bitten by the mosquito and screams at the top of his lungs. Another version of the ad ends with his significant other waking up with an even more earsplitting shriek.
  • A popular Herbaria tea advert represents the tea's calming effects... by showing a variety of horror monsters slowly drowning. The slogan at the end is "Drown your fears", but the ad only reignites them for the viewer, if anything.
  • An ad for Sprite was disguised as an ad for another drink called Sun Fizz, with a mother serving the drink to her two children...only for the mascot on the bottle to jump out of the bottle as an unsettling, overly-cheerful CGI abomination, terrifying the family. The ad than shifts into the slasher movie-esque tone as the mascot proceeds to chase after the mother and children through the house; resulting in the mother tripping over something and falling down. The ad cuts away to promote Sprite just when the mascot closes in on the children's mother, with her screaming for her children to run.
  • There was once a Diet Coke ad that showed some football players melting from the summer heat until they drank Diet Coke and reform. The end-of-ad comedy beat was someone who was far too melted to reach his drink asking for help as he continued his slow dissolution into oblivion. View it here.
  • Apparently, the best way to convince people to drink more Sprite is to show people drinking it, running into each other, and exploding into Sprite. At least the Coke commercial suggested that their product helps you avoid death.
  • The Super Bowl 50 "Puppymonkeybaby" ad for Mountain Dew Kickstart has a disturbing hybrid of a puppy, a monkey, and a baby moving around in a jerkily way shilling the product to a group of guys in a couch. Even worse when it starts licking the face of one of the guys. The real nightmare is trying to get the chant of "puppymonkeybaby" out of your head.
  • Coca-Cola's "Sprite Boy" mascot from the 40s (seen here) was a good concept, being a character that would talk through the fourth wall to inform people that "coke" was short for Coca-Cola. Unfortunately, it's hard to look past the Cheshire Cat Grin he was often drawn with, which can be extra unsettling when the ads speak directly to you.
  • Take a look at this Folgers commercial entitled "Mongoose". A woman in a Zoom meeting can't figure out how to turn off a mongoose filter. Unfortunately, it fills the whole screen with one of the worst designs possible, with her normal eyes and mouth pasted over an overly-realistic mongoose face. All of this is accompanied by an extended version of the trademark Folgers "best part of waking up" jingle.
  • Fosters ran a trio of adverts that had people being comically decapitated by animals. Even though the ads lack any actual gore, they still managed to prompt nearly 200 complaints for being disturbing, not helped by the documentary-style footage or the way the headless bodies stay standing afterwards.

    Breakfast Cereal 
  • We all know Count Chocula, right? The adorable, cartoony, chocolate cereal version of Count Dracula? Well, in 1991, someone decides to bring him to live-action. It went just well as anyone could have expected (The chocolate monster doesn't help either.)
  • The Crazy Craving transformation effects in some Honey-Comb cereal commercials like "Commercial Shoot".
  • This Honey Nut Cheerios commercial starts with a woman at the table picking up her mug. The Honey Nut Cheerios bee flies out and tells her about how good Honey Nut Cheerios is. He gives her a bowl of Cheerios and asks: "Delicious, right? It's the honey, it tastes so..." the camera shows frames of dead insects while an unexpected set of "Psycho" Strings play in the background. The bee tries to get away, but the woman pulls the box back and asks "What's the rush?" The commercial ends with the bee hiding and saying his Catchphrase "Bee happy, bee healthy!" while ominous music plays in the background.
  • This really creepy ad for Post's Sugar Rice Krinkles from the 1960s. The way the clown featured in the ad stares at the viewer is particularly unsettling.

  • This ad for Wrigley's X-cite gum in the UK featured a man retching and spitting up a dog (literal "dog breath") after a night of heavy drinking. It was banned after more than 700 complaints showed that it had terrified both child and adult viewers alike.
  • Maynard's wine gums ads. Not so much scary as just creepily hallucinatory, with even the bus stop poster ads being disturbing.
  • The 2010 Halloween commercial for Snickers features two kids dressed as an adult woman (one on top of the other's shoulders) convincing a neighbor to stock up on the candy kids want. That sounds funny and charming, right? Wrong. The kids are horribly outdated in their dress, the proportions of the body are like something designed by Dr. Frankenstein, and behind the pallid, molded face, are two piercing, unblinking eyes. And then the creepy caress, the voice ("I'm only trying to help you" as the woman tries to wrestle her cart away when the kids grab hold of it)...
  • A Jello ad that is just made of this trope: it's late at night and the parents are facing their children in front of an open refrigerator. The mom tells a story about a little girl who fell down a deep dark well filled with monsters and boogeymen, with no cartoons, and she was trapped there for a hundred years with no hope of escape. While she tells this, the children look as if they're crapping in their jammies in pure terror. She ends it with "And that's why we don't take Mommy's nightly [insert jello name] snack" right before Dad tells the kids to go to bed. Even worse is the one where the mother tells her daughter she will ship her off to work in a coal mine if she takes her mommy's snack.
    • A 1995 Jello Ad done in a old school horror movie style has a boy enter a school bus with his lunch box, containing Jello. As the kid sits down, the Jello begins moving out of the lunch box while he says, "It's alive!", prompting him to eat some of it. After that, the other students look at the boy with horror as we are shown his POV filling up with a red, Jello-y screen. Then, as the narrator says "Eat it before it eats you!", without warning, the bus driver's head spins 360 degrees like Regan from Exorcist while laughing in an evil tone, with the ad ending with the jingle in a creepy tone. It's heavily implied that the Jello consumed the boy ala The Blob (1958), which probably kept a few kids away from Jello altogether.
  • The commercial for Fruit Roll-Ups which began with a woman calling to her son. The camera pans left to show a giant cocoon of Fruit Roll-Ups. A boy (presumably the woman's son) all but slithers out of the cocoon, dropping to the floor. He looks at the camera, puts a finger to his lips and says "Shh" in the creepiest possible way.
  • Hostess did a series of commercials in the 90s and 2000s that featured an animal approaching something that appeared to be a Hostess snack product, but wasn't, and would prompt that animal to ask "Hey, where's the cream filling?" However, the creepiest ad involves a boy teasing a doll with a toy cupcake, which prompts her to come to life with one angry face.
  • Little Baby's Ice Cream infamously put out a commercial with some ice cream/human hybrid eats ice cream off the top of its head, making very slow movements and staring unblinkingly into the camera while a cryptic voiceover plays. You haven't experienced true fear until you've looked into his eyes. The ending music to the commercial is just as alarming, sounding like a distorted xylophone.
  • Similarly, here's a Reese's Pieces commercial of the same time period. At 00:05, the man grunting combining with his growl may surely have crept out many a younger viewer.
  • An old ad for Kinder Surprise that features a very human-like Humpty Dumpty speaking mostly gibberish has gained a lot of attention on the internet for being creepy.
  • This commercial for the now discontinued Wazoo bar is 1 part creepy and 1 part strange to give it an essence of Surreal Horror.
  • This 1992 Nestle Fun Size Candy Christmas ad revived the Farfel family from the the 50's into a modern Christmas setting. While the 50's Farfel was cute and cuddly, the 90's Farfel looks really creepy. Case in point, the dogs' snouts in the latter are shaped like alligators' muzzles. Not helping matters is their singing with empty stares into the camera as their mouths snap as if trying to eat the viewer. This is one of the rare times that a Christmas commercial could be considered scary.
  • This 2017 Hershey's ad shows a young woman eating a Hershey's bar on a park bench when a voiceover plays that informs her that if the Earth didn't have layers, she'd be drowning in magma. She only has some time to ask "Wait, what?" before the camera cuts to the entire area covered with lava, as she desperately tries to eat the chocolate and then screams in pain as she sinks into the lava. The comments on the video even call the ad out for being so randomly cruel.
  • Cadbury Bournville has more than a few weird or disturbing commercials:
    • The infamous "Not So Sweet" commercial (also titled "Sally"). It starts off with four women sitting at an outdoor cafe where one cheerfully tells the rest about the kitten her father gifted. She then goes on about how cute it is, how she even prefers it over her boyfriend, how it scratched her when she went to the cat spa, and that she plans to name it Snowflake. As she says the latter, one of the decorative potted Venus flytraps behind her randomly grows to giant size and devours her, and while one of the other women at the table is clearly disturbed by this, the two others (previously established as being annoyed with the devoured woman talking about her cat) seem perfectly happy about it.
    • This commercial shows a "cocoa expert" in Ghana analyzing the cocoa beans harvested by the townsfolk. As he states that one of them is imperfect, it grows eyes and starts sobbing. One of the villagers responds by callously shoving the cocoa bean off the table, much to the expert's and other villagers' shock. The commercial then concludes by stating that only the best Ghana cocoa is made into a Bournville.
    • "Have You Earned It?" takes the style of a low-quality Found Footage video, showing an American TV presenter filming an episode about the Bournville chocolate at a strange town in Britain. He snidely talks about how the British had to earn the chocolate, and then states that even though he hasn't earned it, he'll eat it anyway. As he does so, the sky goes dark, the people around the presenter become increasingly panicked and run in all directions, and the music turns extremely ominous. Then a giant bird suddenly swoops down and carries the presenter away. Luckily enough, the end of the commercial reveals he's all right (though bandaged and clearly disturbed by the incident) but the commercial is still frightening.
    • This Halloween commercial starts off with footage of babies before quickly becoming a Jump Scare featuring the face of Regan McNeil used in the infamous Scary Maze Game.
  • In 2003, British confectionery company Mr Kipling used this as their Christmas advert of the year. It shows a woman depicted as Mary, mother of Jesus, giving birth while endlessly moaning. It's then revealed that it's happening in a nativity play live on stage, in front of a crowd of hundreds. A lady backstage then asks "Has Mr Kipling ever directed a nativity play before?", leading a vicar to reply "No, but he does make exceedingly good cakes." Unsurprisingly, this advert was only shown three times before a flood of complaints forced it off air.
  • The "Carvel's Wish" commercial. Most commericals for Carvel are cute, sweet, and even funny. This commercial on the other hand is anything but. It starts off with the family singing happy birthday to their daughter. After that, her father tells her to make a wish. Then the daughter blows out the candles with a smile on her face after that they clapped but then the grandmother, the mother, the brother, and the father all fell over and died. The daughter doesn't even seem phased by it; she seems more happy about it and drags the cake to herself, implying that she wished for her whole family to die so she can have a cake all to herself. There's also no music as well.
  • Skittles: You'll be hard-pressed to find a post-2000 commercial that's not nightmare fuel.
    • "Fancify the Rainbow": Ladies and gentlemen: Yogurt Boy. A creepy mass of white goo with an unnerving gurgling voice whose body is constantly distorted (especially when the butler sticks the Skittle in). Even the valet quietly calling out "Yogurt boyyyyy..." is unsettling, and he looks creeped out by the creature as well.
    • "Harvest the Rainbow": There's a Skittle tree growing out of a boy's stomach, with an implication hanging over it that it's sprouted from a Skittle he ate.
  • This 1987 Danonino commercial aired in Mexico. It initially shows a young girl eating the aforementioned product while describing its benefits and a clown with X-shaped eyes sitting with each other in front of a dark blue background. Eventually, the girl attempts to wake up the clown as he opens up his eyelids in close-up and starts grinning into the camera during the last shot. The jolly-sounding bell music in the background doesn't help either.
  • These Rice Krispie Treats commercials showed kids who, upon having none of the treat left to satisfy their craving, would morph into a disturbing monster of some kind while screaming "IIIII WAAAAANNNTTT OOOONNNNEEEE!!!" into the camera.
  • The 2020s commercials for Trolli gummy worms are way creepier than anyone would expect. One of them, titled "Hiding Place", features some monster frightening a child who is holding the gummy worms, along with the worms singing an upbeat yet creepy song inviting the child to bite their heads off that makes it really unsettling to listen to. It is rather unsurprising to learn that said ad, along with the rest of the campaign, was made by Becky and Joe, who are best known for Don't Hug Me I'm Scared.
  • While M&M's commercials aren't the least bit scary, this one from Russia is an exception. It features the M&M's Red and Yellow laughing hysterically at a joke written on an M&M's wrapper, with Red stating that he might burst from laughing so hard. He actually does off-screen. Yellow's reaction does not help. Oh, and the cherry on top? We see Red's chocolate splatter on Yellow. That's like seeing blood splatter on another human.
  • In a "Fruitsnackia" commercial called "Camping", the fruit-snacks Larry, Linus, and Llyod are sitting by a campfire next to a huge fruit snack tree. A fruit snack snake suddenly slithers from above the tree and they freak out, even causing Larry to Faint in Shock. A fruit snack bear comes out of the forest and slurps the fruit snack snake like a spaghetti noodle. The bear roars and apparently wakes up the fruit snack tree who then promptly grabs and eats the fruit snack bear. The fruit snack campers breathe a sigh of relief. Their lives are saved right? Not quite. The fruit snack tree suddenly blows out the campfire, leaving us with the sight of the trees' eyes and toothy grin and the campers' terrified eyes. The commercial ends with the tree eating the campers from behind.

  • Apple is no stranger to making some dark commercials.
    • The famous "Nineteen Eighty-Four" Superbowl commercial can come across as a bit unnerving with its harsh dystopian setting and Big Brother bellowing out propaganda the whole time.
    • Their 1985 Lemmings spot takes place in a harsh barren landscape where blindfolded businessmen mirthlessly whistle "Hi-Ho" as they all march off a cliff to their deaths. Not exactly subtle, but very creepy nonetheless.
    • This ad features HAL 9000 reassuring you that Y2K wasn't the machines' fault and that only Macintosh was equipped to handle the bug, while the camera slowly zooms into his eye. Dated message aside, the dissonant calm in HAL's voice and the use of Nothing Is Scarier make for a very unsettling commercial.
  • This Nokia N900 commercial. It starts with a guy in a business suit talking with 3 other guys about the Nokia N900. When one of them is reminded that there are people watching the room behind one-way glass, he flips out, transforms into ''something'', and starts wrecking the place. He yells, "I am the medium! I am the message! I am the one." and transforms into a phone.
  • This particular Virgin Mobile advert is pretty funny when you first see it. But when you're up at night, alone, and that psycho music is playing... Especially at the very end, when you think the thing is over, but in actuality there's a quick flash of her eerie grinning face before it closes.
  • A series of ads for Phones 4 U in the UK showing people being stalked by ghosts and zombies trying to promote mobile phone deals to them: "Missing our deals will haunt you!" There were complaints.
    • There's also this commercial. A woman walking to her car in a parking garage late at night is stalked by a creepy little ghost girl who suddenly appears and disappears. The woman suspects someone's following her, starts to panic and rushes to the car. Once she gets in, the ghost girl suddenly appears on the window and the woman screams. Turns into Nightmare Retardant when she starts telling the woman about all the money she could be saving on an iPhone.
  • This commercial for Rayovac batteries starts out this way, with a scary mid-90's CGI CD player with two rows of sharp teeth coming to life in the middle of the night, and starts eating whatever batteries it can find, compounded by the batteries screaming in terror as they try to flee. It gradually transitions into Nightmare Retardant when the lights come on and the CD player is chastised by Michael Jordan for not using Rayovac batteries, as well as the fact that said batteries the CD player was eating were frightened Duracell and Energizer batteries.
  • One of the reasons why Nipper (a Mexican service which allowed people to pay for items with their cellphones) failed was their infamous ads, due to the strange decision to make Nipper's mascot a snake with a girl's head. Having it rendered in low quality 3D animation made it even worse. Even worse is that some ads had the snake girl burst out of the logo, chiding the viewer for not immediately going to the bank to get a Nipper account. The ads have become a regular feature for Mexico's "scariest commercials" listicles.
  • This Chilean commercial for phone carrier Carrier 117 promotes its cheap international fees with a mime. The context itself seems to be perfectly normal, but it isn't helped by the abruptly changing facial expressions of the mime, the exceedingly bright setting and the absence of any Background Music, all of which terrified young Chileans in the early 2000s if the comments section is to be believed
  • A certain Toshiba ad turns surprisingly scary when, after the power outage, a person drinks spoiled milk and turns into a zombie, who then rapidly and singlehandedly causes a Zombie Apocalypse. Sure, it was just being imagined, but it scared many unsuspecting viewers.
  • This iPhone 13 pro commercial used to advertise its advanced low light camera. Low light? Check. Creepy whispering saying "help me" and urging the woman into entering the basement? Check. The fact we never see who's whispering? Check.

    Fast Food Restaurants 
  • The Burger King commercials that feature their incredibly eerie mascot of the same name. Especially their breakfast-themed commercials that feature him in other people's bedrooms, waiting for said people to wake up so he offer them breakfast sandwiches.
  • The Swedish McDonald's coffee commericals. First there's a man snickering creepily while the camera pans across his unnaturally long nose which ends in another man all while broken xylophone music plays. And then there's the Yog Sothoth or something, which is talking in Black Speech. These ads may be a case of literal Nightmare Fuel, since the "WAKE UP!" slogan implies both were dreams.
    • Not to be outdone, the American McDonald's decided to create a new mascot for their Happy Meals, called Happy. This one's tame compared to most things on the list, but still somewhat creepy. Here it is.
    • The McDonald's commercials from Pakistan.
      • The Crash Bandicoot commercial might be a contender of the creepiest of them all, because Cortex has a realistic face.
      • In the Hello Kitty commercial they gave her a mouth, and it doesn't look pretty.
  • The first McDonald's commercial to feature Ronald McDonald is very scary. The announcer talks about how McDonald's has a new mascot named Ronald McDonald while showing the black and white screen of the restaurant. We then zoom out to a dark room with the clown in it and then the announcer says that it's Ronald McDonald, and when the lights came on we are treated to the very creepy, but early version of Ronald McDonald, who is not the sunny clown we know and love today. He looks like a man with a cup for a nose, weird-looking yellow and red clown suit, with two trays with food on it, one on the top of his head and another at his waist with the same food on it. Ronald speaks in a raspy voice like he has strep throat. He looks creepy and sounds creepy as well! Though it ends with Ronald using his hands to squeak, which sounds funny, and after that Ronald is seen dancing around in front of the restaurant.
    • Ronald in McDonald's Land commercials is very tame for the most part as Ronald is looking more like how he does now, but some of his friends look creepy and very uncanny, like Grimace, Hamburglar, and Captain Crook. Grimace is a very large, four-armed monster who steals drinks, but he has a voice that sounds goofy which tones down his scariness, Captain Crook has a creepy face with small eyes, crooked nose with an orange moustache, and a croaky pirate voice. But the Hamburglar is the worst of them all and looks very sinister; he still wears his black and white suit with a red tie, but his face looks demonic as if he came out from Hell! He has a scrunched-up face like a prune, a black mask, scary eyes, a long crooked nose, and two buck teeth with a creepy voice that probably scared kids away from commercials for a very long time or even McDonald's for that matter. Thankfully, they changed the characters: Grimace into a big chubby purple friendly fellow with only two arms and a happy face, Captain Crook into a more friendly character, and Hamburglar into a friendly character with a cute round face with chubby cheeks, smiling mouth, one tooth, short nose, and two round eyes and sounds like Cow from Cow and Chicken. Hamburglar and Grimace are now the cute characters we know today, but back then they were Nightmare Fuel.
  • This Subway advertisement from 2005 is a ten-second clip of a group of kids making a snowman. Suddenly, they all stare blankly at some unseen thing and one girl shrieks before the screen goes black and yellow text says "They're Coming". Somehow this is a teaser for Subway's food, though the ad itself was played alone, without any following segment explaining what exactly about Subway it's advertising.
    • This was actually part of a series of ads, one of which features a police officer looking into the window of a pulled over car in shock, one of which features two men in a barren snowy wooded area before one suddenly gets a blank look on his face and the other looks over his shoulder in shock. None of these ads make any attempt at explaining what they're advertising in any way.
    • They were teasers for a then-upcoming sandwich ("New Hot Fresh Toasted Subs"). The full ads are mild compared to their teasers, and they are:
      • Snowman: Three kids are making a snowman until a fourth one comes to play, and they don't let her. She goes home and finds out her dad bought her the new Subway sandwich. As revenge she goes outside and lays it on the snowman's hands; the sandwich is so hot it melts the snowman.
      • Ice Fishing: Two men are freezing trying to find fish under the ice, until one of them eats the new Subway sandwich, prompting him to take off his clothes and stay only in his boxers.
      • Lovebirds: Two officers pull-over to a couple apparently making love in a car. When they lower its window, it's shown that the "lovebirds" are actually two guys eating the new Subway sandwiches.
    • Another unsettling Subway ad is this one, though the implications are far more frightening than the actual ad itself. The ad features a guy and his girlfriend having a romantic night together looking at the sky. The girlfriend points out a shooting star, and guy suggests they make a wish. Both silently think of their wishes, when the girlfriend suddenly turns into a Subway sandwich. In response, the guy happily says "Yes!". The implication being that he turned his girlfriend into a Subway sandwich and plans to eat her. Let's just not hope she's conscious throughout the whole thing.
  • The infamous Quiznos ads featuring the Spongmonkeys, tarsiers with bulging eyes and human mouths, singing about how they love their subs.
  • This KFC commercial from the 60's has a group of women asking Colonel Sanders, who is hooked up on a lie detector, what the secret ingredients to his chicken are, only to be angered when the Colonel manages to fool the detector while making up random recipes. It's weird angles, electronic sounds, dark lighting, and the narrator's laugh at the end make this ad extremely unsettling and freaky.
  • This Dairy Queen Popcorn Shrimp commercial has a shrimp man enjoying the product when his wife asks him what he's doing. After the man tells his wife he's eating Dairy Queen popcorn and offers some to her, she realizes it's popcorn shrimp and chastises him for it. Right after her husband remarks how he felt something familiar about them, she asks him where their kids are, before they look at the popcorn shrimp box and realize they're eating their own children, leading them to scream.
  • This Taco Bell promo for Nacho Fries is a parody of horror movies, starring a young man trapped in a haunted house and terrorized by visions of Nacho Fries. But both the creepy atmosphere and Joe Keery’s performance make it genuinely scary.
  • An advert for the $5 pizza special at Little Caesar's features two gamers who try to get out of their beanbag chairs when their associate tells them he's going for pizzas. They sink further and further into the chairs (as expected), one even commenting that they're sinking faster the more they struggle. The scene is fairly disturbing. Then it becomes Nightmare Retardant when one, so determined to get said pizza, begins moving the beanbag chair towards the door.
  • One Jack in the Box ad, shot at night with COPS style Jitter Cam, has Jack approach a guy named Brad who called the restaurant "Junk in the Box" and insist he apologize and try the food. When Brad shoves Jack, Jack starts screaming and chasing the guy, eventually pushing him to the ground, pinning him, and apparently kneeling on his spine to force Brad to eat a Jack in the Box burger. It's comedic, but the way it's shot and Jack's static smiling clown mask makes Jack look like a horror movie villain more than a mascot.

    Halloween Events 
  • Universal's Halloween Horror Nights has most definitely mastered the art of scary commercials:
    • 1997: This ad is rather tame compared to the ones below, but nonetheless still contains the unpleasant imagery of a small goblin-like creature lifting up a man's eyelid and then biting into it.
    • 2000: A couple is shown walking into a photo booth, and as they have their pictures taken, they are suddenly attacked and killed by "Jack the Clown"; which is shown in a twisted variation of the Photo-Booth Montage.
    • 2001: Jack the Clown sinisterly watches as a group of people wonder where he is, just before a chainsaw maniac bursts out of a window and attacks them.
    • 2002: This is where the ads really start to get scary.
      • The first commercial is done in a very quiet and creepy manner as "The Caretaker" is shown picking out which tool he will use to dissect his victim alive with, via "eenie meenie minie moe". Upon uttering the last "moe", he picks up the chosen weapon, which looks like a dreadful combination of a surgical clamp and a pair of garden shears. The victim then silently gives an Oh, Crap! look before the information for the event is given, with the ad's quiet mood then being broken as it ends with a Jump Scare.
      • The second commercial features a couple walking down an ominous dark alley, not noticing that they're being watched. The wife then briefly suspects that something's up; only to soon have that suspicion confirmed when The Caretaker closes in on them with his surgical clamp, followed by the wife's scream.
      • The third commercial has The Caretaker creepily messing around with the toes of his dead victims, while doing the "This little piggy..." rhyme.
    • 2003:
      • Perhaps the scariest out of all of them, the first commercial features "The Director" forcing a jester to smile by impaling two hooks into each side of his cheeks and then pulling said hooks upwards. A single tear is briefly shown coming out of the jester's eye before The Director moves closer, and the last shot is of a jester bell that has a drop of blood on it falling down.
      • The second one is not as bad as the first, but that's not saying much. It shows The Director filming a victim he's placed in a Electrified Bathtub. He films the victim's sheer terror for a bit before turning on the bathtub, sporting a major Slasher Smile on his face as he does so. There's also a black and white version of the ad that has the victim screaming in pain as he's being electrocuted to death. Both of these ads were considered extremely controversial when they were first released, with many upset viewers attempting to get them taken off the air.
      • This trio of commercials, features The Director talking about how he makes snuff films because of a very twisted form of Doing It for the Art; along with showing some extra footage of the two above commercials.
    • 2004: A man is shown walking into a completely white room, when arms and faces begin to start coming out of the wall. In terror, he flees out the door, only to find himself right back in the same room. This time, he sees a body bag get up and begin to unzip itself. In vain, he tries to run again but ends up in the room once more; where the walls now begin to bleed while he watches in horror.
    • 2005: What appears to be a kind old lady reading a bedtime story to a young man turns out to not be what it seems when she pulls back the bedsheets to reveal that the man is laying on a bed of nails. The camera then shows that there's a giant anvil hanging right above him, which the lady ("The Storyteller") is about to cut; but not before wishing him "sweet dreams". The anvil then falls towards the man as he lets out a horrific scream just before being forced into the nails.
    • 2006: A victim finds himself waking up inside a giant glass box. As a series of feet are shown walking towards his location, he panics and desperately tries to get out, but to no avail. Looking above him, he now sees the event's four icons above him, here to celebrate the "Sweet 16" of the event. The Caretaker is about to "cut the cake" before the commercial ends.
    • 2007: A sketchy-looking carnival is shown as a man gets into a fortune teller tent. He sits in front of the fortune teller as said teller then brings out cards of Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface. The man, puzzled, asks, "So what's my future?", to which the fortune teller then reveals himself as Jack the Clown, responding, "You don't have one!". Freddy and Jason then appear and briefly terrorize the man before Leatherface comes in for the kill.
    • 2008: Bloody Mary is shown preparing herself (including using blood as her lipstick) as a man begins to summon her. As he says "Bloody Mary" the third can imagine what happens from there. Along with that, an unaired version of the commercial ends with Bloody Mary appearing behind a female victim and then grabbing her by the throat and lifting her up as she desperately gasps for air.
    • 2009: As the intermission song, "Let's All Go To The Lobby" plays, a trip to the concession stand goes horribly wrong as a man walks out to see that the area has been trashed, not noticing that The Wolfman and Chucky are hiding within the wreckage. He is then met with Billy riding in on his tricycle and announcing, "Let the game begin." Immediately after, the man finally notices The Wolfman and Chucky and screams as they lunge in for him. For the event in Hollywood, a different version of the commercial was made, which replaces The Wolfman with one of Jigsaw's pig-masked minions.
    • 2010: A security guard patrols a warehouse filled with props from the event's past years until he notices a sole lantern acting strangely, realizing all too late that said lantern contains the personification of fear itself, which then busts out of the lantern and kills the guard.
    • 2011: Frank Sinatra's "Luck Be A Lady" is heard as a much more sinister version of Lady Luck spins a victim on a wheel, laughing the whole way through before eventually revealing her true face.
    • 2012: A group of people appear chatting together, before someone comes in and screams at them to run, with it being revealed that he's running from a horde of zombies. They all desperately run and eventually manage to trap the zombies behind a gate...before it's shown that on the group's side of the gate lie far worse monsters that are threateningly standing behind them. Cue Gory Discretion Shot.
    • 2013: A group of people are once again shown, this time standing in the middle of a forest. To their terror, they see an army of monsters running right towards them. They get down on the ground, only to be confused when all the monsters run right past them. It turns out that those monsters were actually running away from a much bigger creature (one that's never shown). Via Shaky P.O.V. Cam, we see the creature moving right in for the group before the ad cuts to black. The commercial itself is actually a slightly shortened version of an advert that was used for Hollywood's event in 2010 and 2011.
    • 2014: The Walkers are shown breaking into an airport and wreaking havoc, with the commercial ending with one of them about to kill a Screaming Woman. The radio ad for the event acts a prequel to this, themed as a Distress Call a plane flight attendant is sending out, saying that all of the plane's passengers have been turned into the zombies and that she and the captain have locked themselves in the cockpit. Shortly after, the zombies can be heard breaking in, with the screams of the flight attendant quickly following.
    • 2015: A couple is shown strapped to some chairs that's on top of an oversized spin board, before being greeted with "Chance", a demented-looking clowngirl, giving them a creepy smile. She then walks off and begins to spin the two while a vinyl record plays a creepy-version of "Pop Goes The Weasel". It's shown that there's three cages the spin board could end up facing, one that has Freddy Krueger in it, one with Jason Voorhees in it, and one with a horde of Walkers inside. The spin board, along with the couple, end up facing the Walkers. Jack the Clown then emerges from the shadows and declares, "Looks like I win...again!", before releasing the undead monstrosities. As the Walkers close in on the now-screaming for dear life couple, Jack decides to also release Freddy and Jason just for the heck of it.
    • 2016: A man screams in horror as the camera pulls back to reveal Twisty, Leatherface, Walkers, and Regan MacNeil, before moving to show "Chance" screaming with sinister excitement. An alternate version of the commercial released for the Hollywood event instead ends on Regan doing her infamous Exorcist Head move. It's best to lower your volume before watching both ads.
    • 2017: This commercial, directed by Eli Roth, depicts a group of friends being led into a freaky-looking house party where things quickly take a turn for the worst as they come across the Grady Twins, Jack Torrance, and a woman struggling in a reverse-bear trap as Billy watches, before the group is attacked by the Piggy Man.
    • 2018: A woman is wandering through the sensory-deprivation world from Stranger Things. She first comes across the television screen from Poltergeist, where a ghostly hand suddenly tries reaching out for her. She then encounters Micheal Myers, and finally the Demogorgon, which roars at her just as she screams.
    • 2019: A party between friends goes awry as they all meet their demise in various ways. Two guys are pulled into the Upside Down where they see the Mind Flayer and a Demodog, which attacks them. Meanwhile, a woman is slain by a Tethered clone of herself. Finally, another woman preparing food in the kitchen suddenly has the lights shut off on her. She only gets a few seconds to wonder what's going on before Dracula yanks her away.
  • The commercials for the Universal Studios Singapore version of Halloween Horror Nights:
    • 2011: An aspiring actress arrives at a seedy-looking location for a film audition, where she ends up receiving far more than what she had bargained for as The Director comes out and terrorizes her while filming everything with his camera.
    • 2012: A couple is shown desperately trying to escape from a narrow space, and are then cornered by two demented figures, one of which takes the woman away. The man desperately tries to run after her, but is met with a dark Egyptian priest that breathes demonic bats at his face, knocking him out. Upon waking up, he sees that his girlfriend has been turned into a human-marionette by "The Puppet Master", who then offers the screaming man to "join his collection".
    • 2013: Not really containing much of a plot, this commercial consists of a series of shots depicting three twisted sisters going nuts and tormenting two victims.
    • 2014: A powerful world leader walks past an adoring crowd of citizens and into his office, where he shows his true self as he transforms into a demon while giving the camera a Kubrick Stare.
    • 2015: Probably worth noting that this one flat-out starts off with a viewer discretion warning. In it, the moon is shown being experiencing an eclipse that turns it into the "Blood Moon", which causes numerous dark forces to start appearing; which all eventually builds up to the graphic ending shot of a bloodied body being dragged away. Most notably of all, the commercial's stinger contains a very effective Jump Scare.
    • 2016: This ad is quite unrelentless, to say the least. A man is shown investigating a mirror... that a Mirror Monster suddenly appears out of and pull him in. The man finds himself inside a seafood restaurant, where he is attacked by the restaurant's diseased and zombie-like employees before being saved in the nick of time by a glamourous woman that not too long after reveals that she's actually a werewolf-like monster and attempts to kill him. After seemingly escaping her, the man ends up inside a morgue where the bodies start coming back to life. He attempts to dash towards the exit, but discovers that he's still trapped within the mirror and is then taken down by the inhabitants he came across earlier.
  • These three commercials for Universal Studios Japan's HHN start off scary, but then very swiftly become Nightmare Retardant as, unlike all of the above ads, the victims shown in it are in the end hardly scared by the terrifying situations they get into.
  • The commercials for the Howl-O-Scream event at Busch Gardens:
    • 2005: This one is rather simple yet pretty effective, showing creepy close-ups of a child's room whilst the narrator talks about how childhood fears never truly go away. The toys in the room are then shown coming to life and causing mayhem, with the commercial then closing on shots of blood seeping out of a jack-in-the-box and a baby doll doing a very disturbing smile.
    • 2008: Two twins preparing for a date gets progressively more and more demented-looking before they open the door for their date, revealing that both of their faces are horrifically disfigured on one side as they then proceed to yank the screaming man inside to be killed.
    • 2009: A normal-looking fashion catwalk presentation quickly takes a horrifying turn when the models reveal that they're blood-thirsty vampires and massacre the audience.
    • 2010: What at first looks like some sort of music video gets disturbing when the lead punk rock singer brings a man backstage and proceeds to rip his index finger off.
    • 2011: Several shots of a very creepy-looking garden are shown, with an also-creepy lullaby being played. These shots then build up to a rose opening up to reveal that it has an eye in it, before a series of shots of zombies and screaming victims are shown. The commercial then (of course) ends on one final Jump Scare courtesy of a female zombie.
    • 2012: Continuing from the previous year's commercial, this ad depicts a man being yanked into a grave by a living vine and then Buried Alive.
    • 2014: A group of friends accidentally listen to a cursed song, causing all sources of light in the house to go out as the group is teleported into a forest filled with wendigos; the final shots of the commercial showing the wendigos putting their hands all over the victims' faces.
    • 2015: Shown entirely from the perspective of a camera, an excavation worker films himself going into a mysterious home buried beneath the ground. His findings only get progressively creepier until he accidentally awakens the home's demonic owner, who then proceeds to kill him.
    • 2016: An evil puppeteer is shown designing several puppets, which, as you might have guessed, quickly come to life and wreak havoc.
  • Knott's Scary Farm:
    • 2012: It's revealed that berries aren't the only thing that's being produced at the farm, as a farmer is shown breeding and raising a wide variety of zombies, before herding them into a truck that'll take them into the park to terrorize guests.
    • 2016:
      • The first commercial shows a man getting a little too curious for his own good and walking in on an evil dentist pulling out the teeth of one of his victims. The dentist quickly notices the man and lunges right in for him.
      • The second commercial depicts a similar situation to the above, where a woman comes across a decrepit room filled with the sounds of creepy laughter and foolishly decides to walk forward; eventually discovering the source of some of the laughter: a Monster Clown, that then laughs manically as she screams.
      • In the third commercial, another woman finds herself in the middle of a morgue where the dead bodies begin to come to life. She freaks out and runs into a room for protection, only to discover that in the room with her is a group of sinister surgeons with deformed faces.
  • Fright Nights at Warner Bros. Movie World:
    • 2015: A group of teens become trapped inside the park at night and then find themselves being chased by an army of zombies and monsters. They soon come across the park's exit gate, with a security guard making sure it's locked. They frantically beg the guard to unlock the gates, until said guard turns towards them, reveals that he himself is a monster, and smiles evilly at them. Through a Gory Discretion Shot, the group is then mowed down by the monster horde.
    • 2016: Two girls find themselves in the middle of The Conjuring 2 as one of them is possessed in a manner most unpleasant while the other girl's fate is left uncertain. The advert ends with the possessed girl proclaiming that the park is hers and then uttering a very-dramatic Get Out!.
  • Even the Disney Theme Parks have gotten in on this. This 2007 commercial for Hong Kong Disneyland's Haunted Halloween event shows a group of teens going into a haunted hotel. The two boys decide to mess with the girl by locking her inside. Once locked in, she quickly witnesses the piano playing itself and promptly screams. She then sees much of the hotel's furniture start to come to life before the commercial cuts back to the boys outside. Their laughter quickly turns into screaming once they see the girl walk back out to them...with her head twisted backwards.
    • There's also an alternate version of the commercial that features no people in it, just some unnerving shots of the abandoned hotel coming to life.
  • This 2016 online ad for The Basement of the Dead haunted houses in Aurora, Illinois. It features a woman wearing a creepy, painted-on doll mask staring right into your soul.
  • Halloween Fright Nights at Walibi Holland:
    • 2015: A group of people on a roller coaster arrive back at the unloading station, only to see that the ride operator has been killed. To their side, they then see a bunch of monsters trying to bust through a door to get at them. The riders futilely attempt to lift their safety harnesses before "Eddie the Clown" appears and opens the door for the monsters, who then proceed to devour the guests in what just barely qualifies as a Gory Discretion Shot.
    • 2016:
      • The first commercial is shown through the perspective of a camera, as a man videotapes himself screaming in excitement while enjoying the park, just before things go south when the camera shows him being knocked out and kidnapped, and later him screaming in terror as he's being Buried Alive in a coffin.
      • The second commercial focuses on a creepy woman quietly breaking into the house where a sleepover appears to be going on. She makes it into the room where everyone is sleeping when a photograph falls over, waking up one of the guests. The awakened girl looks around the room, but doesn't see anything, not realizing that the creepy woman is now under her bed. The undead woman then crawls out from under the bed, as the commercial then cuts to the outside of the house, where the screams of all the house occupants can be heard from.
  • A Local Haunted House has a radio ad that starts with a guy calling OnStar, "This is OnStar, how can we help you?", The guy mumbles, then screams "They're trying to get into the car!", "Oh, you need to get into your car, let me just unlock those doors.", "NO! They're trying to... ", sound of unlocking doors, screams and growls and groaning. "Is there anything else we can help you with today?", Demonic voice, "No, he'ssss... goooood."
  • One ad for Bobbejaanland's 2015 Halloween event shows a security camera footage of the Adventure Valley area, from multiple points of the area. Near the entrance, a crawling woman slowly creeps her way towards the camera, while the camera switches to the other areas. It returns to the entrance camera, but the woman is nowhere to be seen. After a few seconds, she pops up in front of the camera and does a loud shriek.

    Health Products 
  • The 2001 commercials for "Carb Solutions" featured someone offering someone on a low-carb diet some snack food before suddenly morphing into a demon with a distorted voice to try and scare them into taking the food, but they turn them down in favour of a Carb Solutions product. The first takes place at a baby shower, while the second (and arguably scarier) happens on an airplane. The name of the product itself had been forgotten for years until 2021, likely due to What Were They Selling Again? and the name being generic.note 
  • LifeCall / LifeAlert, famous for their cheesy "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" commercial, created a more grim version of the ad in 2014. The rebooted commercial starts off dimly lit with shots of an empty house as an elderly lady cries out for help, with the camera revealing that the lady fell down a flight of stairs. The ad received enough complaints that a local news story was broadcast about it, comparing it to a horror movie.
  • Some anti-depressant commercials choose to portray the "depression" as a cute little blob of sadness. Apparently, somebody in charge of a commercial advertising anti-abdominal pain/diarrhea medicine thought that this was a neat concept, and designed this horrifying thing: a happy, smiling lump of knotted intestine.
  • Print adverts for Risperdal, an antipsychotic medication, feature pastel drawings of people having schizophrenic episodes. All effectively drive home the slogan's message that relapses "are a living nightmare".
    • Bryn believes that his Scottish descendants sear his flesh with boiling rain. The image depicts just that, as Bryn kneels in the rain — hands buried in face — as steam rises from his cowering body.
    • Mary remains seated in a chair, dehydrated and unable to control her bowels, claiming witches are perched on her back. Said witches are depicted as black-hooded beings with creepy, emotionless humanoid faces. The kicker? Mary couldn't move for three days.
    • Edward hallucinates that other peoples' flesh rot and fall off. The art style makes his horrified face rather creepy-looking.
    • Amelia believes herself to be stalked by a menacing dog...and that she and the dog are merged together.
    • Andrew thinks demons inhabit his chest; the image depicts him unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a cluster of tiny, bald heads. Perhaps the most surreal of the bunch.
  • The "Crime in America" infomercial, broadcast in the mid-90s as an advertisement for a self-defense stun gun, begins with a viewer discretion warning before hitting the viewer with a fast-paced montage of child abuse, date rape, gang violence, home intrusion, old people being robbed, voyeurism... pretty much any crime you can think of that would give the average housewife enough nightmares to convince her to buy a stun gun. We also hear the audio of a woman's frantic 911 call as a man is inside her house; we hear her shout "No, leave me alone!", and her fate is left unknown. See it for yourself here.
  • Aczone Mirror Faces has a woman who walks into her work area to see many people with hand mirrors for heads staring at her with her reflection surrounding the area. This goes on until she uses the Aczone product, turning the people's heads back to normal.
  • Flu medicine Viro-Grip launched an ad series entitled, "Que la gripe no te ponga llorón"note , making a reference to teary eyes caused by the flu. However, said ad series does it by depicting people with the flu as crying infants with adults' heads superimposed on them. Two of these ads can be watched here and here
  • One ad for anti-smoking kit Smoke Away begins with a beeping heart monitor as a narrator describes in Creepy Monotone the negative effects smoking can have on someone's health. The heart monitor gets more fast-paced as the narrator goes on, and eventually flatlines after the narrator stops speaking. No music plays throughout this opening segment, either. Even worse is that this ad would sometimes air on networks meant for children, such as Toon Disney.
  • The Salvadorean version of an older ad for antiparasitic medication Zentel. The designs of the CGI singing worm family look disturbing, not helped at all by the Camera Abuse, poor lighting and the fact that their song is directly addressing the viewer. Fortunately, the product in question shows up to wipe out the worms with cartoon lightning.

    • The "This is the money you could be saving with Geico" ads. They feature a stack of bills with unblinking googly eyes, just staring into the camera. The song playing in the background, "Somebody's Watching Me", turns the ad from creepy into Paranoia Fuel, although it is mild compared to some of the items on this list, given that it straddles the line between creepy and cute.
    • In this spoof of children's cereal commercials, the CGI mascot looks rather horrifying at the end, when he removes his Cool Shades, glares at the viewer in closeup, and asks, "Why haven't you called Geico?"
  • This Progressive ad begins with a mom driving a car. She briefly turns around to look at her infant. All of a sudden, a person from the car's hood pops out and begins sucking the window, complete with Scare Chord. She turns back and screams upon seeing said person. Even more people pop up, and she tries to get rid of them in various ways. The ad ends with her placing Progressive's Snapshot into the car, and the people slide off the car and walk away.
  • The singing truck ad from Safe Auto. If a vehicle is going to sing, you expect the hood to open, not the bumper. You would spend years expecting the area between the bumper and the grill of vehicles to open up and bite you. And you sure don't expect the headlights to suddenly to look just like eyes and stare at you but be unable to turn, as if it can't see anything directly to its right or left. Then it openly mocks the other vehicles that break down for trying to move loads that are too heavy. It would be like watching a human break their leg and then someone else just sing about how funny that was and walk away.
  • In one GEICO radio commercial, the narrator talks about how she's jealous of Geico's job. She tells the listener she is a glue stick, and her job is to be used with kids. The ad is silly until the end, we hear the sound of children running in from recess and that's when it becomes scary. The voice starts to try to catch the attention of the school teacher not being heard wanting to be saved, as the children are obviously going to use her up. Then the commercial ends without any resolution.

  • The original trailer for Alien is this all the way. It starts off by showing various clips of the film with a Heartbeat Soundtrack and the intermittent sound of a frighteningly inhuman wail playing in the background, before the clips get progressively creepier and creepier, which builds up into everything plummeting into pure insanity as we're then shown quick clips of utter chaos and the characters screaming. The trailer then cuts to complete silence, ending with the iconic tagline being shown:
    In space, no one can hear you scream.
  • The original, banned trailer for The Exorcist. There's not too much to describe: Just a gloomy nighttime shot of Father Merrin arriving at the MacNeil house with some ominous narration, followed by tense "Psycho" Strings and several pulsing, flashing chiaroscuro images of disturbing moments from the titular event, very prominently including closeups of both the demon and possessed Regan's terrifying Nightmare Faces. For a full minute.
  • Promotional posts for the 2015 Poltergeist reboot on Tumblr use a gif of a clown with a red nose pulling up. Once it reaches the top, it stays still for a while, until it jumps at you. It was so controversial that Tumblr users began advising mobile users to scroll down.
    • Even more annoying than that, they were paid sponsor posts (which are scrappies in their own right) and would show up on everyone's feeds regardless of who they were following. This additionally led Tumblr users to advise those who are upset or triggered by such ads to install adblock so the Poltergeist ads (and all other ads) would be avoided.
  • A 1960 radio ad for the film Psycho had Hitchcock compare a film (referred to as Brand X) to his film. The Brand X film had the sounds of horses running and neighing. Hitchcock then says, "Brand X is a western, now for my film." After this, a loud woman's scream is heard.
  • This TV Spot for The End of Evangelion is just as screwed-up as the movie, consisting of nothing but screaming over quickly flashing scenes of death and destruction, ending with Rei giggling.
  • The Nun had a seven-second long ad on YouTube that opened on a plain black screen, followed by the iOS volume icon going down. Right as you'd intuitively try to turn the volume back up, you're faced with the most unholy Jump Scare from the titular Nun. It was pulled due to complaints that it was too shocking for the platform.
  • The original trailer for The Shining is absolutely terrifying, especially since it says so little. We see some credits scrolling over an image of the elevator as the Background Music gets more and more scary, ending on the elevator pouring blood out and flooding the hallway with it.

    Other Food 
  • This ad for Danish Bacon, modeled after the Exorcist. The full version of the ad, which showed the girl snarling and a creaking noise playing as her head spins round, was removed from TV after around 200 concerned parents complained to the Independent Television Commission about the scariness of it. They did permit this version to stay on the air but it could be shown only after the 9pm "watershed." Said version attempts to dilute the scariness by playing unfitting circus music as the girl's head spins, but, in all cases, just makes it even worse.
  • Back in 2009, there was a Planter's Peanuts commercial on the radio where an interviewer was speaking with an older man who ran the facility where they gave Planter's Peanuts their characteristic crunch. When the interviewer asked why Planter's Peanuts were so crunchy, the older man, who had a vaguely Germanic accent, exclaimed that they used "the rendered fat from boiled children" and laughed maniacally. Then, to put the cherry on top, the ad ended with a child's scream followed by a crunch.
  • This Eggo commercial with a boy trying to steal Eggos from his little sister, who's innocently talking to her doll while eating Eggos. But as he reaches for her plate, she suddenly turns into a Medusa-like monster and shouts "Get away from my Eggo!" in a monstrous voice ala the Clown with the Tear-Away Face from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Her brother is so scared, he sits there petrified with his mouth hung open and his sister continues talking to her doll as if nothing happened.
  • This 1950s Green Giant vegetables ad. The people who made this ad sure did a good job making the Jolly Green Giant not so jolly-looking.
  • The Fruit Winders adverts, mainly because of how insane the methods of "winding" and stretching the living fruits in them were. Tying them to an airplane wheel during takeoff, flattening them with a steamroller, grabbing them face first through a cardboard cutout, having them pulled apart. All of them sound like Danganronpa punishments.
  • There used to be a biscuit snack called Munchsters back in the day, and there was a rather freaky advert for it with a rather odd sock puppet man and a creepy child's voice at the end.
  • An early 90s New Zealand commercial for Hudson Toffeepops is the perfect example of Last Note Nightmare. It starts off normal enough, with a young woman teasing her husband with some toffeepops and then both of them goofing around the house. But there's still an unsettling undertone to the whole thing, namely the repeated shots of the couple's lip-shaped sofa saying "Mmmm". Eventually, the couple relax on the sofa and eat the Toffeepops together, and it looks like the commercial is going to end as it shows a picture of the biscuit being filled. Until the commercial cuts back to the sofa and shows they've completely disappeared; aside from their feet and the woman's hand (still holding the can of biscuits) sinking into the sofa. Once they've been completely consumed, the sofa lets out a terrifying Evil Laugh as it changes to a smiley face.
  • Teddy Bears and Dinomac Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ad from 1993 had a boy making a scary-but-funny face and creepily laughs with his unusually large lips. Just imagine the viewer reaction from little kids.
  • This French cheese ad shows a young woman peacefully eating some cheese by the waterfront and listening to music, when suddenly a highly realistic giant monster (looking like a more cartoony version of Gwoemul) leaps out of the water and causes havoc among the crowd. It notices her and starts racing towards her. She looks up and gasps just as it jumps on her and swallows her whole (complete with muffled screaming). Luckily enough, the ad does get better when the monster gets indigestion and spits her out into the water and instead chooses the cheese she was eating at the time, as well as the fact that the whole thing is a light-hearted parody of The Host (2006). Still, the sight of a monster suddenly devouring a young woman can be very unsettling the first time.
  • This 2018 Airhead's commercial starts off with a guy sitting on a subway bringing a bunch of airhead candies asking, "Wanna play?" to everyone to which they respond by eating them. This makes their heads huge like a balloon with tiny bodies; almost resembling the character designs of The Emoji Movie. The rest of the commercial continues with them bumping into windows. Bonus points for alluding to G-Rated Drug
  • Seven of the Panda Cheese Ads usually featured two people somewhere either in the hospital, resturant, work office, or anywhere else. One of them usually has the Panda Cheese product on their food and they would ask another one if they wanted some cheese. The other one would refuse because they didn't like cheese for some reason. After that, the Panda mascot for the cheese product appears out of nowhere with a close-up on his uncanny-looking face with small black beady eyes and a frown on his face, while the song "True Love Ways" by Buddy Holly plays in the background. As he stared at the person who rejected the cheese as people looked on with confusion, he would without warning usually thrash the place where the man or woman were at all because they rejected his cheese products. It then ends with the announcer saying to the viewer, "Never Say No To Panda".
    Getting people to buy their products is one thing, but showing the panda going crazy because they rejected the product is going too far. This probably scared kids into buying Panda Cheese because they probably thought that if they refused, the Panda mascot would come after them. Three of them stand out:
    • The first one has a boy and his father at the grocery store shopping for stuff they need. The boy asks his father if they can get some Panda Cheese, but the father says no to him. Then the panda stands there as the boy and the father look on with confusion, and tips the cart over in anger for rejecting his cheese products. In the second one, which is part two of the shopping ad, the boy asks the father again for some Panda Cheese. The father is about to say no, but then he sees the panda standing there. He remembers what happened the last time he said no, scared of what the panda might do to him, so he gets two of the cheese products. After that the panda follows him and the boy to make sure the father doesn't reject the cheese again.
    • But the scariest one is the last one: a man is in the hospital as the nurse comes in with his food and she asks the man if he wants some Panda Cheese, but the man refuses to have some cheese with his food. The Panda appears again he then goes over to the man and thrashes the whole place, and then snaps his IV support, probably killing the man in the process, all because the man doesn't like Panda Cheese.
    The Nostalgia Critic: This is how every one of them goes. And it's kinda scary as hell! The way he appears out of nowhere, the way he stares at you, that eerily creepy song, everything about this is a world of no. Most of the time it's him destroying something, but here, it's attempted murder!
    Nostalgia Critic: This is so creepy, I could legitimately see him in horror films. Like imagine him in the hallway in The Shining instead of the girls. [shows the scene where Danny meets the girls, only it's the Panda instead of the twins] Or maybe he was really on The Ring tape the whole time. [shows Rachel watching the tape, only to see the Panda. The phone rings, and when she picks it up, "True Love Ways" plays]
  • This Doritos Crash the Superbowl 2016 commercial has a girl on her bike riding down the street. She passed by two neighbors who wanted some Doritos but she told them politely that they were not for them as she was riding down the sidewalk. Suddenly, a big bully boy grabs the bag, prompting the girl to put a demonic purple face, complete with black hollow eyes and red pupils while shouting in a low demonic voice that those doritos were not for him. Scared, the bully gives the Doritos back to the girl and runs away in terror. Then in the end the girl gives the doritos to a young boy around her age telling him that the chips are for him.
    • Another Doritos commercial starts with a mother telling her husband to pick up some items as her daughters walked by her telling her that they want Doritos. She tells him to pick up the snacks as well. Later, when the father comes home eating a bag of Doritos, the tall daughter grabs the bag and whines in a demonic voice that he ate all the Doritos. She screamed loudly as her eyes turned red, the background turned black, and the lights flashed on and off in front of the girl. The father then tells his daughter that he'll pick up more Doritos, making the girl turn back to normal and thank him.
  • This Skippy commercial starts with the man answering the question to the member who sent him the letter about will hypnotizing work through TV then the camera gets close to the man's eyes as he tells the viewers to look deep into them as he tells them about how Skippy Peanut Butter is the only peanut butter that tastes like fresh toasted peanuts while scary music plays in the background. The light glowing in his face makes it even more scary like he's trying to hypnotize you for real! It then ends with the camera pulling away from his face and back to his normal friendly self.

    Personal Care Products 
  • Back in the 1980's, there was a Japanese commercial for Kleenex. This ad featured a woman in a white dress and an infant dressed as a creature from Japanese mythology in a red room that was empty except for some Kleenex. The ad had very unfitting, but catchy music (It's A Fine Day, by Miss Jane). The ads received complaints from Japanese viewers, who said the imagery and the song (which some claimed sounded similar to a German curse) were disturbing, and were subsequently pulled off the air.
    • Due to the ad's disturbing nature, there has been talk that the commercial was cursed and that everyone involved in the production of the ad either died or suffered terribly. For example, many say that the infant was killed by the paint used on it for the ad, and depending on the version of the myth you're hearing, the woman either killed herself in a mental asylum or gave birth to a demon baby.
    • There was also a rumor that if the ad was played at midnight, it would become very distorted and would be even more creepy. In addition, many believed that the viewing of this ad at midnight would curse the viewer and ultimately cause their death shortly after.
    • There was also another ad that aired around the same time, that also tried to be charming with the little girl dressed as an angel while blowing around tissues in slo-mo, but the dark shed setting accompanied with the creepy Gregorian chanting suggests the opposite. It's practically a Dada Ad.
  • An advertisement for Sure woman's deodorant featured women riding a "ghost train" attraction at a carnival, which features animatronic displays that portray typical life situations that girls face which might cause them to sweat (a teacher yelling at them to "come up to the blackboard", a puppet father showing off his embarrassing dance moves, and an unnerving little boy on a bicycle). Some might find the ad hilarious, while others might be unsettled by the out-worldly mannequins.
    Child Animatronic: [innocently] I like to read... [sinisterly] YOUR EMAILS! [laughs manically as the girls in the car scream in horror]
    • There's a U.S. version made for Degree Girl, that starts the same way. It starts with the teacher, who tells them "You girls, come to the front of the class!", followed by the father who comes to take them home, and instead of the boy on a bicycle, it's replaced by a police officer who tells them, "License and registration" please, causing the girls to scream.
  • One freaky Lynx deodorant ad in the UKnote  features a guy becoming "as irresistible as chocolate"...and that means turning him into a chocolate man with a creepy, dead-eyed frozen grin. As if that's not bad enough, the fact that he's breaking off pieces from himself and people are eating these and off of him is downright questionable. Despite being disturbing, it earned a U rating for cinema release.

    Pest Control 
  • Orkin had a series of commercials in which a creepy person repeatedly tries to get into suburban homes using a variety of flimsy stories, such as delivering a pizza, his car broke down and he wants to call his brother, etc. The creepy part is that the person is a six-foot tall termite/ant/cockroach. Not a guy in a cute costume, but a giant, talking, realistic-looking CG insect that sounds like a serial killer. One can hope that someone thought it would be funny, perhaps they wanted it to be just a little creepy. What they managed was "Giant alien insects are going to try and con their way into your homes to rape you and dangle your intestines from the ceiling". That would suffice better for an ad for a new shotgun. There's another one where a giant mosquito tries to get into a pool with a couple that were having a romantic moment. He drops his swimsuit and asks "are we...dipping skinny" before the Orkin guy shows up.
    • This one has a vacationing family return to find two rats playing guitar in their living room. One of the rats says "You were not supposed to be back until Sunday." and then adds "we could use the boy on drums" in this menacing tone that sounds like he's going to rape and murder them all then and there. Makes the Orkin guy practically look like a Big Damn Hero.
    • And just when you thought it couldn't get worse... During the 2011 bedbug scare in New York City, Orkin released a new commercial about a woman chatting with someone in a singles bar...a someone that was another six-foot, realistic looking bedbug. That alone is terrifying, but the ending sees the bedbug asking her, "What do you say we go back to your place?" Considering what kind of creature this is, and where you find them, the implications couldn't be any clearer.
  • Some ads for Baygon aren't safe from being this. Case in point:
    • This ad from the Philippines starts with the shot of a cockroach egg behind a fridge at night. The caption reads, "THIS EGG CONTAINS 28 ROACHES." Then, the camera pans away from the egg, replacing the caption with another one that reads, "ABOUT 1,000 EGGS ARE IN YOUR HOME." When the cockroach that laid the egg crawls out of the fridge, a man squashes it with a sandal. Then a voiceover says...
      "It's not enough to kill the one you can see, because there could be 28,000 left behind, and they'll want revenge."
      (cue the man turning back and screaming in terror as a massive swarm of cockroaches crawls out of every corner of the kitchen)
    • Another Filipino ad for Baygon Total Insect Killer depicts cockroaches, flies, and mosquitoes with bulging 3D letters across their backs spelling out the names of the diseases they carry. When the product is shown, it knocks them (and the bulging letters) away in the viewer's direction.
    • This time from Argentina, this 1996 ad for Baygon Verde Ultra starts in a dark room with three doors. The first swarm crawls towards the left door and terrorizes a woman in the middle of ironing. The second swarm takes the middle door and scares another mid-shower, but the third swarm stops abruptly at the last door and they run in terror instead; the door was sprayed with Baygon previously (one of the roaches even flies toward the screen).

    Political Advertisements 
  • The very first negative political TV ad in the United States was Lyndon Johnson's iconic 1964 campaign ad "Daisy". A little girl innocently counts the petals on a flower in a meadow, before looking up suddenly, at which point the frame freezes and we are treated to an extreme close-up of her eye. While this occurs, a male announcer has begun counting down to one. At the count of one, shots of nuclear explosions and firestorms play until the ad concludes with Lyndon Johnson's voice: "These are the stakes: to make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die." Then the voiceover, by sportscaster Chris Schenkel: "Vote for President Johnson on Nov 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay home." The ad — obviously referencing Cold War nuclear paranoia — was broadcast only once and has since gone down in history as one of the most successful ads ever: Johnson won a landslide victory.
  • Tom Campbell. Is he what he tells us? Yes, it's Carly Fiorina's infamous "Demon Sheep" advert, widely considered one of the weirdest political adverts ever made.
  • This Nixon ad from 1968 shows still frames from what appears to be the Democratic National Convention, with patriotic music playing in the background. However, every time the ad focuses on Hubert Humphrey, the image is distorted, the music turns into a creepy echo, and we're shown images of violence, war, and poverty. At the end, before the image begins to distort once more, the ad suddenly shifts to text on a black background, with no music playing, asking the viewer to vote like their world depended on it.

    Sit-Down Restaurants 
  • Chuck E. Cheese's:
    • In early-1995, the restaurant ran a pretty spooky commercial where three kids were at a German, Chinese and Mexican restaurant looking at their food in disgust (with some pretty creepy culture-appropriate music playing in the background - such as an off-key yodeler for the German restaurant). The kids all whined "I should've said Chuck E. Cheese please" and were abruptly teleported to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.
    • The 1994 Crabs ad. The announcer tells the viewers that Chuck E. Cheese's has pizza, games, and prizes while seafood restaurant has crabs. It's tame until the very end, where a giant crab monster making silly sounds waddles toward the boy who backs away in fear. He shouts, "I should've said Chuck E. Cheese!". Chuck E. comes in, throws the net over the crab saving the boy, and he takes the boy to his restaurant. While the sound the crab monster makes is funny, the aspect of the crab is creepy.
    • The 1994 Boring Restaurants ad where one boy is waiting for the waitress and food. But then it gets progressively creepier as time passes, cobwebs appear, candles melt, the boy grows a very freakishly long beard and the music, clock noises and even the man's voice slows to a halt. We also get a close up of the bearded boy's face as his says "I should've said Chuck E. Cheese please!" and at the very end of the commercial, his head falls to the table. This commercial is the creepiest of all.
  • IHOP:
    • This 1969 ad tries to be whimsical with its Moog synthesizer music, Chipmunk singing and footage of a family running in slow motion, but the execution is just disturbigly surreal.
    • A fall ad from 2018 does this intentionally with a human-faced pumpkin. It works very well. Uncomfortably well.

    Satellite TV Providers 
  • In 1998, when British Sky Broadcasting were launching their new Sky Digital TV satellite service in order to promote their launch, BSkyB composed this advertisement of different 90's era televisions seemingly moving, floating and flying about and wreaking themselves apart in various and apparently brutal and violent ways.

    This at first might not sound like much; however, along with all the different TV sets doing everything from flying about, breaking their own exteriors or just plain exploding on the spot, there are messages appearing on the screen of each television something along the line of I have so much more to give and I can do so much more, all while being shown in various locations ranging from a darkly lit living room, to the middle of a forest in the night, to a hospital ward on a patient's bed to a children's roundabout right in the middle of a deserted beach-cliffside like something out of Prypiat, Ukraine meets the opening to Terminator 2 Judgmentday (Flaming TV set not withstanding).

    Couple that with a disturbing choir-soundtrack and substantially executed quick an dramatic editing of all these situations much like something you would expect to see in an Aphex Twin music video, all to get to the view of another cliffside with more TVs attempting to throw themselves of the cliff, only to be stopped by a sky digital truck passing by, before the advert's intended message comes up saying that: From this day forth, all televisions great and small will be able to reach their full potential followed by: Sky Digital It's what your television's been crying out for.
  • The DirecTV ads that are meant to show how ugly wires are - they have a man married to a woman who is a hideous-looking puppet with wires. This gets really creepy in the second commercial where the man's son appears...who is also a puppet. A third commercial has the puppet woman trying to look sexy for her husband.

  • This 2014 IKEA ad shouldn't be Nightmare Fuel. Unfortunately, due to the narrator's Creepy Monotone and the lack of context to her words, it is.
  • Even familiar everyday supermarkets aren’t safe from this. In 2023, Tesco decided to promote their long-running Clubcard loyalty scheme with a TV advert in which customers’ delight at saving money causes their faces to distort into cartoonish grins in a manner akin to a grotesque Snapchat filter. The ad’s visuals prompted an immediate backlash from viewers, who called it “terrifying” and “creepy”.

    Television Shows/Networks 
  • To advertise new episodes of The Heart, She Holler, [adult swim] would randomly throw a Jump Scare into commercials for their other shows. To make matters worse, they would show up in the middle of the night. People were so ticked off by it that some refused to watch the channel until the promos are taken down.
    • The series most notably had this ad, which consists of nothing but Meemaw (one of the show's characters) laughing wickedly while blood comes out of her mouth. Not exactly something you would want to see in the middle of the night.
  • All of the teaser ads for American Horror Story's sixth season are short but in no way sweet. Depicted in the individual ads are scenes of bugs crawling across a woman's face, hands coming out of a staircase and grabbing a victim's ankle, a man getting "?6" stapled into his scalp, a woman swallowing an eyeball, a creepy doll coming to life, and much more.
  • When easportsbig899 compiled his "Top 10 Scary Adverts", he chose this for the #1 spot. In case you're wondering (and you will if you watch it), it's a TNT promo, and it's an indescribably horrific blend of Mind Screw and Surreal Horror.
  • An Autumn 2011 Discovery UK ad for Deadliest Catch is this: a deep man's voice singing a slow version of "Row Row Row Your Boat" while clips from the show play in the background, with no context for any of them.
  • There was an ad in the '90s for The 700 Club. The ad began with a shot of Earth from space, and the narrator ominously asked, "Could this be the end?" And immediately after, the Earth explodes. The narrator then says to buy a book about "the signs of the times".
  • The ads for Shark Week on the Discovery Channel featuring a cute little seal, named Snuffy, being released into the ocean on a gurney. However, at the last minute a shark jumps out and eats him.
  • Back when Game Show Network still aired The Price Is Right, they had an ad featuring two clips from the show: first showed Bob Barker remarking that both Showcase contestants had made the same bid, and it had never happened before. The second clip was from an earlier episode showing it had happened before. Nothing scary yet...until the screen fades to black with the message, "Be careful what you say...Game Show Network is watching."
  • In the 90's, Mexican TV channel Canal 5 hired Alejandro González Ińárritu to create some idents for the channel. These idents are now remembered for not only their surrealness but also how horrifying some of them were to kids watching:
  • This one has a narrator talking in a demonic voice about how Canal 5 will trap your five senses as he changes the channels in the TV. A couple watching it dismisses it, calling them clowns and turning off the TV. Then, the narrator tells them that they may turn the TV off, but that they can't escape. The couple panics in horror as they realize that they are trapped in a TV. The narrator laughs as the ads ends.
    • Another one from the same TV channel has a man walking up to open the fridge while the TV is functioning in the background, then a monstrous hand comes out from the fridge and grabs the screaming man into it, the TV then shows static for a few moments until it then shows the man trapped underwater looking around confused.
  • Spain's TV horror channel Calle 13 used to run what they called ''idents'': tiny pieces of psychological horror (and sometimes Fridge Horror) who varied between "oh, that's creepy" and "HOLY FUCK":
    • "Andén (Platform)": A man is waiting in an empty train station and another man gets behind him, ready to push him onto the tracks as a train comes in.
    • "Báscula (Scales)": We see a closeup of somebody measuring their weight then the noise of a chainsaw is heard, and the weight starts to go down.
    • "Bate (Bat)": A man is in a sports store, looking over the baseball bats probably looking for one strong enough to smash someone's head in.
    • "Contenedor (Container)": The camera zooms on a dumpster, but then some men moves it out of the way and we see a suspicious trash bag (probably a body) hidden behind.
    • "Cielo (Heaven/Sky)": Probably the most creepy of all of them. We start with a nice shot of a blue sky and the sun and then, very slowly, the lid of a coffin covers the sight.
    • "Diana (Bullseye)": All we see is a dartboard. As the camera zooms in, we see two darts being thrown at the dartboard, and hear a third being thrown at something offscreen.
    • "Jardín (Garden)": We see a normal house, with a telephone ringing inside it. Then the camera pans down, while the telephone sounds closer and closer, until it focus on the garden, where there's something buried...
    • "Patito (Duckling)": The camera zooms on a bathtub, where we can hear air bubbles pop and suddenly a rubber duck emerges from under the water (for bonus points, it then turns to look towards the camera slightly).
    • "Ascensor (Elevator)"": The camera pans towards an elevator in an empty building. It opens, only to reveal a suitcase with no one next to it.
    • "Copas (Wine Glasses)": A shot of two glasses filled with wine, with someone briefly moving in front and walking away. A pair of hands then swaps their place.
    • "Lista (List)": Someone is seen highlighting something in a book. It appears to be a list of names in a phone book. Perhaps he's making a hit list?
    • "Maletero (Trunk)": A man has trouble closing a trunk. It may or may not contain a body.
    • "Parque (Park)": A shot of a chair swing ride currently not being ridden on that seems normal until it pans up to show a someone working on a ladder.
    • They also made two other idents for a promotion called "Total Action."
      • The first one has a teen walk into a bus, shortly after, a woman panics, trying to stop the bus and telling the driver, "We're going to die!" At the end, a well dressed businessman goes up and tells everyone to stay still or risk being shot.
      • The other one has a young man and a woman at a supermarket, with a worker near them. Then, the worker squirts ketchup around himself, pleading for help. The other people look at him weirdly. It ends with the young man opening up his jacket filled with bombs, threatening to set them off.
      • A closer look a both shows that there's no real danger in either ad and they're depicting ordinary folks acting out action movie cliches for fun: the businessman is merely holding up a newspaper and the young man in the second ad has a bunch of artichokes strapped to his chest, not grenades. They can still be alarming at first glance, though.
    • Another series of idents all played out the say. Each started out with a perfectly normal situation, only for someone to hold up a photograph that can give certain implications...
      • Parking: A man is packing up his car. Someone holds up a tablet. What's playing on the tablet? A guy stuffing a dead body into his trunk. The fact that the body's legs are obviously fake can either make the situation better or worse.
      • Secuestrado (Kidnapped): The camera shows a waiting room, with a guy reading a newspaper. Someone holds up a picture of a guy (who too has a newspaper, though is just showing the headline) with a gun pointed at his head.
      • Vértigo: Some walks up to a curb, with the camera pointed at their feet. They then hold up a picture of them standing on the edge of a building.
      • A variant had a similar scenario, but instead of a photograph, the person holds up a smartphone playing footage of a guy hanging by his fingers.
      • Barbería (Barber): Camera shows a guy getting a shave. The cameraman starts reading a newspaper. He turns the page, what's the headline? An earthquake is expected.
      • Boda (Wedding): Camera is centered on a church, with a 1930's car parked nearby, decorated. Cameraman holds up a picture of a similar car, only riddled with bullet holes.
      • Chica duerme (Sleeping Girl): We see a woman sleeping with the lights on. Seems peaceful. But then, the cameraman holds up what seems to be a dark green filter, giving the footage a creepy night vision effect. Even worse? He starts breathing furiously as the camera approaches the woman.
      • Cortacesped (Lawnmower): Camera shows a girl relaxing in the grass. Cameraman holds up a magazine. What's on it? An advertisement for a lawnmower, with the front of the mower placed right over the girls head.
      • Francotirador (Sniper): Camera shows a busy street. The cameraman holds up a magnifying glass over someones head, with the lens being decorated with a sniper reticle.
      • Maleta (Suitcase): Camera is in a hotel room, with an open suitcase on the bed. The cameraman holds up a picture of a suitcase with a gun and (possibly counterfeited) money inside.
      • Piscina (Pool): Similar to the Vertigo ones, with a guy walking up to the edge of a pool. He then holds up a postcard depicting a shark jumping out of the water.
  • In 2003, CBBC was advertised with two kids' necks elongating to ridiculous lengths and snaking around an assortment of CBBC characters, set to Basement Jaxx's "Where's Your Head At". The result is hideous. You can see it in this video at 1:50.
    • A later one had children's heads turning into space hoppers, which was arguably worse.
  • Playboy TV of all things once had an unnecessarily disturbing advert in which an old man talks about how a subscription to the channel has rejuvenated his sex life. His freaking smile at the end is bad enough, but that's not all — the caption that accompanies his horrifying grin claims he's only 28 years old. It seems to imply that watching Playboy TV causes Rapid Aging.
  • G4TV's ad for their short-lived Midnight Spank block, involving a man and a guinea pig. It starts out simply a bit eerie, with a random guinea pig demanding this sleeping man get out of bed with his wife to watch TV, and then, well..."Tom, do you want me to eat your other kidney?". The music also would work really well in a horror movie. See for yourself.
    • And that's not all. There's also a deer who can "make everyone you've ever loved disappear forever", and a butterfly who threatens to reveal the writhing, bleeding contents of a "horrible bag". The deer one has a particularly creepy addition where the faces of the main character's family burn out on a picture, accompanied by horrifying screams.
      • There's even a second version of the guinea pig ad where the guinea pig has eaten the man's leg instead of his kidney, and threatens to eat the other one. It's possibly even worse due to the part where the man wiggles the stub where his leg used to be.
  • One ad for MTV's Scream: The TV Series on YouTube had scenes of the show combined with the visuals of the mask of the killer all set to someone whispering ''Click Skip and Die'' over and over again. So many people complained (there was even a twitter account about it) that MTV probably pulled it and the ad was lost until it was re-uploaded in 2020.
  • The marketing campaign for Channel 4's Humans, which ran on pure Uncanny Valley. The trailer was presented as an advert for Persona Synthetics, a company that makes androids, and showcased one family's particularly creepy robotic servant.
  • This Japanese advert for Shizuoka Broadcasting. We have a tired guy watching a Samurai film. As he tries to turn off the TV, the Samurai start talking to him. They bargain with him to keep watching by threatening to kill an actress and offering him Soccer and Music as alternatives. Anyways he shuts it off, and a Samurai opens the TV Screen and starts chasing the guy with the TV.
    Samurai: Let's Talk, Face to Face!
  • This promo for Gravity Falls makes great use of suspense and Nothing Is Scarier. Dipper and Mabel are waiting for a mysterious creature that’s hiding out in the closet. It’s fairly humorous...until the ending where something jumps out of the closet and attacks the twins. It sets the show’s tone perfectly.
  • This Freaky Friday night block promo from the Singaporean free-to-air youth-orientated channel Okto showcasing Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Dark Oracle feels like it came out from a horror movie trailer, which is justified as it is a block showcasing horror themed shows. But what makes this worse was when this block was shown in a kids timeslot and not the adult timeslot.

    Theme Park Attractions 
  • Universal Studios attractions:
    • This commercial for Revenge of the Mummy certainly isn't recommended for people with a fear of snakes. It shows a massive horde of scarab beetles and cobras escaping from the ride building, with one of the cobras making it down into the sewers and eventually ending up inside a home when it crawls out of a bathtub spout. The cobra then begins to crawl under a sleeping boy's blanket as if it's about to attack, until the boy wakes up via Catapult Nightmare and realizes it was All Just a Dream.
    • One of the commercials for King Kong 360 depicts a young boy getting so scared by Kong that he rapidly ages into an old man (a la the Xbox commercial mentioned under Video Games) while continuously screaming and staring deep into the camera. What makes it especially disturbing is the fact that the effect is done with very Unintentional Uncanny Valley-inducing CGI.
    • The 1999 Dr. Seuss-themed advert used to promote the opening of Universal's Islands of Adventure, primarily due to the unintentionally creepy-looking Cat in the Hat that appears towards the end.
    • Universal Studios Japan had this ad for its temporary Biohazard: The Real 3 attraction (an interactive experience based around the Resident Evil series). Shown entirely from a participant's POV, we see him first get briefed on his mission, which ends up going horribly south as his teammates are shown being taken down by zombies while he desperately tries to shoot as many of the flesh-eaters as possible. It seems as if he has the upper hand for a while, but that all changes when he gets cornered by the enemies, with the commercial cutting to black as a zombie dives in for the kill.
  • Alton Towers attractions:
    • The coaster, Thirteen had an advert that was only allowed to be shown at post-watershed times. In it, a creepy-looking girl that's covered in vines slowly walks through a forest while warning viewers to "not go into the woods alone". Following right after is a shot of a bunch of people on a roller coaster suddenly falling down into a Bottomless Pit.
    • These ads for The Smiler is filled with these. All 4 ads, when watched together, tell a disturbing story: A couple are making a school project about Miles Cedar, from the Ministry of Happiness. They visit him and have an interview with him about his book. After taking some VHS tapes and fleeing from him, they watch the VHS, and realize that he's been brainwashed by the Ministry, in a series of disturbing videos. It ends with the girl becoming brainwashed herself, and the guy having a video call with Miles, who asks him to "Join us." The Jump Scare at the end of the first video does not help.
      • The main ad is just as scary, with a rider telling another rider to "Join us." At the end, the other rider is brainwashed too, and after the first rider tells him, "You belong to The Smiler", we are treated to a closeup of the second rider's face as the announcer talks about the ride.
  • Thorpe Park ran an advert for Derren Brown's Ghost Train that was later banned for being "too scary." It begins with text asking the viewer to count as many Christmas bunnies as they can. The bunnies are shown playing around a snowy railroad track, while a cheery Christmas song plays in the background. Then, a monster tears through the scene and screams, as we cut to a message from the park wishing us a Happy Christmas. View it here.
  • The 1999 Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom ad for the Dominator drop tower features a man riding the ride alone while a pressure gauge goes up. Then, the ride stops at the top for a few seconds and plummets down. As it plummets down, the man screams at an increasingly high pitch, the pressure gauge drops, and as the ride speeds up, the still screaming man's face is stretched out and his screaming causes the camera to crack and shatter.

  • The now-infamous commercial for the "Baby-Laughs-A-Lot" doll was intended to be cute and funny, but fails at that in every single way imaginable.
  • Similarly to the above, the commercial for the "Baby Secret" doll also fails horribly in being cute, as the whispering noises it makes sound straight-up demonic.
  • Transformer commercials from the '90s are pretty awesome, showing Transformer toys and robots with cool retro music playing in the background, but at the end of each commercial, the boy stares at the camera as his eyes turn green and he says the tagline ("Robots in disguise!") in a robotic tone of voice.

    Video Games 
  • An ad for the game Turok: Evolution showed two people swinging on a swing-set when suddenly, at random, the boy's hand becomes slashed and bleeds. Roars are heard and it cuts to numerous dinosaurs running about. It then cuts back to the boy and girl, both screaming. Cut to more dinosaurs before the final cut of the swingset, which has red mulch and a broken, red swingset seat.
  • There was a set of commercials for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. During which, people around the world watched on as the moon slowly descended upon them. A radio show took calls and kept a countdown going. In one ad, it showed a boy, playing alone in a white room, sweat rolling down his forehead while he continuously glances upwards... at the end, everybody is running for their lives... here's the link.
  • This little horror advertising Assassin's Creed II can potentially be a mixture of this, Unintentional Uncanny Valley, Paranoia Fuel, and Nothing Is Scarier. It's just pictures of characters' faces with an ominous churchbell playing. And yet it manages to creep the pants off of many people who see it, especially if they see it in the middle of the night for the first time without knowing what it is. The commercial gets worse if you're aware of the game's narrative, because all of the characters shown in the video have been murdered by the assassin protagonist Ezio (who's own face shows up as the very last one). So you're effectively staring at a bunch of dead people (even given they are fictional characters)..
  • The PlayStation brand seems to have an unfortunate knack for these type of ads.
    • The original PlayStation's American launch campaign, eNOS. Each commercial consisted of small clips of gameplay from launch titles mixed in with live-action clips of various imagery, all accompanied by a distorted, robotic-sounding voice. Watch one of the ads here...unless you plan on sleeping tonight.
    • This European ad. The family speaking only in video game sounds could be funny.....but then the commercial decides to go into Nausea Fuel territory and zoom in their mouths to reveal their uvulas are shaped like the PlayStation buttons, in a very gruesome display. Seriously, do NOT click on that link if you're planning to eat.
    • Mental Wealth features a freaky humanoid alien girl. She stares at you in an empty white room and philosophizes about the human endeavor in a thick Scottish accent. Some versions of the ad end with her looking at something off-camera and giggling sinisterly. As Cracked put it, the tagline "DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PLAYSTATION" that appears at the end of the commercial sounds much more akin to a threat.
    • This demented advert for PlayStation 2 directed by David Lynch. It starts off pretty normal, with a dude walking down a slightly spooky corridor full of smoke. Thirty seconds in, his head flies off and swims in front of him for a moment, then re-attaches itself before a disembodied arm with a clenched fist at the end appears to punch him in the face and then flies out of his mouth, distorting his face for a moment. It gets worse: he then looks down at his hands and sees they have disappeared, with only smoke pouring out of his sleeves. Then the smoke clears and he sees four figures sitting on a couch - the disembodied arm, a clone of himself, a disturbingly still mummy with bloodstains at the mouth and one eye, and a person with a duck for a head who croaks at him, "WELCOME. TO. THE. THIRD. PLACE." Despite its horrible content and the fact that it was directed by the man who gave us Eraserhead, it would be shown on TV in the middle of the day.
    • The infamous PS3 launch commericial with the robotic baby.
    • A teaser for the European PlayStation Store's 2016 Black Friday Deals had a group of people "play it cool" while waiting for the eponymous deals...which is shown by having their faces distorted in slow motion in the most unsettling ways possible while they waved. The ominous orchestral music that was playing didn't help matters. Thankfully this example is tamer than most, as some may find the general concept of the ad and the faces made to be heaping amounts of Narm.
  • The commercials for the Game Boy Color often had the C on "Color" morph into a pair of lips and suddenly shout "Get into it!" at the end, functioning as a Jump Scare.
  • Sega had something similar with a loud voice yelling "SEGA!" at the end of their commercials. Not so bad in the Genesis and Game Gear commercials, but it was really freaky in the Saturn commercials, in which a disturbing blue head would come flying at the camera really fast, yelling something like "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, SEGA!" or just "SEGA!" in a creepy distorted voice before morphing into the Saturn logo. In a few ads, the head would have a different shape and color, like in the NiGHTS into Dreams… ad, in which the head was purple and shaped like NiGHTS' head.
    • Speaking of the Sega Saturn, many commercials from that particular era would make one wonder if they were all seemingly designed to induce fear onto unsuspecting viewers. Infamously marking the beginning of this era was the freaky Sega Saturn promotional tape and the Theater of the Eye" ad campaign. Funny thing is, Sega of America wanted the Theater of the Eye campaign to succeed, they even heavily promoted it on FOX and MTV, but it ended up scaring potential customers shitless.
    • This commercial for Eternal Champions has two older fighting games running and screaming in fear from the titular game's box, which growls at them and chases them down as the announcer says, "Eternal Champions is gonna eat your old fighting games for lunch!". Eventually, the box corners one of the older fighting games in the kitchen and devours it, with it screaming the entire time. Then the box lands on WELCO METOT HENEX TLEVEL, Sega's slogan at the time, which is made out of silverware, and belches "SEGA!". The music and the atmosphere certainly don't do the commercial any favors.
    • The "Do me a favour, plug me into a Sega" commercial from the UK, for the Sega Master System (but identified only as "the Sega"), starts with the colour bars and quickly morphs them into a CGI face for your television, as your set starts overexcitedly rambling, in a voice that's a mix of a Cyberman and Max Headroom, about wanting to be connected to a Master System, while its eyes show very tiny footage of the games it namedrops before they and its mouth detach from the face and wander around the screen in a circle for a moment. It legitimately comes out of nowhere, and the actual marketing footage and images either are very hard to see, or are only on the screen for a brief moment before the commercial ends.
    • The UK's "Sega Pirate TV" campaign, which took the premise of a pirate broadcaster interrupting the commercial break, punctuated by a computer generated skull screaming "You have just been invaded by Sega Pirate TV!!", before cutting to the deranged host, Fezhead. Another ad in the line included Fezhead as a barber, upgrading a cyborg gamer playing Sonic 2 via the "cyber-razor cut." It even extended to fake billboards being erected for other products, that suddenly had the Skull and a message that "Sega Pirate TV Invades Friday" appear overnight.
      • Sega Pirate TV was then adapted into the equally nightmarish and confusing "Pirate STC" for Sonic the Comic, which itself had been given terrifying no-context adverts in prior issues.
      • The UK advertising for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 used the imagery of a cartoon hedgehog squashed flat after being run over by a car, with the snarky note that the animal was "obviously not as fast as Sonic the Hedgehog."
    • The Netherlands and Sweden briefly gave the Mega Drive the ominous and threatening tagline "Beat us. If you can."
    • The early American marketing for the Dreamcast, which features little to no explanation of what the Dreamcast is, but focuses on the line "It's thinking..."
      • Sega of America's explanation for what "It's thinking" meant? A "technology engine inside Sega Dreamcast that can evolve and continue to outsmart human opponents."
    • This one from France, with the same CGI animated color bars as the UK's "Plug Me Into A Sega", shows the color bar face speaking in a weird distorted voice. At some point, some weird colors flash about. And if that wasn't bad enough, the ad ends with a creepy laugh that rises up in pitch with a haunting echo.
  • When launching the original Xbox, Microsoft apparently felt the need to copy many of the Playstation's traits... including their creepy commercials.
    • The mosquito ad. It begins with mosquitoes buzzing in the form of music, and all the other jungle animals dancing to the beat, while the narrator (who is a mosquito) tells us about how his species used to make music. Seems innocent so far, right? But then the narrator says "One day, a voice told us, 'Get a job!'" Cut to close-up shots of a mosquito on a pulsating heart, mosquitoes sucking blood from arms and people in the hospital, and a close-up shot of a mosquito's abdomen filling up with blood. It's very unsettling, to say the least.
    • And that was the one that wasn't taken off the air. Another launch ad that was eventually banned from broadcast, "Life is short", details the...exceedingly short life of a man. In that the man is born, at high velocity... launched into the air, ages from birth to old age in the space of around 30 seconds, then finally crashes into his grave. See it here at your own risk.
    • This obscure horror. A security guard is asleep in front of TVs showing security camera feeds. A man appears in front of each of them at the same time, one-by-one, and launches into a cryptic monologue about the dawn of a new age. At the end of the commercial, the camera zooms out to show the entire security room, the man appears for a split second in the room, looking directly at the viewer. It can come as a Jump Scare if you're not expecting it.
  • The American ad for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island depicted a man eating more and more food at a restaurant, and getting fatter and fatter, while the narrator talks about how much data and features are crammed into the game's cartridge. Pretty soon, the man eats one little piece of whipped cream, and then explodes a la Mr. Creosote, with his stomach contents splattering everyone in the restaurant. A piece of spaghetti then splatters the game box, and then we cut to a shot of more of the stomach contents splattered on a wall, spelling out the SNES motto (Play it Loud). Due to the sheer number of complaints of how sickening this commercial was, it was only aired a few times before it was replaced with a bowdlerized version, in which the splattering and exploding is heard off-screen as a woman at a table turns and looks to the left, the spaghetti doesn't fall on the box, and the stomach contents spelling "PLAY IT LOUD" are now a bright, rich, thin, non-gross green slime that resembles Nickelodeon slime.
    • The American ad for the Game Boy Advance Re-Issue had a daughter who is pushing the crosswalk sign's button after a short day of shopping with her mom in which she unlocks the car to put her daughter's things in, enabling Yoshi to throw an egg towards the car, thus breaking it. The screen reveals to what we see, a slowly rotating Game Boy Advance, showing clips from the remake of Yoshi's Island, then it slowly rotates, showing only a black screen, as the rest of the car falls off.
    • And here's an obscure '80s Nintendo commercial from Australia that features various enemies from Nintendo games (and the Duck Hunt dog, for some reason) taunting the viewer over and over with, "YOU CANNOT BEAT US" in a menacing, Dalek-like voice while the sinister "Bowser's castle" theme from Super Mario Bros. played in the background. The commercial ends with the "game over" music, which never sounded more depressing. The primitive computer graphics on the characters only makes the ad creepier, to the point that you might want to go to the bathroom to empty your bowels in pants-pissing terror.
    • A un-aired European commercial for Donald in Maui Mallard (SNES version) (from 1996) had Donald Duck (disguised as a ninja) fighting off the evil witch doctor and his minions while finding the lost Shabuhm Shabuhm idol as he travels to different levels to track down the thief who stole it (as a blonde-haired Hawaiian tour guide says "OW! THAT DOES LEAVE A MARK!" after being zapped by the evil witch doctor's powers). While the blonde-haired Hawaiian tour guide is knocked out, Donald chases after the evil witch doctor through the jungle, with the announcer saying "get yours today or the witch doctor could zap you!". The commercial ends with the slogan "Will You Ever Reach the End?" (with the name of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System appearing in front of it).
  • A Pokémon Red and Blue commercial had a creepy bus driver take a bus full of Pokémon to a car compactor. In goes the bus, out goes a Game Boy with the Pokémon trapped in it.
  • This Pokémon GO commercial about the 2022 GO Fest Finale can pass off as a creepypasta video featuring Ultra Beast sightings. Special mentions to the Buzzwole who jumps off from an Ultra Wormhole right in front of a man trying to attack it and the Xurkitree that was hanging outside of a building. Then it goes back to continuing the first footage where a woman filmed a Nihilego, and then it approaches her in a seemingly friendly manner (although based on what Nihilego actually does if it runs into a person, this isn't pleasant) before it goes up to reunite with a whole swarm of Nihilego.
  • This ad for FIFA '14, which features the player turning into Lionel Messi. Literally.
  • A magazine ad for Cardinal Syn depicted a severed head impaled on an axe, with the tagline "Happiness is a warm cranium".
  • The print adverts for Resistance: Fall of Man took old-timey sepia photographs of children and edited them to look like the monsters from the game. The result is a mix of Uncanny Valley and Nightmare Face.
  • This OUYA commercial, which shows a stereotypical pantless angry gamer raging over paying $60 for a game, then proceeding to vomit so much he floods his own room, then pull out his jaw and his spine and beat himself up with it, mutilating himself, before finally lying in the pool of his own vomit and weakly proclaiming "OUYA!"
  • The official WWE 2K17 commercial has a Fallout-like setting, textbook-Soundtrack Dissonance Background Music, several Superstars looking legitimately ready to invoke The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You, and this Wham Line:
    Paul Heyman: Enjoy your stay. *Cue Brock Lesnar.*
  • There was a commercial from the late 90s for Intelligent Qube that featured a snooty middle school-aged girl at a spelling bee and about to spell a ridiculously long and difficult word. As she's twelve letters into spelling it, all of a sudden a large block falls out of the sky and crushes her. It's Played for Laughs (apparently) and thankfully involves Bloodless Carnage, but still.
  • This Dutch commercial for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is basically a live-action remake of the memetically famous "Obey Wario, Destroy Mario" advert. Not only does the actor playing Wario make him seem downright demented, but the hall of mirrors-like camera effects make the whole thing rather trippy.

  • A Mexican ad for toilet cleaner Bref begins with a screaming CGI little red devil representing dirt, spreading it all over the bathroom. His twisted facial expressions and the fact he appears to be close to the camera enhance the scare factor.
  • Those paint ads that are only a few seconds long and feature nothing but a creepily grinning person painted from head to toe and asking you if you've found what you're looking for. They can be quite startling if you don't know what's going on.
  • The commercials for the Goldwater Law Firm (the one that defends people who die or suffered from the side effects of medical products) play some incredibly unsettling, horror movie-type music in the background,note  and they often depict stock photos of people in some kind of pain (for instance, a woman looking sad or a senior citizen in a wheelchair). This makes sense, obviously, since the commercials talk about defective medicines and stuff, so it's meant to make the situation life-threatening, but apparently it works a bit too well. Wanna know what's worse? That those commercials once aired on Cartoon Network. Here's one of the commercials.
    • Even worse, new ads for similar companies are doing the exact same thing, although not all of them play unsettling music in their commercials (most of the Sokolove Law's commercials, for instance). Some of them go as far as to use the same "Ominous" stock music the Goldwater Law Firm uses most of the time.
    • Not all Goldwater Law Firm commercials use "Ominous". This commercial for people or their loved ones hurt or killed in car accidents uses different music, while not quite as chilling, is still unsettling, especially the last 10 seconds of the ad.
    • This Goldwater ad for mesothelioma victims might just be the worst of them all. It uses "Terrain of Memory" by Jeff Greinke, which is arguably two times worse than "Ominous". Needless to say, it's horrifying.
  • The ads for (RA meaning rheumatoid arthritis) really know how to get their point across. Seriously, they talk about how preventing an illness can salvage your hobbies. And then, we see the very items each respective ad is named for decaying in a frightfully realistic fashion. It's a real double-whammy of disturbing.
  • There's these advertisements for a cleaning product known as SCOE 10X. Both of their commercials are essentially animal women going to the bathroom on the floor, and none of it's censored. Add in the fact that it's usually shown at late night, and you're bound to confuse it for horrifying scat porn that made it on TV somehow.
  • Until they were replaced with CG models, the adverts, which air in the United Kingdom, used puppets that were firmly rooted in the Unintentional Uncanny Valley. Despite being considered so creepy that people try to avoid them, they're paradoxically Memetic Mutation in the U.K.
    • Oddly enough, the situation is the opposite for some people: they consider the puppets fine, but find the CG models to be creepy instead.
  • This cinema ad from Co-Operative Bank describes what would happen if a landmine went off in the cinema.
    • In another horrifying ad, a woman asks why you would switch to the Co-Operative Bank, visuals intercut with images of animals dying in polluted landfills and covered in spilled oil, etc. She basically admits that the Co-Operative Bank has the same features as every other bank but they'll never knowingly contribute to pollution. Expectedly, the ad has a lot of Jump Scares.
    • There is also another one which features images of war and oppression instead of pollution.
  • This commercial for PUR water filters from 1995 which involves a goldfish freaking out at an ad in a newspaper read by its owner about the deteriorating quality of drinking water. After the woman pours herself a glass of water from said water filter and sets it on the table, the goldfish decides it would rather be swimming in that water, so it leaps through the air and lands in the drinking glass. The hideous visual effects for the goldfish are bad enough, but just watch the very last shot of the commercial where the woman reaches for her glass to get a sip. Better hope either A.) the goldfish can manage to jump back out, or B.) the woman notices before taking a sip, or it won't end well for both of them.
  • There was once a series of web ads for California's Summer of Fun that used to be plastered frequently on This Very Wiki. It first shows a boy or a girl smiling. But then, their faces become creepily stretched and morphed in an uncanny fashion.
  • The Mr. Yuk advertisements, which featured a sinister display of items turning into monsters accompanied by a creepy song sung about knowing Mr. Yuk's face. The people behind the campaign seemed pretty desperate to keep children from getting into bottled poisons, huh? Watch the commercial here or hear the full song here.
  • In 2014, Virgin America made an almost six hour-long advert in which pale, wide-eyed mannequins with unnervingly fixed faces experience a mind-numbingly boring flight. Unfortunately, despite the many comic elements to it, the ad loses altitude and crash lands right into the Unintentional Uncanny Valley. And you have to put up with it for five hours and forty-seven minutes (or you could just change the channel).
  • A 2014 advert for the UK's Royal Marines featuring a nightmare of a guerilla stationed in the jungle. The guerilla is shown frantically running in the middle of a dark jungle. As he's being pursued by hostile wildlife and hordes of mysterious men on the beach, the images are accompanied by creepy and ominous whispers of his incoming doom. And just when you think it's over after the man wakes up near a house, a pair of eyes glow behind him before two British marines abduct the guerilla and put him on a boat.
  • There was a commercial, that featured major Mood Whiplash, and this should date it, for a video rental service, Blockbuster or something along those lines, that featured two boxers going at it as a narrator speaks of what he wishes to see. "Perhaps a sports movie," then after one of the boxers punches out another the narrator decides "or maybe a drama," as the other boxer is revealed to actually be the man's father. The two embrace and make up, humorously as the spectators let out a unison "Aww!" But then it takes a turn for horrific as the narrator fittingly decides "or perhaps a horror," as the Father turns into a hideous vampire and instantly bites and drains the son of his blood. What makes this a kicker, is that while the crowd is freaking out and fleeing the blood is still dripping from the Father/Vampires mouth while the son is lying dead in the middle of the ring. The only way they got away with this is probably because the commercial was shot in monochrome. Still words can not do this justice at just how disturbing and terrifying this commercial was.
  • This 1980's ad from Sekonda has a steamroller crush a Sekonda watch and an expensive watch in a dimly lit room. The narrator talks about how Sekonda watches are cheaper to repair than to repair the glass in the expensive watch. Both the narrator and the music are ominous, and the silence at the end doesn't help.
  • This freaky-as-hell advert for The Guardian from 1990, which shows the faces and voices of various political figures being stretched and distorted. Would you believe it was given a U certificate?
  • The Adidas Predator Instinct ad features people running around in the dark pursued by dystopian enforcers and blurry closeup shots of snarling dogs.
  • The "Creepy Bunny" ads for Anim'Est have a Bugs Bunny like bunny sitting in a barely lit toilet, staring at a man, and then moving to it's left so the guy can sit next to him.
  • An advertising company called DanDad uploaded an ad to YouTube in 2016 that...really doesn't get their message across. They're talking about helping small businesses create advertisements of their own, but it's hard to focus on any of that when we're shown horrifying visuals like this.
  • This cinema advert for Philips irons features fire fighters rescuing a baby from a house fire, all set to haunting hymn-sounding music. It ends with them bragging about their irons turning off in 30 seconds after being used, but at that point, you'd probably never use an iron again after seeing all that. Even worse, it's rated U.
  • This 1979 Benson & Hedges advert consists of divers recovering a giant packet of cigarettes and then displaying it in a museum. Sounds like a normal advert, right? Well, not when it's accompanied by what sounds like horror music and Psycho-like chanting in the end. PIF and Advert uploader easportsbig899 even declared it the scariest advert he's ever seen.
  • A print ad for a radio station is this. It has a woman smiling at something offscreen. However, her eyes have been replaced by her ears, making this pure Body Horror. See it here.
  • Monster, a job finding website, started a series of commercials starring, well, a monster. A huge, hairy monster whose face only consists of two glowing eyes, speaking directly to the viewer about how he can sense them. The tone usually shifts to be more humorous, and the monster is telling the customer about how it believes in their potential to find a job, but seeing this thing come on in the middle of the night can definitely be unnerving (as the YouTube comments can attest).
  • This TV advert for a gossip magazine called ''Sneak'' aired on UK television during children's spots in the 2000s, meaning it was mostly seen by kids. Right off the bat, the ad is unsettling; the music is strange and aggressive, the editing is jagged and it's set in a school; subverting a familiar environment into something cold and uncomfortable is an easy way to disturb young viewers. It almost feels like a horror movie at times, with the ad's main girl character seemingly desperate to tell someone something. Eventually, she reaches an assembly hall full of students and staff, where she explodes into pink gunge. As another girl is wiping the pink slimy remains off her face in the bathroom, she sees the magazine that contained the information that caused the girl to explode, implying that this magazine contains information so volatile it causes you to explode unless you tell someone.
  • NRJ Mobile's Whaaaaaat?! ads have teens enjoying something on their phones before they turn into Body Horror abominations. From the linked video:
    • A boy is listening to music at a skate park and bopping to the beat. Suddenly his ears grow bigger and begin to flap, and then his head detaches and flies away into the sky, to the horror of the nearby skaters and bikers.
    • The second ad is the most disturbing of the bunch. A girl at school is looking at her phone, and begins to laugh, her mouth becomes bigger, before her head jerks back and her mouth is massive and wide open, looking like her head was nearly cut in half. Her friend looks at her phone and immediately widens her mouth as she laughs. Even worse, the video reverses and forwards itself until the end, resulting in jerky movement which only further pushes the uncanniness of the ad. As if this ad wasn't disturbing enough, there is an alternate edit, where the girls' eyeballs jump out of their sockets and float above their gaping maws, as if they didn't already resemble Barbara Maitland's Nightmare Face.
    • Finally, the third ad features a boy with arms coming out of his ears, nostrils and mouth.
  • Even fashion commercials of all things can be scary, thanks to German fashion company NewYorker, which produced some of the most twisted fashion commercials around for their "Dress for the Moment" campaign.
    • "Halloween" (slightly NSFW, some female toplessness) is probably the most disturbing of the batch. It stars a guy who lives in a haunted house (complete with plenty of shots of things like creepy dolls) who apparently keeps severed female body parts hidden throughout. The commercial follows him replacing his own body parts with these. Once the process is over, the resulting woman walks out of the house and meets up with her apparent boyfriend. Squick doesn't even begin to describe the whole thing.
    • This one starts with a bunch of happy young people in the desert rushing to a bunch of seats as a cheerful song (either about sweet moments or experiments, depending on whether it's the YouTube or Vimeo version) plays in the background, while a bunch of scientists deliver them special glasses. Then it's revealed that they're going to watch a nuclear bomb test, as the bomb is launched into the air. It seemingly explodes into fireworks, but then causes a massive explosion, as a huge shockwave rushes to the audience and strips them into glowing, screaming skeletons, which also disintegrate. A worn-out version of the intro song plays and shuts off as the camera pans through the fallout, focusing on a woman's fur coat, as the wind blows dust off it, revealing a NewYorker tag.
    • "Look for Love" is pretty disturbing too, even with the heavy Black Comedy throughout the whole thing. The commercial follows a young woman walking down the street, who's so attractive that she enraptures almost every guy in the vicinity. So much, that the guys often forget what they're doing and end up getting themselves or someone else killed; the first guy skateboards onto the street and is hit by a car, the second guy, a tattooist making some tattoos for a gang, accidentally draws a heart onto a gang member's back and gets shot, and the third, a group of firefighters carrying a stretcher to save someone jumping from a burning building, accidentally follow her and the guy falls onto hard ground. She pays no attention to any of this. Finally, near a roadwork area, she comes across a guy that she's clearly quite attracted to. She tries flirting with him and walks backwards into a hole being filled in, and is subsequently pulverized by tons of heavy stones. The ad ends with a worker using a jackhammer on the stones as a small piece of the woman's dress sticks out of them, which the worker is clearly paying no attention to.
    • In "The Dress", a young woman is walking alone by the side of a desert road after her motorcycle breaks down. An older woman arrives in a car, while running over a bird. The younger woman flags down the car and gets in, while the older woman looks enviously at her dress. The video then cuts to a gas station, where what appears to be the younger woman walks out and gets back into the car. Then the younger woman runs out of the bathroom, almost completely clothesless, while it's revealed that the older woman has stolen her dress and is once again stranding her in the middle of nowhere. The older woman drives away as the younger woman bangs on the windows and yells.
    • In this commmercial, a stylish woman walks down the street and sits at a bus stop. A creepy guy walking his dog sits right next to her and leers at her. Clearly uncomfortable, she flags down a garbage truck, and a bunch of buff garbage men put something into the truck. The camera then shows the woman sitting alone at the stop. While it's never actually shown what happened, given that the dog is now leashed to the inside of the truck and you can audibly hear bones cracking as the trash is crushed, it's pretty easy to guess.
    • In "Lifeguard", a female lifeguard at the beach sees a man floundering out at sea. Rather than immediately go help him, she decides to find a better outfit to save him with, leading to a montage of her changing into several bikinis as the man becomes increasingly panicked. As she finally wears her preferred bikini and runs out to save him, she finds that he's been eaten by a shark.
  • In this Levi's commercial, a guy takes a pair of jeans off a mannequin and buys them. The mannequin then silently stalks him throughout town to his house. Then, at night, during a thunderstorm no less, while the man is sleeping, the mannequin breaks into his house and silently approaches him, the commercial ending as the mannequin's shadow is looming over the man's sleeping form. Adding to it is Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I'll Put A Spell On You" playing the whole time.
  • This ad for a Japanese men's magazine features the horrifying visuals of a Rokurokubi with a stretched out neck reading the magazine, complete with the sounds of her neck stretching. The fact that it's all in black and white and the music intensifies at the end does not help at all.
  • Ironically enough, the "Better Help" commercials (an online service for people who want to talk to a therapist via the internet) are this. One frequently aired ad consists of almost no sound save for a pretty young woman's desperate hyperventilating and moaning. We see her doing this in the privacy of her car, a restroom at work and her own home's bathroom. As she is leaning over in pain, she then unbuttons her top to reveal a zipper in her flesh and then unzips it for huge, clunky black words like "ANXIETY" and "PANIC" to come spilling out of her chest as she then begins to cry.
  • A 2019 ad for has a young man with a weak heart begging a stubborn doctor to let him join the army. The commercial then hard cuts to a black screen with white text saying; "Without you, the story stops here." Then reveals that the man was Eric Allen, a young man who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. It doesn’t really make sense, but the atmosphere is certainly unsettling.
  • An ad for Nemours shows a bunch of women (possibly mothers) in eerie grey rooms crying while creepy music plays. It then reveals that their loved ones are in the hospital. The ad has a happy ending, but YIKES.
  • This advert for Our Dynamic Earth, which features a man devolving all the way back into an amoeba and then getting sucked into the Big Bang. The CG of the creatures he devolves into can come off as Unintentional Uncanny Valley.
  • The ads for the Argentinian print production company Type & Magic began with what seemed to be a normal Candid Camera Prank show turned horribly awry with the appearance of the last victim, a middle-aged bald man:
    • The first one had a prankster playing a tourist who appears to fall into the waters, but actually lands on a mat. The bald man takes out a gun and shoots the prankster.
    • The second ad involved two pranksters giving passerbyers a food product before revealing it was dog food. The ending is even worse here because the man shoots one of the pranksters in front of the other, leaving her screaming in fear.
    • The last ad is also the most famous one. A man is put in a mailbox by two other people. He ejects the mail whenever someone puts it inside. The bald man arrives and when he sees the man inside, pulls his gun, shoots the man several times, then puts the mail inside the now smoking mailbox.
      • This one has circulated online without the "We know you don't like surprises" tagline and the Type & Magic logo, with some versions even placing a fake "In Memoriam" card instead, leading to some internet users to believe that it was a real recording of a shooting!
  • This 1977 ad for Armor All protectant has a viking (representing Armor All) fighting against a creepy alien looking monster (representing rot) in a red lit cave-like place, with the viking using Armor All to kill the monster. It contains rather unsettling electronic music and sound effects throughout the ad, and the stop motion (done by Jim Danforth) makes the monster's movements look uncanny. The ad was eventually taken down after viewers complained it was too scary, and was later edited to be toned down.
  • The Tax Doctor commercials are well known for being both cheaply made, and also unsettling. The ad begins with creepy music and a heartbeat as the narrator asks the viewer if the IRS is threatening to take your money. The rest of the ad focuses on the how the Tax Doctor can help you, who is represented by a creepy animation of a doctor running towards you. What makes it worse is that his head gets bigger when he gives you the thumbs up in the end. These ads would frequently run on children oriented channels, and if the Youtube comments are to be believed, many children were scared by the ad.
  • This 2003 promo for a Football/Soccer event by The Guardian titled "Bambi 3: Now with Testicles" by the uploader. It starts out as an Black Comedy parody of Disney's Bambi (complete with hand drawn animation featuring two rabbits and a blue bird). It involves a calf and a mother cow calmly discussing about what will happen to him once he enters the "Golden Pasture in the Sky". The mother cow tells him that "Your shoulders and ribs will go to the nice big supermarket. And your tongue and your legs, to that lovely local organic butcher.". The animated section and music quickly ends after the calf says "But mama, what about my testicles?", which cuts to live-action showing a man eating a meat pie. This promo actually received several complaints resulting in the ad being edited.
  • The 1996 Screamers Discovery Zone Ad starts with the announcer telling the blonde haired boy, "So, you've got what it takes to play Screamers at Discovery Zone." The boy screams, and as he screams, the arrow on the meter shaped liked the Discovery Zone logo moves up a little. Then the announcer says, "Oh, come on. You can do better than that." The boy screams louder and the arrow on the meter now points to the middle section. But after the announcer says, "I can't hear you.", The boy screams even louder and the meter reached the lower right and breaks. Then the still screaming boy is screaming so loud, everything around him gets destroyed and his face turns red and grows to freakish levels until his mouth hole covers the screen in darkness and his uvula appers with the Discovery Zone logo on it.
  • All around America, there's a fleet of anti-abortion trucks that drive around showing real-life graphic pictures of aborted fetuses, partial-birth abortions, dismembered fetal body parts compared to everyday items such as erasers, quarters, bottlecaps, on the sides and backs of their trailers. Most of those pictures aren't even of what they claim to be, but show the result of stillbirths and miscarriages, because those images make for a higher grade of nightmare fuel. Here is a picture of one of the trucks. View at your own risk.
    • What's even more horrifying is that in some places (like Kansas), these types of trucks are parked in front of elementary schools.
  • An advert from 2003 featured a clearly distressed woman struggling to speak as she and her husband recount the time a kite knocked out half her teeth, and ended with a close-up of her face. The advertised product? Scotch tape dispensers. “No teeth, no problem.”
  • This 90s ad for Caritas Manila, a Philippine charity, is infamous for its depiction of a dead child beggar, with flies surrounding his body. The creepy music used doesn't help matters, as well as the usage of the traditional Filipino proverb "Aanhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo?" (What good is the grass if the horse is dead?) at the end of the ad.
  • A 1990 ad for Asahi Shimbun newspaper consists of a scene from Yuri Norstein's Tale of Tales, with dialogue about the newspaper added in. However, the scene chosen for the ad is the lullaby scene, where we get treated to a creepy close up of the wolf's face. The distorted quality of the VHS makes it even creepier.
  • This religious bumper from the Philippines promoting Catholic family prayer begins with a sudden and unsettling close-up of a statue of the Virgin Mary, accompanied by a very loud church choir, in what might as well amount to a Jump Scare. Then a distorted woman's voice, somewhat drowned out by the sound of the choir, urges families to pray the rosary. Many Filipinos who grew up in the '90s when the bumper aired recall being terrified whenever it came on.
"I ask every family... Please, pray the rosary!"
  • A short-lived ad for Spanish radio station Onda Cero featured a recording of a program interspersed with the sound of radio static that's usually heard while changing from station to station. Every time the static appeared, a set of disturbing and scary images was presented in rapid succession, as an attempt to convey negative ideas towards the poor quality of radio sound. This ad had to be quickly pulled from air, after being shown several times during late night programming.
  • This Thai ad for gas features a Notzilla with incredibly demented facial expressions and creepy closeups of its eyes and face. Meanwhile, while meant to be humourous, the way the booming music keeps cutting and pausing can cause discomfort.
  • A 1999 Nike Air Presto Rabid Panda ad has a cute cartoon panda bear slowly zig-zagging down to the bottom of the screen while cutesy music plays. It stops at the middle and roars, revealing sharp teeth while it's head grows large enough to nearly cover the screen before the head shrinks back to normal and the panda goes back the way it came from. The background is also red making it even more scary!
  • A 1991 ad for the Nike Air Max 180, directed by Jean-Luc Godard has a little girl and her father walking down a field as Death, represented as an old lady, approaches them. As the girl and father flee from Death, disturbing artwork such as Francisco de Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son and other artwork featuring skulls flash on screen while the music intensifies. The girl and father escape and mock Death as creepy jingling suddenly replaces the intense music, and the final shot is of a single Air Max 180 shoe laying on the grass and nothing else.
  • An advertisement for the Aphex Twin album Drukqs features a deformed humanoid creature sitting in a chair in a dark room. The creature is already freaky enough, but then it suddenly begins speaking in electronic noise as its eyes glow. It's especially horrifying since it doesn't actually say anything. The idea of this ad was later expanded upon in Chris Cunningham's short film Rubber Johnny, which is even more infamous for its nightmare potential.
  • A 2005 ad for The Philippine Star promoted its "responsible journalism" over the "shock journalism" of other newspapers, which it claimed could cause panic. This is demonstrated by showing a writer in a dimly lit room typing out a story on a typewriter, except the sounds of the typewriter are replaced by the sounds of people screaming. At the end, the writer is seen typing faster as the audio becomes a cacophony of people screaming in fear.