Ad of the Day: Happy Halloween! Here Are Some Very Creepy Ads for Mandarin Oranges

Wonderful Halos tries out some scare tactics

Wonderful Halos seedless mandarin oranges, or a couple of bad seeds. Which would you choose?

Those are your options in one of four oddball ads dropping today from Wonderful's in-house team and Hungry Man's Wayne McClammy (the director who turned Geico's trash-rummaging raccoons into stars).

"He's one of the few comedic directors who also has an awe-inspiring sense of cinematic storytelling," Wonderful Agency president Michael Perdigao tells Adweek. 

McClammy deftly walks the line between farcical and fearful throughout the campaign, which urges kids and their parents to make wise snacking choices. Take, for example, these two sinister sisters and their malevolent mansion full of freaky figurines:

So, which twin is the evil one? Looks like both! So … goodbye, dollies!

Actually, those aren't twins. Just one actress and a bit of high-tech hocus-pocus.

"We auditioned hundreds of sets of twins, and ultimately we decided on the young girl featured in the spot who actually isn't a twin," Perdigao says. "During her audition, she displayed the right kind of tone we needed for that part, so we used the magic of Hollywood to create her twin."

As for the 250 dolls on set, McClammy's assistant spent weeks procuring them from eBay, Craigslist, swap meets, thrift stores and antique shops. "At one point, there was a creepy clown doll in the background," Perdigao recalls, "but it didn't make the cut."

In the next ad, a wacky witch tries to cast a tempting spell with a tart-tongued apple:

"Our 'Apples and Oranges' set was initially destroyed and production was shut down for a few weeks because of fires in the Riverside, Calif., area in August," Perdigao says. "When production was back up, we went back to the same area because the look of the forest destroyed by the fire was the exact feeling and vibe we wanted to capture in the spot."

Meanwhile, pint-sized construction-site trespassers get their comeuppance in this spot:

Way to go, gents. Enjoy the view from juvy!

Finally, a story set under the big top. Whatever you do, don't look down:

What, a circus without Wonderful's Ernie the Elephant? Perhaps the precocious pachyderm was at the concession stand procuring some pistachios.

"We drew our inspiration from the classic fairy-tale structure, where heroes are tempted by evil but then are guided by their pure values and intelligence to make the right decisions," Perdigao says.

Ultimately, he adds, the goal was to create work that would "educate consumers about our product and cause the viewer to do a double-take about what he or she has just seen and heard."


Client: Wonderful Halos

Agency: Wonderful Agency

Mike Perdigao – President

Steve Krauss – Chief Creative Officer

Darren Moran – Executive Creative Director

Jennifer Young– Creative Director

Alan Snider  – ACD/Copywriter

Colin Jahn – Sr. Art Director

Alex Harman – Art Director

Anne Kurtzman – Head of Broadcast Production/Producer

Matthew Conrad – Producer 

Production Company: Hungry Man

Wayne McClammy – Director

Mino Jarjoura – Executive Producer

Dan Duffy Executive Producer/Director of Sales

Dave Bernstein – Producer

Rodney Anderson – Production Supervisor

Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors

Christjan Jordan – Editor –

Pieter Viljoen – Asst. Editor

Helena Lee – Executive Producer

Dani DuHadway – Producer

MPC – Visual Effects

Paul O'Shea – Creative Director/VFX Supervisor

Karen Anderson – Executive Producer

Jamie Loudon – Sr. Producer

Ryan McDougal – CG Supervisor

Benji Davidson – VFX supervisor

Music/Sound Design

Beacon Street Music

Composers – Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau

Executive Producer – Adrea Lavezzoli

Associate Producer – Lindsey Lerman 

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.