Big-Scream TV

Creatives at davidand goliath claim they’ve won a trophy more coveted than any gold trinket.

The Los Angeles shop’s ads for Universal Orlando (Fla.) Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights are so unsettling that they were the subject of a local newscast’s top story recently. The station, CBS affiliate WKMG-TV, even trotted out a clinical psychologist to weigh in and assured viewers it would not run the spots before 11:30 p.m.

“That has to be the best creative award there is,” said senior art director John Davis, who crafted the spots with copywriter Ben Purcell. “The spots were scary, sales are up, and the client is happy.”

There is no violence or blood in the black-and-white TV ads. There is only “the Caretaker,” who tweaks the toes of cada vers and plots dismem ber ment with all manner of gruesome tools.

Davis said the spookfest had used an insane clown for the past 12 years and wanted something new. He originally created a possessed little girl, but after several news stories about violence against kids, the creatives switched to the Care taker. “We had to come up with something quick,” said Davis. “That makes the success of this even sweeter.”