Kit Kat’s Halloween Ad Shows You How to Fend Off a Homicidal Maniac in a Forest

This works every time

Headshot of T.L. Stanley

Could Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees be dissuaded from their homicidal ways by a candy bar? Could a sugar fix be a cure for their mass-murdering tendencies?

It's likely no one's ever asked the question before. Who's had time amid all the screaming and dying in slasher franchises like Halloween and Friday the 13th? But Comedy Central and Kit Kat have envisioned just that scenario, in an homage to well-worn horror-movie tropes and famous flicks from the likes of John Carpenter and Wes Craven.

In a spot launching Tuesday, a shrieking gal sprints through the woods with a chainsaw-wielding killer on her heels. It's dark and she's alone, of course. She falls, of course. She's at the mercy of the hockey-masked maniac.

Then she comes up with a defensive move. No, not a swift kick to the groin. A Kit Kat. Guess what happens next? Decapitation for our hapless heroine? Or something far less gruesome? Suffice to say, that tree she was pinned against makes a lovely rustic bench.

The ad, which will run on the cable channel and various digital platforms, comes from Viacom Velocity Entertainment Group, the in-house division that has recently created campaigns for Ubisoft, Dunkin' Donuts, Dodge and Old Spice, among other brands. Execs crafted a Halloween-themed ad last year for another Hershey product, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

"We wanted to use some classic '80s horror movies and have fun with the idea of taking a break," says Beth Trentacoste, svp and creative director for the Viacom Velocity group, referring to the long-standing Kit Kat mantra, "Gimme a break." "The goal was to be fun, unexpected, irreverent."

They shot the ad in the rain overnight at Tallman Mountain State Park in Rockland County, New York—fog added by machine—as a seasonal addition to the Hershey brand's ongoing marketing, which includes Chance the Rapper doing his version of the 30-year-old jingle in an Anomaly spot.

"We're here to amplify what the brand is doing on its own platforms," says Michelle Zoni, the group's svp of integrated marketing. "We tailor the message to speak specifically to our audience because we know what will resonate with them."

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@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.