The Cruel Halloween Trick of ‘Please Take One’ Is No Treat in New Reese’s Ad

Someone is hoarding the peanut butter cups

The horror ... of only one piece of candy. MTV / Viacom
Headshot of Shannon Miller

During Halloween, the neighborhood dynamic can be broken down into a few very distinct groups.

First, you have the excited children who look forward to testing the boundaries of their curfew with their friends in cool costumes (and building their candy stash, of course). Then, if you’re fortunate enough, you may encounter the adults who take great joy in morphing their houses into the premier neighborhood horror spot (while, too, padding their holiday candy collection).

Somewhere in between those two enthusiastic camps exists the fairly apathetic teenager who really just wants the candy, with or without the spooky hijinks. Luring them into the frightful spirit requires some serious effort. Luckily, MTV and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups appear to have found the key to terrifying even the most indifferent teen in their newest minute-long ad, just in time for the spookiest night of the year.

The story is seen from the perspective of two notably unimpressed teenagers donning minimal accessories that barely pass for costumes. The boy in Groucho glasses and his partner in trick-or-treating, a casually dressed girl with cat ears, come face-to-face with some pretty astounding horrors. Neither are particularly moved by the masked, knife-wielding serial killer or the creepy house haunted by a ghoulish woman, greeting them with nothing more than a sad “trick or treat” before presenting their bags expectantly.

This sight is enough to break the heart of any Halloween devotee, really.

But it’s the last house the pair encounter that presents the truest horror: a candy bowl bearing only a single Reese’s cup and a sign that cruelly reads “please take one.” The lack of supply for their high demand elicits, likely, the only genuine reaction of the night from our teenage protagonists, taking the form of a frightened scream. The homeowner watches the scene with delight from inside his house, which happens to be generously stocked with the peanut butter treats the young duo so desire.

It’s a creatively festive spot that combines MTV’s prime demographics—teenagers and young adults—and the greatest Halloween-related horror of all: a lack of Reese’s candy.

The custom ad will air exclusively on MTV during their block of Halloween-themed programming, which includes cinematic classics like Scream.


EVP, CMO Viacom Velocity:Dario Spina
SVP, Creative Director, Viacom Velocity: Beth Trentacoste
VP, Creative Production, Viacom Velocity: Meg Sudlik
VP, Creative Director, Viacom Velocity: Jeff Feuerstein
Sr Director, Integrated Marketing, Viacom Velocity: Jaclyn Cohen
Sr Manager, Integrated Marketing, Viacom Velocity: Michelle Roach
Manager, Integrated Marketing, Viacom Velocity: Alana Rubin
Coordinator, Integrated Marketing, Viacom Velocity: Karen Sze
Director, Viacom Velocity: Crobin Leo
Producer, Viacom Velocity: Jenny Lee
Production Manager, Viacom Velocity: Jaimie Sarubbi
Production Coordinator, Viacom Velocity: Lauren Stroz
Director of Photography: Justin Derry
Production Designer: Nicholas Tong
Editor WAX Editorial: Jason Sager
Sound Design and Mix: YouTooCanWoo

Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.