#3. Get Orkin Pest Control, or Give up Your Child to the Rat Demons
Via YoutubeThe Idea:
Orkin pest control has pretty much covered all the basics by now: ants, termites, roaches, you name it. In 2011, and with the help of a Dallas ad agency, Orkin decided to remind everyone that they can also help you get rid other types of pests in a funny, whimsical way.The Horror:
Pest control companies play on our fears of infestation all the time in advertisements, which is fair. This commercial, however, crosses the damned line and makes the experience of finding a roach in your Raisin Bran seem positively pleasant in comparison. We start with a family coming home from a vacation to find strangers shredding like Eddie Van Halen in their living room. This would be distressing enough on its own, but one look at the faces of the family members tells you ...
Wasn't this in Signs?
... they have just come face to face with something not of this world. Something ... wrong. Something that should not be. Namely, these dudes:
Guitar Hero? We thought rats lived in walls, not 2006.
Then one of the Rats Who Walk As Men -- incidentally, the name of their band -- slowly raises a black-clawed ... forepaw? Hand?
We can't fault them for turning to crime: Their dad was too busy raising turtles.
He tells the family that they were not expected until Sunday. His tone betrays no fear of these interlopers, only the mild displeasure of one who must kill before the killing time has come. He singles out "the boy," claiming they could "use him ... on drums." As in, they'll skin him and turn him into ceremonial instruments to be played as they sacrifice the rest of the family to their Great Rat God, probably.
"Hey guys, those two giant rat puppets in the ad looked super real!"
"What do you mean, 'two'?"
The family backs away slowly, too afraid to run, clutching each other for safety, pants thoroughly soaked.
"Uhhh, wrong house."
That's when the Orkin man shows up, and we see the Man-Rats drive past the house in a rusty jalopy. It's the part of the commercial that's supposed to tell you, "With Orkin, rats will stay out!" but instead says, "They are still out there. Watching. Waiting."
Orkin did a complete series of these "creepy giant pests" ads, which were created using a combination of animatronics, various puppeteers, and Satanic possession.
#2. The Levi's Marketing Department Discovers Drugs
Via YoutubeThe Idea:
By the 1970s, Levi's was already a well-established maker of pants, but it's easy for a company that big to start being seen as old fashioned. That's why, hoping to appeal to the youth of the '70s, at some point some higher-up at Levi's must have said, "Make me the '70s-ist goddamn commercial ever made!" and the ad men delivered. Oh, they delivered.The Horror:
Let's agree that most people in the '70s were probably on drugs. Let's also agree that The Beatles' Yellow Submarine movie did pretty well, and that it made sense for ads to try to imitate its trippy style. That still doesn't explain what the fuck we just saw, or why Levi's thought it would help them sell a single pair of pants.
In their defense, it doesn't take many brand-loyal millipedes to keep a pants company afloat.
This ad tells the story of man's evolution into a creature capable of wearing pants on his legs, and it does so in the most insanely terrifying way possible: by giving us glimpses of a world where man evolved into other lifeforms, yet was doggedly determined to have a dude's head with '70s hair, no matter what monstrous torso it was attached to. In the coked-out minds behind this commercial, we could have been fish-men with fin-pants:
Or possibly floating, legged pineapples.
Or bird men with wing-pants:
"Levi's: Wear them on your arms. We don't care."
Or even this mutated finger-in-God's-eye:
Levi's seems to be missing the whole "use 'em to cover your genitals" aspect of pants.
And if the prospect of seeing one hideous man-animal hybrid morphing into an even greater abomination over and over again wasn't enough, we have the music, which is straight out of a grindhouse movie about cannibal vampire Satanists, and the voiceover, which has the soothing quality of an ex-Nazi dentist telling you to relax and let the gas do its work. The most Levi's-shittingly intense moment comes courtesy of the narrator, and the two words he whispers:
Try Helvetica next time, guys.
We wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing was a coded message to some executive's dealer saying, "The LSD worked fine. Send more."
#1. The Rice Krinkles Cereal Clown Will Eat Your Soul
Via YoutubeThe Idea:
Before we show you this commercial, we feel like we have to point out two things: First, even though it's in black and white, sanity had already been invented by then. This was made in the '60s, when normal, perfectly sane things like The Great Escape, The Graduate, or Mary Poppins were being made. So if a certain cereal company decided to make a commercial starring a clown, it didn't have to end up looking completely terrifying. There are lots of non-scary clowns in the world.
The second thing we wanted to point out is that Cracked accepts no responsibility for any sudden accidents suffered while reading this article.The Horror:
OK, this is it. This is the exact moment when humanity's phobia of clowns was violently born. It has to be, right? Look at that face. Pay attention to the way it blinks, or doesn't. Watch as its eyes squint when it tells you, not asks you, that you love Post Sugar Rice Krinkles best of all. Krinkle the Klown is the granddaddy of every creepy circus-dweller with a painted face that ever traumatized a child, even those that predate him.
If there's a cereal commercial not improved by a severed head, we haven't seen it.
The ad begins when Krinkle is driven from his subterranean lair by a hunger that can only be satisfied by that most krinkliest of cereals. He dives into a bowl, all the while making faces that suggest "krinkly" is another word for "having the texture of broken glass."
"It krinkles all the way down! Pain is pleasure!"
Having inflicted second-degree krinkle cuts on his mouth and throat, Krinkle craves a victim to share in the sweet torment that is Post Sugar Rice Krinkles. For you see, his is not a selfish hunger, but one that must be shared. Pouring a second bowl of milk-drenched agony, we see, for just a moment, a pair of hands reach out to take it ...
"Eat this, and the contract shall be sealed."
... and we realize that Krinkle's big top was not as deserted as it seemed. All along, his krinkle-crazed ranting had had an audience, in the form of a child. Is this the child's first hellishly krinkly breakfast with the Klown? Is it his last? We will never know.
"And remember: I am behind every cereal box, always, watching you. Always."
Believe it or not, Post isn't a company devoted to causing terror in children and monetizing their tears -- most of their commercials back then weren't terrifying, just racist.
Related Reading: Think commercials can't get any worse? Behold, the Zune's paint-shitting fat man commercial. If that's not mad enough for you, try this French dairy commercial with dead babies and a cow on wheels. Still haven't hit your quota of terrifying ads? Don't worry, Cracked has you covered.