The Time 'Halloween's Michael Myers Did A Nike Ad, And The World Freaked Out
Legendary Halloween slasher/famous virgin Michael Myers isn’t exactly known for his commercial endorsements – despite what we can only assume have been multiple requests from the Ginsu knife people and the navy blue coveralls industry. But weirdly, Michael Myers did show up in a commercial for a giant corporation, albeit in a highly unofficial capacity …
Back in 2000, Nike released a commercial during NBC’s Olympics coverage featuring distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, in which she is seen slowly getting undressed as she runs a bath in an isolated cabin in the middle of the woods for some reason. Suddenly a killer in a white mask bursts into the room and attempts to chainsaw the Olympian in half. She escapes thanks to her athletic prowess (and also implicitly, her footwear) only to leave the out-of-shape killer coughing up a lung behind her like a teenage smoker in gym class.
Obviously, this is supposed to be Michael Myers in the ad (the distinctive mask and bloodthirsty disposition are a dead giveaway), but, of course, Michael doesn’t typically use a chainsaw, that’s Leatherface. And he usually operates in the suburbs, not a country lake, that’s Jason Voorhees. In retrospect, it kind of seems like Nike just assumed that if they combined enough assorted movie slasher elements, they wouldn’t have to pay anybody.
It turned out that intellectual property rights weren’t Nike’s biggest problem. Once the ad aired, there was a massive backlash, with NBC receiving “thousands of critical phone calls and e-mails” from angry viewers who thought the commercial was “stupid and repellent” and “encouraged violence against women” (Nike claimed that it was actually “humane and ironic”). In the end, NBC ended up pulling the ad from circulation, which is probably why Michael Myers doesn’t show up in many TV commercials – except, apparently, to murder the occasional local used car salesman.
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