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How sweet scary is: Mars treats viewers to “Bite Size Horror” flicks

We’re interrupting our regularly scheduled Conscious Consumer content to cover something scary. The “ghost along the highway” urban legend; the elevator opening to a non-existent floor; an evil spirit doppelganger; these aren’t the plots of your typical candy commercial. Mars candy brands diverted from its standard campaign work to give viewers the creeps this Halloween season.

In partnership with Fox networks, it’s airing a series of “Bite Size Horror” films (FoodAndWine.com, 17 October 2017). Emerging horror directors created the current slate of two-minute spots individually sponsored by Skittles, M&M’s, Starburst and Snickers. These shorts are bookended by a brief message by the host brand, but are otherwise free of any branding. However, they’re not short on tension.

In the Skittles’ short “Floor 9.5,” an office worker appears to be clocking out for the night when her elevator malfunctions and delivers her to a shadowy floor – divulging anything more would be an inconsiderate spoiler alert. In M&M’s “The Road,” a family learns first-hand what happens when they challenge the legitimacy of a roadside ghost story. For Starburst’s “Replacement,” a little boy finds another, more sinister, version of himself. And Snickers’ “Live Bait,” turns the table on an unassuming fisherman.

There’s certainly been a recent push for brands to provide entertainment. Mars’ “Bite Size Horror” films are a treat in that sense, giving viewers a quick hit of genuine movie-caliber entertainment. With just enough scary suspense to keep viewers’ eyes wide open, they make for memorable spots. Watch them here … if you dare.

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