Jack in the Box, TBWA\C\D Play Tricks for Halloween

Taco-fueled terror stalks the streets

Long the stuff of nightmares, Jack in the Box's freaky mascot stars in a Halloween-themed campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. that includes eerie ads and a horror shot. The work hypes Monster Tacos, a seasonal fave, and the spicy Angry Monster menu option.

Oddly, perhaps, Jack Box isn't cast as the menace in this particular project. In fact, he seems downright unnerved, followed around town by a creepy taco truck in the first spot below. Who's driving? It's not Ryan Reynolds.

Jack in the Box | Jack's Nervous
Jack in the Box | Taco Truck

Relax. That's just hot sauce, not blood.

The van returns in "Feeding Time," a seven-minute video slated to launch on Oct. 13.

So, scary tacos. Brand have gone similar routes before. Most notably Liquid Death, which reimagined its aluminum cans as vicious villains in a funny, fear-soaked flick a few years back.

At some point, Jack does meet a gruesome fate. Right? Kidding. If he's down with Luke Skywalker, that bobble-brain's okey-dokes by me.

"Central to all of our work on Jack in the Box is the idea that fictional CEO Jack Box always delivers for his fans—whether that means egg rolls and churros at 3 a.m. or truly scary content around Halloween," TBWA\C\D creative director Jeff O'Keefe tells Muse. "He knows what people want. Halloween happens to be a time of year when the regular rules don't apply. So it's a sweet spot for this brand, which always operates a bit outside the mainstream in terms of its menu and messaging."

You know who gets Jack munchies around 3? Snoop Dogg! Can't imagine why.

"Jack's customer base has always been a little unruly," says agency senior strategist Aaron Rivera. "No matter where they're at in their lives, they're rebellious, funny, outspoken people—and they can’t be lured by cheesy, basic Halloween campaigns. For them, Halloween is about immersing yourself in creepy, ghoulish fun."

With that in mind, the brand collaborated with ace horror talent to deliver the branded chills.

"Marcus Dunstan, our director, is a true, scrappy horror filmmaker who is also a scholar and an uber-fan of the genre," says O'Keefe. "To have him bring that same passion and energy and resourcefulness to our production was invaluable. It leveled everything up."

Shooting in a rugged, wooded location almost sent the taco truck to its grave.  

"There was a moment where we thought we might have killed it," O'Keefe says. "The engine was literally smoking. Luckily, it was revived, and we got everything we needed."

Here's a screamy trailer:

Jack in the Box | Feeding Time Trailer

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