“First World Horrors”: Svedka’s Newest Campaign Takes On More Modern Frights

This Halloween, the lack of texts is coming from inside the house.

WHAT: Svedka Vodka’s “First World Horrors” Halloween campaign.


WHO: Toronto-based Bensimon Byrne for Svedka.

WHY WE CARE: Halloween ads are usually hit-or-miss. Basically every funny take on horror has already been done, so you have to go pretty niche to find space to be original and clever. Svedka and Bensimon Byrne do that here, though, by getting in and out very quickly–each ad is just 20 seconds long, and half of that run time is the bumper that runs before and after, setting up the “First World Horrors” theme with a gravel-voiced narrator and grainy, spooky stock footage. Then, of course, when we see the nightmare described in the ad, it’s the mundane stuff of everyday hell: the girl who won’t text you back, the selfie that people ignore on Instagram, or the dreaded “not enough space” error when trying to take a picture on your phone. It’s not “being chased through the woods by a guy with an axe” scary, but that just makes it all the more relatable.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.