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‘The Music Box’/ GiffGaff

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This week saw Halloween fever take over the nation, with trick or treaters, clown pranksters and grown men with bloodied noses dressed in pink frocks and football socks (see Stranger Things’ Eleven) out to mark the scariest night of the calendar year. The holiday, as always, also saw advertisers don their thinking caps to come up with a way to integrate their brand into the festivity of the moment. These events can often see the production of some contrived and ineffective work. UK mobile brand GiffGaff, however, has come up with a clever way to utilise the ‘scare factor’ in their latest TV ad ‘The Music Box’.


The two minute ad, featured as part of their wider ‘End the Nightmare’ campaign, depicts a young woman falling into a series of terrifying scenarios after picking up her music box and turning the wind-up dial to the ‘2 years’ setting. After being dragged into another realm through a monster in the cupboard, the horror film-style ad sees the woman chased by zombies, served up on a platter at an evil banquet, encounter a driverless car and graveyard vampire and unknowingly crept up on by a corridor ghost. When she is thrown back out of the cupboard into reality the music box continues to play and the protagonist launches the box at the wall. The words ‘end the nightmare’ then appear on screen followed by ‘don’t sign another 2 year contract’.




It is only at the point when the viewer is pulled from the intensity of the ad - which does have some genuinely tense and frightening moments - that we are aware that the ad is for GiffGaff and is promoting its unique selling point of offering an alternative to the traditional 24 month phone contract offered by other mobile providers. The tongue-in-cheek jab at the brand’s competitors through this work is something that we can’t help but applaud. Not only is the GiffGaff plug understated, the ad itself is both topical and purposeful. By comparing the scariness of the horror genre to being stuck in a two year mobile contract, the brand cleverly promotes what it can offer as well as pointing out the faults in its rivals, all while being guised in an entertaining and current Halloween-themed ad. 


‘The Music Box’, created by GiffGaff in house, with the help of RiffRaff Films, Like Minded Individuals, Stitch Editing and Big Buoy, stands out as a great example of a seasonal advert. Supported by social media activity plus a pop up ‘End the Nightmare’ salon in Soho where Halloween fanatics dropped in to get their hair and make-up styled for a truly terrifying look, the work really reaches out to its young target market. Just like the ghosts, ghouls and monsters of the season, GiffGaff presents itself as the ‘outsider’ of the mobile sector. The ‘End the Nightmare’ campaign continues to help it stand out from the crowd.