Svedka Vodka gets creepy for Halloween with banner ads that stalk users in spooky campaign


Svedka Vodka amps up the creepy factor this Halloween season with a new campaign featuring banner ads that haunt and taunt users everywhere they go.

With a millennial audience that spends a lot of time online, the vodka brand decided to dial up the creepiness factor with the most dreaded kind of advertising – banner ads.

The Svedka ‘Banner Ad Curse’ finds eerie banners following users around like a stalker and reminding them that their every move is being watched, measured, and weaponized for advertising.

The campaign, created by Toronto agency Bensimon Byrne, starts by serving up a ‘Curse Video,’ a forced-view pre-roll video that, once seen, subjects the viewer to an onslaught of digital ads that target and retarget them with creepy messages and delicious Svedka Vodka cocktails.

The curse messages are based on information that the ad knows about the user – if someone is up late, on their mobile devices, watching a video, posting things about other vodkas, or even go into private browsing mode. Some examples of phrases sent include: ‘I heart following you around New York,’ ‘You shouldn’t be up this late,’ ‘I know you like the wrong vodka,’ and ‘On your phone, calling for help?’

People can break the curse and be free of the banners by visiting the Svedka Vodka site and sharing the only thing more despicable than retargeting banners: clickbait news articles. If any of their friends click on the article, they’ll be redirected to the curse video that cookies them and starts the whole ‘hellish’ process all over again.

This article first appeared in

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About Author

Kyle O'Brien

I am a reporter for The Drum covering a wide array of topics but always trying to tell the best stories possible. I am a former west coaster from California and Portland, Oregon, now living in Pennsylvania — with time spent in NYC each week. I also play saxophone professionally.

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