Oct. 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM ET
Halloween without candy may be a horrifying concept for kids, but it makes for a pretty funny viral ad.
A new commercial for Crest toothpaste and Oral-B toothbrushes shows what happens when precocious children expecting to devour delicious sweets while dressed up in cute costumes are presented with “healthy Halloween treats” instead.
The new menu includes “veggie fruit chews” — with flavors such as asparagus and beet, the man who hands out the treats cheerfully announces.
The children’s reactions are priceless.
“This is the most worst I ever tasted,” one boy says.
“Mine tastes like broccoli, yuck!” another exclaims.
A girl tries to be polite, but ultimately can’t hide her disappointment.
“It’s kind of good, kind of bad,” she says bravely until the man asks her to be honest. “It’s bad,” she concedes.
The same girl actually throws up when she tries an “artichoke buttercup.” The kids also can’t hide their disgust when presented with “tofu ghost mellows” and “healthy cupcakes.”
Then, there’s the black “nori pop,” which looks like a lollipop in the sense that it features a round substance on top of a stick, but the similarities end there. “It has a fibrous quality, which is going to get your colon going in the morning,” the man helpfully explains to the bewildered kids. “They’re disgusting,” one of the children proclaims.
The message of the ad? “Nothing is more horrifying than Halloween without candy.”
The commercial, titled “Halloween Treats Gone Wrong,” was filmed in a focus group room with a one-way mirror, said Rishi Dhingra, North America oral care marketing director for Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Crest and Oral-B. The kids were only told that they would be the first ones to try brand-new Halloween treats.
The “treats” were made with little or no sugar, or contained only vegetables, and were designed to look appealing, but taste nothing like candy, he added.
“The children’s reactions were absolutely natural and unscripted,” Dhingra told TODAY Moms. “We did not give the children any food items to sample with the intention of making them ill or causing any other adverse reactions. … Participation was voluntary and all of the children were free to leave at any point if they wanted.”
Dhingra described the girl throwing up as “a candid moment,” but one the company decided to keep in the video “as she was totally nonchalant about it,” he said.
All of the kids stayed for the duration of the filming and were given their Halloween costumes at the end of the day, Dhingra said.
The short and long versions of the ad have had more than 3 million views on YouTube since the video was posted earlier this month.