Tim Loyd, the owner of novelty store Atomic Candy, said he didn’t hesitate a second before releasing his latest advertisements. The posters feature presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with maniacal facial expressions and candy oozing from their mouths.
The only text underneath the images, apart from the shop’s website reads, “Happy Halloween. The second scariest day this year.”
Loyd said that reaction to them has been nothing but positive.
“These ads are non-partisan and funny,” he said. “We were just lucky enough to be [the ad agency’s] muse.”
The throwback shop sits on the corner of Hickory and Locust streets on the small, liberal city’s courthouse square near the top of a mostly conservative state.
A team at INNOCEAN Worldwide, led by Creative Director and former Denton resident Kiran Koshy, designed the ads. This is their fourth set of posters for Atomic.
“We do a few print pieces a year around Valentine’s Day and Halloween,” Koshy, 43, told Wanderer News. “Tim is a great client and has a quirky sense of humor and gives us all the freedom in the world to put out great stuff for him.”
Koshy, 43, said the original idea was to illustrate a werewolf pulling off a scary mask to show his true self, which was even scarier underneath — recalling the campaign the agency made for Atomic Candy in 2015.
“Last year’s posters showed kids chewing candy but looking scary. This was almost like a Part 2 of an existing campaign,” Koshy said. “It was supposed to be just a badass trick or treater and just evolved into what it is now after we showed the initial ideas to the [Chief Creative Officer], who suggested the change.”
[Note: A previous version of this article listed Springer with the title “creative director,” was said in the interview, and amended after publication to reflect his actual title.]
The Chief Creative Officer, Eric Springer, thought that making it more topical would play better with the target audience, Koshy said. Artist Robert Ikemoto then completed the illustrations in about three days.
“We didn’t set out to make political posters. We set out to make Halloween posters,” Koshy said. “It just so happens it’s an election year and everyone is kind of scared about the results. So it was a happy scary accident.”
But, Koshy said that as an ad agency, he didn’t want to take political sides.
“Voting is a very personal thing and everyone has their own personal views,” he said. “But we still wanted to tap into a sentiment most Americans feel. People all over the world have the same concerns about this election so the ads are really resonating.”
The response from the advertising community has also been positive, Koshy said.
“I think the reason for that is because it’s bipartisan and really well-done art,” he said. “We finished them in the end of the September and I’ve been so excited, waiting for them to go live.”
INNOCEAN also produced a small TV commercial for Atomic this year, featuring a nightmarish clown hitting a piñata. It was filmed in April.
“Once again, we got really lucky and stumbled into something that’s also in the commercial zeitgeist at the moment. The whole country is freaking out about these scary creepy clowns,” Koshy said. “So it’s all just a combination of good creative and some awesome luck.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: In an email after publication, Koshy requested that the other members of the creative team also receive credit. They are: copywriter Brandon Poole and art director Stanley Chow.