The 10 Most Metal Commercials Of All Time
Ah, commercials, the toxic run-off of the entertainment industry. Any metalhead worth their salt is suspicious and dismissive of these flashy vignettes designed to sell us shit we don’t need, in part because they often seem aimed at the most idiotic, complacent members of polite society. That makes sense — blastbeats and burning churches will never flip Old Navy cargo shorts to soccer moms. And yet every so often, advertisers decide that they want that metalhead money, and create TV commercials geared towards your everyday satanic rocker.
These ads are, for the most part, pretty lame, whether they use metal as an ironic gag or include actually decent music. But no matter how firmly you wear your They Live glasses, you have to admit that many of these metal-themed TV spots are actually kind of fun and well-made. Hell, some even feel like an actual metalhead was behind them.
Here, for your easy reference, is a ranking of the ten most metal TV commercials. Go buy a Kerrang! shirt.
10. KFC IS TOO HOT FOR BLACK METAL
It’s interesting that KFC decided to go black metal for this one, as bigger and flashier metal bands also act tough and breathe fire. But it was created during the initial late-2000s wave of black metal being ironic meme fodder, so obviously they were trying to push chicken on hipsters as well as headbangers. Still, the ending is kind of funny, and at least the band looks the part, so it makes the list.
9. CINDERELLA LOVES PAT’S CHILI DOGS
You can picture the conversation instantly. It’s 1983. Cinderella come into Pat’s Chili Dogs for the 48th consecutive night. Pat has overheard that the drunk crossdressers who frequent his place at 3:00am every night have scored a record deal. Pat asks Cinderella to make a commercial for his place, for which he will pay them in chili dogs. The band immediately accepts, and high-five each other.
8. FEDEX TAKES ON SHOCK ROCK
On the one hand, metalheads will acknowledge that some of the imagery in this FedEx TV spot is a little confused — the band they’ve created is some sort of hybrid of Slipknot, Cradle Of Filth, and Turbonegro. On the other hand, this is pretty hilarious, and speaks to something all metal fans understand on a deep level — that at the end of the day, most of us are a bunch of good-natured doofuses.
7. FINNISH BLACK METAL FOR ZYX COUGH DROPS
The joke in this Finnish cough drop commercial is cheesy, and their use of Immortal-style black metallers deserves an eye roll or two. But how hard the company went in the black metal direction is admirable, and this is kind of adorable, if cliche. Plus, it’s Finnish, so at least we can rest easy knowing they’re familiar with actual metal.
6. MTV’S JESSE CAMP LOVES SLAYER
A classic MTV Halloween commercial featuring semi-coherent former VJ Jesse Camp. The central gag is kind of a dad joke, but it’s also awesome that they use Seasons In The Abyss for the rest of the commercial. Extra points for cracking wise about Slayer in the height of the nu-metal era.
5. VAN HOUTEN COCOA’S MAMA METAL SERIES
While obviously inspired by the rise of Babymetal, these Japanese cocoa ads are still pretty fucking funny, and kind of true as hell. What’s more, they use metal for its ideal purpose: expressing your frustration at the everyday bullshit that drives you crazy. Now enjoy wondering how often your mom, wife, or girlfriend dreams of ripping you in half like a phone booth.
4. HONDA BLASTS JUDAS PRIEST OUT OF A MINIVAN
On the one hand, this TV spot for the Honda Odyssey is pretty basic. But its use of The Hellion, featuring arguably Judas Priest’s tastiest guitar harmony, is admirable. On top of that, it looks like the kind of commercial a totally earnest metalhead would make if they were given a budget, so the irony factor is at an all time low.
3. HORNBACH’S HEARTWARMING GOTH GIRL AND DAD
You didn’t expect one of the entries on this list to get you all choked up, did you? This German DIY chain commercial is a touching tribute to a feeling every goth kid knows. It also does a good job of making the girl in it relatable instead of predictable and the dad in it awesome instead of terrible. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
2. ESPN’S JOHN CLAYTON LOVES SLAYER
For our third and final Slayer-based commercial, we have ESPN commentator John Clayton revealing that behind his professional image lies a dirtbag hesher. Not only is this ad hilarious — Clayton really goes for it — but its use of the Reign In Blood album cover on a poster is pretty daring, given all the sick, evil shit buried in that image. Gotta love the classic logo-only tee, too.
1. NISSIN RAMEN GOES TOTAL METAL
Hoooly shit. We honestly just want to spend our day watching this commercial on repeat. Its depiction of an adorable chick making a pact with unholy supernatural forces and turning into a world-ending rooster god is right out of most metalheads’ dream journals. As it stands, this commercial is more balls-out metal than 99% of the album art produced in the last five years. Fuck yeah, Japan.
WORDS: Chris Krovatin