There is no perhaps no movie that has been spoofed, homaged, parodied and referenced more times over the years than Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. A movie that is absolutely chock full of iconic and memorable imagery, from the creepy twins in the hallway to Jack’s total destruction of the bathroom door, The Shining has pretty much become the go-to horror movie to reference, and countless movies and TV shows over the years have done just that.
It’s also pretty common for commercials to reference Kubrick’s masterpiece, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Let’s take a look at a handful of the best!
A seemingly innocent commercial for British hotel chain Premier Inn, this first one played up the idea that a stay in a hotel inferior to theirs could result in a restless night and a whole lot of grumpiness. Starring acclaimed British comedian Lenny Henry, the commercial became the target of much criticism when it was broadcast on children’s network Nick Jr. in 2009, which led the Advertising Standards Authority to pull it. Despite the comedic tone, they felt that the imagery was just too frightening for children.
THE GREAT KINODAGEN
The same scene was parodied in this Norwegian advertisement for a day-long event called The Great Kinodagen, wherein movies are shown for ½ the price they usually cost. In it, a big time fan of The Shining hacks down a door like Jack Nicholson, and then realizes there’s nothing he was even trying to get to on the other side. The words that pop up on the screen at the end translate to ‘Love Movies?’ Wannabe Jack sure does!
GRAIN BELT BEER
In this re-imagining of The Shining, Jack has snapped not because the evil in the Overlook has taken a hold of him, but rather because he simply wants more beer - I can relate, Mr. Torrance. This was put together a few years back by filmmaker Jon Springer, for a contest Minnesota brewing company Grain Belt was having. The incredibly well-made commercial is capped off by a pretty clever tagline: ‘Grain Belt Premium… the beer that makes you shine!” If Springer didn’t win the contest, he damn sure should have!
Similar to the Grain Belt commercial, this spin on the popular Got Milk? advertising campaign has little Danny going crazy, rather than his dad. Ya see, Danny’s just eaten a whole bunch of chocolate chip cookies, and he needs some milk to wash them down. So he sets out on a mission to find some, all the while repeating the words “klim tog” over and over again. What the hell is he talking about? Watch this hilarious commercial to find out!
Award-winning filmmaker Julian Shaw put together this ad for Australian film magazine FilmInk, which takes a similar approach to the previous commercial by having Danny write and speak the title of the magazine backwards. Keep your eyes peeled for three references to other Shelley Duvall films, hidden within the commercial!
This one’s a little bit different than the others, and it’s got a pretty interesting story behind it. A concept advertisement for a faux iPod product of the future called iSPEC, this was directed by Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, and it was in fact this very ad that brought Kosinski to the attention of Tron’s producer. The faux iSPEC is a virtual reality device that allows you to literally walk around inside of your favorite movies, and Kosinski’s commercial for the device takes us inside of The Shining’s Overlook Hotel. Pretty wild!
Dewar’s paired up with actress Claire Forlani last year for this sexy and intense commercial made by ad agency Opperman Weiss. Though no direct mention of The Shining is made, the bar Forlani pours herself a glass of scotch at is an exact replica of the Overlook’s Gold Room. Only thing it’s missing is Lloyd behind the bar. Not sure how Jack would feel about this one, considering he's more of a bourbon kind of guy!
Someone over at Microsoft must be a big time horror fan because Bing has done some pretty cool horror-inspired things over the years, from commercials to a spooky interactive game that took over their home page this past Halloween. I’ve always been a Google fan, but Bing definitely caught my attention with this commercial in 2009, which recreated all of the film’s most iconic moments. Remember, folks: All searching and no deciding makes the web a dull place!
MORE4’S STANLEY KUBRICK SEASON
I’m a believer in the idea of saving the best for last, and I think you’ll agree that I’ve done just that with this post. In July of 2008, British channel More4 ran a series of Stanley Kubrick films throughout the month, and cut together this brilliant commercial to promote the marathon. Featuring lookalikes of all the actors and elaborate recreations of the sets, the ad conveyed the behind the scenes atmosphere of The Shining, as seen through Stanley Kubrick’s eyes. We will of course never be able to go back in time and visit the set of the film, or see the world from Kubrick’s point of view, but this masterful commercial will more than fulfill your appetite for such desires. Commercials don’t get much more awesome than this!
Do you know of any other commercials that referenced The Shining? Comment below and let us know!