Following her turn playing sassy sales rep Phyllis Vance on “The Office,” actor Phyllis Smith has kept us laughing with her commercial gigs for Panera and, more recently, for craft retailer Joann. Now, she has our hearts racing and teeth chattering in a mini horror flick with a DIY twist.
In Joann's latest campaign from Pittsburgh-based Where Eagles Dare, Smith appears in a webisode in which she schemes to win the neighborhood costume contest by fooling her biggest foe, played by DIY fashion influencer April Yang (@coolirpa), into helping her. In the process, however, her home becomes a house of horrors, as mysterious messages begin to pour in from a creepy ghoul who turns out to be living under her roof.
The short film, titled “A Nightmare on Phyllis’ Street,” teed up a TikTok contest from the brand. In a series of posts rolling out through October, Smith, donning a homemade disguise, will invite users to participate in the “#handmadewithjoann” costume challenge asking fans to show off their DIY getups. The first one, starring a decapitated Smith, debuted today.
Joann will then pick a top winner in three different categories: funniest, scariest and most original. The TikTok community will vote for the best out of three. Finalists will be picked on Oct. 24 and the grand prize winner will receive a $2,500 shopping spree at their local Joann. Runners-up will score $500 to spend at the store.
“Who doesn’t love a good scare on Halloween,” said Brian Franks, founder and executive creative director of Where Eagles Dare, in a statement. "‘A Nightmare on Phyllis’ Street’ pays tribute to the best of the horror classics while inspiring everyone to get crafty this Halloween with creative costumes.”
In Joann's previous pushes starring Smith, she found clever ways to indulge in her hobbies during the holidays while “juggling” her nine-to-five job working from home. She then returned in the spring as an impromptu wedding planner.