Phyllis Smith Returns in Spooktacular Halloween Campaign for Craft Retailer JOANN

Oct 11, 2021

Created by Where Eagles Dare, new effort includes web film, “Nightmare on Phyllis’ Street,” and a #handmadewithjoann costume challenge on TikTok

HUDSON, Ohio - JOANN (NASDAQ: JOAN), the nation’s category leader in sewing and fabrics and one of the fastest growing players in the arts and crafts industry, is bringing back comedy star Phyllis Smith in a hilarious Halloween campaign that is “sew” spooky, it might just inspire everyone to make their own DIY costumes this year.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a new docu-style webisode titled “Nightmare on Phyllis’ Street” that follows the craft-obsessed Phyllis as she attempts to win points with her boss by making a Halloween costume for the boss’ daughter that will also be entered into the annual neighborhood costume contest. There’s only one problem: Phyllis’ design has been ruined because she accidentally spilled red paint all over it.

The episode features notable DIY fashion influencer April Yang (aka @coolirpa), who comes to Phyllis’ rescue despite being her crafting nemesis, having beaten Phyllis every year to claim first prize in the contest. However, Phyllis has plans to “slaughter” the competition by secretly entering the costume unbeknownst to April. Throughout the episode, tension builds as ominous phone calls and the presence of a shadowy figure turn Phyllis’ craft room into a house of horrors.

Created in partnership with creative agency Where Eagles Dare, the episode will live on and YouTube, with a corresponding video tutorial that provides step-by-step instructions for each craft. In this case, Yang will show how to create a conjuring crow costume.

“This was such a fun webisode to create and bring to life, and we love its bizarre, unexpected twist,” said Brian Franks, Founder/ECD of Where Eagles Dare. “Who doesn’t love a good scare on Halloween. ‘Nightmare on Phyllis’ Street’ pays tribute to the best of the horror classics while inspiring everyone to get crafty this Halloween with creative costumes.”

“Nightmare on Phyllis’ Street” will also be promoted on JOANN’s social channels, along with a digital media buy featuring :15 and :30 promo ads.

In addition, starting October 11-23, Phyllis is coming to TikTok to scare the craft out of everyone in a #handmadewithjoann costume challenge. In a series of entertaining posts, Phyllis will dress up in over-the-top costumes and challenge others to show off their amazing DIY costumes. JOANN will pick the top winner in each category – funniest, scariest and most original – and from there the TikTok community will vote for the best out of the three. Top finalists will be selected October 24 and notified via DM or comments section. The Grand prize winner will receive a $2,500 shopping spree (and $500 for the two finalists) at their local JOANN.

The new effort comes on the heels of JOANN’s springtime-themed episode where Phyllis helped pull off a makeshift wedding for the couple next door. The partnership began last year with a three-part webisode series, “Working from Home with Phyllis,” that featured Phyllis crocheting kittens, baking snow globe cookies and making a holiday wreath.


  • Client: Joann
  • Agency: Where Eagles Dare
  • Founder/ECD: Brian Franks
  • Creative Director: Zam Cadden
  • Lead Designer: Sarah Karwoski
  • Joann Chief Creative Officer: Richard Vollmer
  • Joann Editorial Director: Valerie Ott
  • Joann Crafted Content Manager: Anna Olsen
  • Director: Ricky Mabe
  • Executive Producer: Barry Sonders
  • Production: PF100, Malcolm Wax, Bradley Schulz
  • DP: JR Kraus
  • Music Composition: David Schuler
  • Writers: Jared Kozel, Ricky Mabe
  • Starring: Phyllis Smith
  • Featuring: April Yang
  • Production Designer: Ben Ralston


For more than 75 years, JOANN has inspired creativity in the hearts, hands, and minds of its customers. From a single storefront in Cleveland, Ohio, the nation’s category leader in sewing and fabrics and one of the fastest growing competitors in the arts and crafts industry has grown to include 853 stores across 49 states and robust e-commerce business. With the goal of helping every customer find their creative Happy Place, JOANN serves as a convenient single source for all of the supplies, guidance, and inspiration needed to achieve any project or passion.