Benjamin Moore pranks painters in Halloween ad
In a dimly lit hotel, a rocking chair sways back and forth. A chandelier shakes. Lights flicker and a small girl with big eyes lurches out of the darkness toward a man painting a wall. The painter panics and in an instant the lights brighten and the prank is revealed. The mini-horror flick is Benjamin Moore’s latest promotion for Ultra Spec 500, which it claims dries “Scary fast. For a scary good job.”
In the Scary Good Job video, several unsuspecting painters are invited to an abandoned Atlanta hotel at night and asked to paint an interior wall. Eerie events ensue as hidden cameras capture the reaction of the painters to all the creepiness as well as the moment when the ghostly girl reveals herself as real flesh and blood. The idea behind the spot is that professional painters want paint that dries fast and Benjamin Moore claims that Ultra Spec 500 does just that.
Because we don’t test contractor paints, Consumer Reports can’t confirm that claim. But we always caution that when it comes to painting projects, customers and contractors are often at odds because the best paints for pros aren’t always the best paints for homeowners. Pros tend to focus on how easily a paint is applied and how quickly it dries. But as Consumer Reports’ paint tests routinely show, paints have many performance attributes, and there is often wide variance from one product to the next.
How Benjamin Moore does in our tests
In our tests of interior paints for the consumer, Benjamin Moore made our list of top paint picks in all three sheens—satin/eggshell, flat/matte and semi-gloss. Benjamin Moore Aura Satin was excellent overall with top scores for hiding, standing up to scrubbing, and resisting stains. Benjamin Moore Aura Matte was very good overall but missed the top tier because it wasn’t as good at resisting fading. And the Benjamin Moore Aura Semi-Gloss was also very good overall, with excellent scores for hiding, scrubbing, and staining. All three cost $68 a gallon, which is twice as much as most of the other paints we recommend.
If you’re hiring a pro to paint your house, haunted or otherwise, be sure your contract specifies the brand, line, and number of coats. For paint that’s not self-priming, we generally recommend two top coats plus a prime coat over bare surfaces. For more information read “How to Talk to Your Contractor About Paint.”
—Mary H.J. Farrell
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