Halloween is a great time for everybody to have a bit of fun, and for advertisers to get even more creative! Here are some of our favourite Halloween marketing campaigns from recent years. From the silly to the spooky, they got people talking and certainly created a lasting impression.
1. LG – So Real It’s Scary (2012)
Launched just before Halloween to get people into the spirit of pranks, this video went viral almost immediately and has racked up tens of millions of views on YouTube. It instantly succeeded in getting its message across by using the high-quality, lifelike image technology it was promoting to scare people half to (fake) death.
2. Topshop – Trick or Tweet (2012)
An excellent example of customer engagement via social media, Topshop encouraged people to tweet to @Topshop with either pictures of their Halloween outfit or a Halloween-inspired fashion tip using the hashtag #trickortweet for the five days leading up to Halloween 2012. Devised as connection of “our digital and physical worlds” for the launch of its “Witching Hour” fashion collection, customers could present their tweets at an in-store Topshop Tweet Shop in return for cosmetic items. Tweets judged as the best of the day during this promotion were rewarded with a £100 gift card.
3. Tide – Scared Stainless (2013)
Simple, funny and (most importantly), product-appropriate, these clever animations started appearing in mid-October of 2013 with the homage to the release of a movie remake of Stephen King’s Carrie. Tide released the short spoof of a famous scene in the movie with the tagline “Stains better be scared”. By the time Halloween came around, Procter & Gamble had more spoofs of famous horror films such as Ring, Paranormal Activity and Poltergeist for its Twitter followers to enjoy.
4. Ford – Spooky Car Wash Prank (2014)
Similar to LG’s “So Real It’s Scary” campaign, but with practical effects instead of technological prowess. Ford set up test drives with unwitting customers, dressed actors up as a variety of scary monsters, and then put the unsuspecting occupants of the car through a car wash that was more like a ghost train. It’s a simple but effective setup as prank videos have proved very popular for online Halloween marketing.
*WARNING* Video contains flashing lights.
5. Chipotle – Boorito (2010 – ongoing)
Lauched in 2010, US food chain Chipotle have kept their Boorito Halloween discount scheme going for five years now. Although the prices and terms have changed slightly over the years (this year’s theme is “unnecessary additives are creepy”, with customers encouraged to make “unneces-scary” additions to their costumes), the main idea behind the campaign remains the same. Customers turn up at a Chipotle branch from a certain time on the 31st of October in full Halloween costume and receive a discounted meal deal. Up to $1 million of the money raised goes to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which is dedicated to “creating a more sustainable food future”.
6. Kellogg’s – Rice Krispies Scares (2013)
Forthe launch of it’s Halloween-inspired range of “Malloween” and “Totally Shocklately” (Halloween season re-brands of existing flavours “Chewy Marshmallow” and “Totally Chocolatey”), Kellogg’s Ireland installed multiple vending machines that tested the concept of trick or treat. Emblazoned with the (literal) offer of “Free Rice Krispies Scares Here”, unsuspecting members of the public were filmed as they got more than they expected when reaching for their Rice Krispie treat.