13 Spooky Halloween Marketing Campaigns That Achieved Great Results

Halloween is always a fun time filled with costumes, sweets, and creativity. But still, many brands fail to utilize this incredible holiday opportunity to their advantage.

When I was around 16, my family moved from the neighborhood I had spent my entire life in. As you would expect, we didn’t fit in right away within the new community. We moved during the rainy season and most people remained indoors. It was during Halloween that we received a package from a store in the neighborhood with a simple note that read ‘Spooky and spooky’ they say, ‘Welcome to our town’. Now I don’t know if they did that for every new family who moved into the town, or it was a holiday marketing campaign of some sort, but it immediately put us at ease, and we knew we were going to be alright. The store owners probably didn’t realize what that simple hamper meant to us, but they had gained loyal customers for a lifetime.

Taking a cue from the gesture shown by the owners of the store, I believe every brand can find an opportunity to connect with customers to make a lasting impression in their minds. Halloween could be one of them.

Before delving into the major campaigns of Halloween which achieved the greatest results, let’s look at some numbers drawn up from statistics over the years. The data shows that;

148 million U.S. adults will take part in Halloween-related activities.

64% of the population will celebrate Halloween with an average spend of $92 per person.

30% of consumers plan to make their Halloween purchases online.

Looking at these numbers, you will likely look for answers to questions like —

  • How do I connect with my customers during this period?
  • What’s the best strategy to increase my sales?
  • Can I afford it?

This information will help you focus on building the foundation of your Halloween campaign, because as beloved as Halloween is, it doesn’t give brands the leeway to exhibit goofy and silly promotions.

Building up the right approach is somewhat more intricate than simply force-feeding your products which are in no way related to Halloween down the throats of clients because of the selling opportunity provided by the holiday. If this is you, you should be deliberate about how to be intriguing, innovative, and engaging without looking like another sponsored ad.

These 13 tested and trusted Halloween campaigns will undeniably guide you in maximizing the potential of Halloween for your business.

Let’s dig right in 👻

1. FOCUS ON USER GENERATED CONTENT.

User-generated content is usually one of the most effective marketing campaign strategies, especially for Halloween because the range of opportunities is as endless as your customers’ imagination. Utilizing a challenge is the best way to get the creative side of your customers while also creating a connection with them.

A perfect example is the Burger King campaign which saw them tap into one of my favorite quotes by Andrew Reid, that states ‘find a way to be personal with your customers and connect with them on a human level’.

By offering free whopper burgers to the first 500 people who visited select burger king stores dressed as clowns, gave the customers a feel of the connection while being a genius move in all traditional and radical areas. It increased customer engagement, they subtly trolled their fierce competition in the most friendly and human manner. And in doing so, increased their online presence as tongues were wagging and fingers got to typing.

#ScaryClownNight

2. DO A HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY

Everybody likes free stuff! The anxiety we went through when we moved into a new neighborhood was easily eliminated when we got gifted with a welcome hamper. This is one of the most compelling social media campaigns to expand traction and attract new clients. In the example below, Hulu announced its biggest “Huluween” celebration yet. They rolled out a series of Halloween-themed content in the form of a horror series.

By making “The House” short films available for free, Hulu gained new subscribers by pointing them towards the vast horror content available in their library. Hulu’s then CEO, Randy Freer even went as far as to say they are “redefining TV’’.

3. HAVE FUN WITH HASHTAGS

Hashtags keep on being increasingly more impressive when individuals are searching for some theme specifically as well as to prod the innovative personalities of your crowd. Make your dedicated hashtags and drive your crowd to make up their own as well.

Continuously ensure the organization posts and hashtags are on-brand. Be merry, fun, and interesting — yet be mindful so as not to insult. An example of a dedicated hashtag can be seen in the Halloween Goes Haute Couture with Dior campaign. Dior was fully committed to the spooky Halloween vibe by featuring Bella Hadid, where the supermodel demonstrated how to create fabulous makeup looks just for Halloween.

The videos were promoted on social media and opened up a new audience with the hashtag #DiorMakeUpHalloween. The content promoted spooky language and attracted new crowds to the Halloween vibe.

4. CREATE SPECIAL HALLOWEEN OFFERS

In the days leading up to Halloween, highlight various sorts of offers with dynamic visuals and holiday themes. Do one-day or two-day sales. Create a limited edition of a product to be sold within a specific time frame. These limitations can help turn a new prospect into a buyer quicker!

As an example, Mars Confectionery, the Makers of Skittles, having known that every year an overwhelming majority of shoppers plan to buy candy and chocolate for Halloween decided to do something horrible and extremely different but genius by making the skittles as a zombie flavored candy. The Halloween themed product had 5 Halloween themed flavors such as Boogeyman Blackberry and Mummified melon. The kick in the campaign was to include a rotten and horrible flavored zombie skittles candy which the customer will only be made aware of while devouring the candy.

#ZombieSkittles

The taste was revolting and horrifying, but the beauty of such a marketing campaign is the upsurge in sales of the product by playing on the human psyche with the fascination of trying new and strange things. This gave the zombie skittles lots of attention online through video reviews, taste bloggers, and foodies challenges.

Rebecca Duke, Senior Brand Manager at Skittles for Mars Wrigley US, said: “Skittles Is known not just for its delectable flavors, but also for its impertinence and wit”.

5. GET FESTIVE WITH YOUR WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES

People love to decorate, especially during the holidays. You can splash some decorative components on your social media profiles that spread joy and excitement. Also, creating themes in alignment with your brand can be impactful on your audience.

Kylie Cosmetics adopted this marketing strategy in their Halloween Never Looked So Good campaign. They figured that since Halloween and makeup were a match, they could create something fitting. Both on their social media and dedicated webpage, the brand didn’t only sell special edition cosmetics, but product names and packaging were also tweaked to fit the theme.

They also presented unique uses for their cosmetic products and shared images of how the Halloween Collection could be used.

This campaign saw an increase in social media following and website engagement within one week of execution.

6. UTILIZE NOSTALGIA MARKETING

It is sometimes best to recall the wonderful times of past years and this is particularly apparent in marketing. With nostalgia marketing, you can evoke positive feelings from your audience, display your products and services in the limelight, and generate revenue. Older audiences will appreciate the walk around a world of fond memories — and the more youthful market is probably going to receive a kick in return, as well. Unicef played the technique of Nostalgia in their latest Halloween Heros campaign.

With the release of the new Lion King and Aladdin, Unicef took American adults back in time through memories of their childhood.

The campaign proved that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A good revamp and digital intervention can bring old ideas and memories to life. Nostalgic marketing tends to evoke strong memories which lead to spending, or in this case — donations for a good cause.

7. OFFER DISCOUNTS

I must talk about discounts as these are a Halloween special no-brainer and you’ll want to create sales to go on a holiday. An example of this strategy was adopted by Chipotle.

Every year, Chipotle runs an ad offering limited food to clients who come to the store wearing a costume.

This Facebook post got more than 7,000 likes and 3,000 shares which demonstrated that followers are keen on the deal.

8. INFLUENCER MARKETING

When you run a marketing campaign using an influencer, you can share their posts to your feed after they’ve shared it on theirs. This implies that not only you are generating word of mouth for your business, you’re getting extra valuable content and reach for your feed as well!

Crocs wowed us in this campaign, as they amplified the ability of their influencers’ innovation in creating special content for their brand.

Crocs categorically partnered with various influencers to wear their iconic shoes with Do-It-Yourself Halloween costumes and publish a photo with the #ComeAsYouAre hashtag.

This campaign drove brand recognition and inventive resources. On account of the personal touches made by the influencers, the brand could connect with the customers.

9. RETARGET YOUR ADS WITH A TWIST

I must talk about retargeting because it’s one of the best forms of paid online marketing. In basic terms, it helps you keep your brand in front of churned traffic after they leave your website. According to Retargeter, “The conversion rate on the first visit for most websites is only 2% of web traffic. Using retargeting helps companies reach 98% of users who don’t convert at the onset’’.

Svedka Vodka in its Banner Ad Curse Campaign created a way to make creepy online advertising look cool and fun. The banner ad curse was created to make potential customers squirm with ads that followed them around the internet. The concept is usually perceived as negative but Svedka found an ingenious way to change the narrative.

The campaign was targeted at vodka lovers who got baited into clicking for seasonal cocktail recipes. Once a potential client clicked, they were transported to the Svedka hub where a video awaits…

Once the video has been seen, the curse is activated and ads of the video banner trail you.

The curse could only be broken by visiting the heart of the campaign and sharing any one of their articles with your companions who are also likely to be contaminated.

Crazy, right?! What a way to make extremely creepy ads cool!

The campaign was a success as it saw engagement just from sharing content (‘the curse’) from the hub increase over 10x during the two-week campaign period. It also saw an overall Click Through Rate (CTR) of 0.47% (compared to the industry benchmark of 0.10%).

So if you’re waiting for the perfect time to seize this opportunity, the time is now! 🎃

10. ADD A LITTLE SPOOK FOR WEBSITE INTERACTION

The basic way to make a Halloween splash on your webpage and mobile app is to easily create banners and bundle items you can pass off as Halloween-ish.

Sometimes changing the color on some items to black and orange can do the trick. This strategy was embraced by an e-commerce giant, Koala Furniture in their ‘A Ghoulish “Easter Egg” Hunt’ campaign.

Koala urged fans to scour their website for Halloween easter eggs …

Example: ‘Eggs’ as a skeleton in the window, pumpkin on the nightstand, spider under the bed.

This ensured an additional form of engagement. It was a genius strategy because it forced people, fans, and potential customers, to go through their website on purpose!!!

The contest also unfolded on social gaining them traction and more people who heard about it wanted to participate.

11. CREATE TRANSFORMATIONAL VIDEOS

Video can be a productive method to convey your brand’s message as it’s constantly growing in traction. During Halloween, you are offered the chance to get spooky about your products and services to catch people’s attention as to be seen in Bacardi: Dress to Be Free campaign.

It highlighted beautiful recordings of individuals worldwide who dress “to be free” as opposed to fitting in.

The campaign was a huge success as over 80+ journalists and 200+ influencers were in attendance, which resulted in 113 pieces of coverage and garnering over 675 million earned media and 47.9 million social media impressions.

12. GIVE YOUR EMAIL MARKETING A SPOOK

Create Halloween emails that build up the suspense. Halloween is the ideal opportunity to spruce up your messages to give them an edge. A newsletter from Mango caught my attention with it’s exquisite, yet rather saucy, message. The title was striking, set in sharp variance against the white background, and the paragraph added an edge.

This simple but unique marketing strategy they adopted gave their emails an added advantage in their consumer’s inbox. I mean just from the look and feel, you’d be intrigued and want to know what products we can buy already the next day.

13. ADOPT THE HOLIDAY THEME FOR YOUR STORES

This is likely one of the most popular things storekeepers should consider during the preparation for holiday sales: designing the store with the goal that it has the look and feel of each coming occasion. Nonetheless, it’s not fitting to change the theme of the shop totally (which would be very costly especially when it is only temporary for a couple of weeks). Rather, you can concentrate on adorning elements that are sufficiently appealing to get clients’ impression when first visiting your store.

Shoppers at Tesco were in for a surprise when the supermarket was given a spooky vibe to celebrate Halloween.

Moving carts, frozen hands, and more frights awaited unsuspecting shoppers.

It was frightful without being excessively unnerving for the more youthful customers. This is fundamental when the customers who visit your store are essentially all ages. The campaign clocked over 1.55 million views.

— — —

So there you have it — 13 spookily effective and simple Halloween campaign ideas for your brand. There are numerous marketing tools to drive your campaign to the next level, and if you haven’t prepared for the upcoming holiday season, you might want start right away!

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Thomas Mercy

Thomas Mercy

I specialize in Digital Marketing, Product Branding, Community Management and Content Writing

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