Spooky season is officially upon us. It’s a fun time for consumers and an even better time for brands that get to be playful with their audience.
Below, you'll find examples of Halloween marketing campaigns, from ad spots and seasonal products to social media posts and influencer campaigns.
It’s hard to think of Halloween without thinking of chocolate.
Since 2012, Twix has delivered ad campaigns focused on the left and right sides of their chocolate bars.
For Halloween, they continue with the same theme – except this one comes with a twist (or should I say Twix?).
In this commercial, young adults dressed in costumes sit in a circle in front of an Ouija board, a device used to communicate with ghosts, spirits, and other supernatural beings.
As they play, a gust of wind blows through the room, and before they know it, the “spirit” has taken a bite of a Twix bar. Everyone starts screaming and the ending shot reads, “The spirits have decided. Left or right, either is a good decision.”
This is a great example of how a brand can tweak an existing campaign and give it a holiday twist.
2. Disney Parks & TikTok
On TikTok, text-to-speech is a popular feature used by a lot of creators. Voices can range from standard American accents to popular characters and serve to add more depth(or fun) to videos.
To celebrate Halloween, Disney Parks recently announced a collaboration with TikTok, in which three characters from Disney’s theme parks can voice videos on the platform.
When we say “Meet your audience where they’re at,” this is what we mean. This partnership is a great play for Disney, as they presumably attempt to reel in a younger crowd and garner interest in their parks.
While they could go with flashy ads, this approach is subtle, as it is embedded into a process users are naturally engaging in.
3. Vegan Treats
Wondering just how early you can start marketing your seasonal products? For Halloween, you can start as early as September.
Although Spooky Season doesn’t officially start ‘till October 1st, the start of fall is a great time to start introducing Halloween-themed products and services.
Take Vegan Treats. On September 7, they started sharing product images all relating to Halloween, starting things off with a skull cake.
The earlier you can start the better. It gives your audience time to review your offers and decide if they want to purchase. If you wait until the week of Halloween to start, it’ll already be too late.
During Halloween, you’ll find some of the most unlikely brands pair up. That’s because holidays allow businesses to branch out in a way that feels natural and fluid.
Take this co-branding campaign between Elysian Brewing, USA Network, and Syfy.
To kick off trick-or-treat time, this beer company released a limited batch of beers for Halloween, “A Killer Wit Beer.”
“Just like Chucky is synonymous with Halloween, Elysian’s pumpkin beers have become synonymous with the season. Seeing Chucky’s iconic, freckled face on our cans feels like a match made in… ah… hell,” said Joe Bisacca, co-founder of Elysian Brewing, in a statement.
Collaborations like these can be key for new audience growth and can work well during holidays when strategies and goals are more likely to align.
Although the concept of a vegetarian vampire during Halloween doesn’t sound very interesting, Heinz found a way to make it work.
Enlisting the help of content creator and TikTok influencer E.J. Marcus, Heinz released a campaign to promote its annual Halloween-themed ketchup, dubbed “tomato blood.”
The multi-channel campaign included an ad spot during AMC’s “Interview with the Vampire,” a partnership with Six Flags to offer branded menu items, and QR-code-scannable billboards.
Where does Marcus come in? He takes on the role of a vampire who’s learned to resist his thirst for humans and instead sustain himself with Heinz’s tomato blood. The ad seems to appeal to Gen-Z, given the ambassador they’ve chosen and the purpose-driven character he embodies.
One takeaway here is that there isn’t only one way to success. If you have the resources for a multi-pronged approach, don’t be afraid to do it. Even unsuccessful campaigns teach you about your audience and what they’re looking for – so it’s always a win for your team.
On TikTok, Target leans heavily on user-generated content. They understand that perfect curation – à la Instagram – isn’t the key to success on this app.
So, they partner with influencers and content creators who can share authentic content using Target products. During Halloween, the strategy remains the same.
@target doesn't matter if it's 105 degrees, we ride at dawn 🧙♀️ @Dalia Elizabeth ♬ Halloween ・ cute horror song - PeriTune
One of their latest posts features creator Dalia Elizabeth who invites viewers to go Halloween shopping with her at Target. Viewers follow along as she walks the aisles and looks through Halloween decorations.
It’s simple but for TikTok, it might be exactly the right approach.