If there’s one time of year when content is meant to be creepy, it’s Halloween. Some major brands have dished up delightfully spooky — and effective — content marketing campaigns for All Hallows’ Eve, one of the biggest spending holidays for many Americans.
Consumers dished nearly $7 billion on Halloween goodies in 2015, according to The National Retail Federation, with the average person dropping $74 on costumes, candy and decorations. Great Halloween-themed content celebrates the joys of the holiday while remaining true to a brand’s marketing strategy, just like these delicious campaign treats.
Oreo is no stranger to fun and engaging Halloween-themed content. In 2014, the brand partnered with 360i to create the frightfully delicious Oreo Laboratorium. With a series of short videos posted on social media channels, Oreo introduced fans to a variety of “nomsters,” cute monsters made from Oreo cookies and various candies. The videos garnered around 10,000 likes and spurred quite a bit of engagement through comments. The
The videos garnered around 10,000 likes and spurred quite a bit of engagement through comments. The brand also invited fans to get in on the action by coming up with names for the newly created nomsters, riding the success of this spooky campaign.
Target’s Haunted House
In 2015, Target showed off its selection of Halloween merchandise with a series of interactive videos to hop onto the 360-degree trend. The series starts off innocently enough, with kids trick or treating around a neighborhood. It then takes a turn for the spooky when a raven steals the viewer’s phone and dashes into a haunted house.
Engaged users then take an immersive tour of the house, desperate to retrieve their smartphones, because there’s nothing scarier than losing your coveted device these days. With Target’s Halloween swag decorating each room, viewers have the ability to click on products for purchase, bringing the marketing campaign full circle.
Tide’s Horror Flick Parody
Tide is pretty clever any time of year, but the brand really outdid itself for Halloween 2013. Tide marketers created short videos spoofing popular horror films, such as “Carrie,” “The Shining” and “Paranormal Activity,” using costumed Tide bottles as the main characters. Their clever hashtag #scaredstainless marked the occasion and surely made it easier to track engagement. This concept paid off, especially on Vine, with tens of thousands of views and hundreds of shares, making it a slam dunk for the brand.
Ford’s Car Wash Prank
In 2014, Ford also tapped into the classic horror movie concept with a video titled Spooky Halloween Car Wash. The brand used its own product to set the scene and hit record for some promotional Halloween fun. Several unsuspecting drivers were treated to a free car wash, only to be frightened by “monsters” jumping out from the shadows. The video was a hit and has scared up nearly 2 million views on YouTube since it was posted.
CDC Prepares for the Zombie Apocalypse
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might not be the brand that comes to mind when you think Halloween festivity, but the government organization showed a lighter side with a Zombie Preparedness Campaign. The odds of a zombie apocalypse ever happening are slim — to the dismay of “The Walking Dead” fans — but the tips presented in the CDC’s guide easily translate to more realistic potential disasters like hurricanes, tornados or major flooding. The zombie kit included a blog, educational resources for teachers and even a graphic novella to appeal to a wider audience.
Scaring up spooky content for Halloween is a great way to promote a product or message by leveraging universal themes, as long as the content is creative and on brand. What’s the big lesson to learn from these examples? Get crafty with current trends, and choose the proper channels for optimum exposure.