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7 Frightfully Amazing Halloween Marketing Campaigns

September 4, 2019 Jennifer Chang

Halloween is not only a holiday when people dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating, it is also a great time for marketers to engage consumers with spooky marketing campaigns. In fact, October is an ideal holiday marketing month with nearly 40 percent of consumers kicking off their holiday shopping. Over the past few years, many brands have created commercials to captivate their audiences in new and exciting ways. Here are seven fantastic and frightening Halloween marketing campaigns that have kept audiences engaged.

Lyft And Stranger Things Offer Paranormal Rides 

With the release of the second season of Stranger Things, Lyft dove head first into the Halloween spirit with this partnered campaign in which passengers entered the creepy world of Stranger Things by getting a Lyft in “Strange Mode.” With static sounds, fake slugs, lights turning on and off and men in hazmat suits approaching the car when stopped, unsuspecting passengers took the creepiest rides of their lives.

Burger King Clowns On McDonald’s

Burger King offered a free Whopper to the first 500 people to visit select Burger King stores dressed up as clowns. The campaign was promoted through a creepy clown-filled commercial, where a young man had to flee from an army of clowns following him down the road. It also combined customer engagement with the clever trolling of rival McDonald’s famous clown mascot, with the hashtag #ScaryClownNight. 

Svedka Vodka Curses Consumers With Banner Ads

Many brands employ ad retargeting to continue to reach potential consumers, but Svedka Vodka put a unique spin on this common practice. They created the “Banner Ad Curse” using online retargeting with ads that followed potential consumers around their social media platforms. Starting with a seasonal cocktail recipe targeted at vodka lovers, individuals were only able to break free from this “curse” by visiting Svedka Vodka’s campaign hub. By sharing one of Svedka Vodka’s articles on social media, they could infect their friends and family too.

Buffalo Wild Wings Ensues Nightmare for Dedicated Sports Fans

Buffalo Wild Wings tapped into understanding their audience’s biggest fears. This three-minute campaign featured a Florida Gators fan dressed up for Halloween in the colors of the Georgia Bulldogs, one of Florida’s biggest rivals. In this video, Buffalo Wild Wings highlighted that no matter what sports team you may support, they serve wings to all. By simply downloading and registering an account on the Blazin’ Rewards app, customers could earn points and redeem them for discounts on future orders.

Krispy Kreme Offers #TreatCred To Customers

Krispy Kreme announced that they were giving out free mouth-watering doughnuts on Halloween. In order to receive this #TreatCred, the only thing customers had to do was wear their costumes and go to a participating Krispy Kreme. They had the option of choosing a pack of zombie doughnuts with chocolate icing, or a sweet jack-o-lantern face doughnut with pumpkin spice and orange sprinkles.

WD-40 Haunts Trick-Or-Treaters With App

Having a loud squeaky door is never a good thing. However, on Halloween, it can be the perfect tool for sparking fear. In this campaign, WD-40 showcased their new app which could turn any normal door into an eerie, creaky one, perfect for inducing terror in trick-or-treaters.

WD-40 Haunted Door App from BIMM on Vimeo.

Budweiser Makes Their Own Halloween

Budweiser attempted to claim Halloween through their #JoinTheFearless campaign, launched in 17 countries where Halloween doesn’t exist. By having their own Halloween anthem, “Touch” by Kehlani Parris and hosting their own Budweiser Halloween parties and events, the brand aimed to bring in many new customers from all over the world.

Halloween is a perfect opportunity for marketers to be imaginative and put a different spin on products or services. Every year, companies may try to top previous years with even more creative, outrageous, and scarier campaigns. By standing out in a sea of competitors, brands are able to truly engage and capture the imaginations of their customers.

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About the Author

Jennifer Chang

After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Media Communications from the University of Delaware, Jennifer Chang embraced the world of all things media and digital marketing. Beginning with an internship at McCann Health New Jersey, Jennifer analyzed data and statistics for clients’ websites, researched competitors and conducted market research. Finding a natural fit in Digital Media Solutions (DMS), Jennifer joined the team as a Marketing Strategist, where she uses her high motivation and keen eye for detail to provide support on division-specific marketing campaigns and various advertising lead generation initiatives. She is also a valuable contributor – both writing and editing – for DMS Insights, and enjoys working alongside a team of like-minded individuals.

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