Halloween is the perfect time for content marketers to experiment with a seasonable marketing campaign. Anything goes on Halloween and people are primed to expect the unexpected. It’s hard not to love a holiday that’s all about candy, monsters, and dressing up, so let your brand’s personality shine and share in the experience.
In honor of today’s holiday, and to get you in the spirit we pulled together 10 campaigns from Halloween’s past that knocked it out of the park.
1. Petco’s Make a Scene Contest
This is the fourth year Petco has run the same contest, which is forgivable because it’s a brilliant idea that people look forward to. Audiences submit pictures on Instagram of their pets dressed up as characters from famous movie scenes, and the best one gets a cash prize. But really everybody wins. We all get to see adorable photos of dogs in costumes, and Petco gets a ton of participation from their online communities and UGN content for repurposing while pointing people toward their many amazing pet costumes available for sale.
Just goes to show that sometimes the most successful ideas are the simplest.
2. Little Caesars’ Forbidden Pizza
Do NOT put your address in this box!
The Little Caesars website combines playful and spooky with functional as a narrator begs you not to put in your street address. Once you click to enter, you’ll find your house getting “haunted” on google maps by some local ghosts. The only way to unhaunt it is by visiting your nearest Little Caesars for a pizza exorcism.
Dare to try?
3. Trulia’s Haunted Open House Prank
Nothing like hidden cameras and a haunted house for some good old fashioned laughs. A team of house haunters pitched in to help create this hilarious video of potential home buyers getting spooked at a showing. It’s a classic prank formula made more authentic by the buyers’ willingness to try and manage their expectations to make it work for 2300 square feet of home at a great price.
Don’t miss their priceless reactions.
4. REI’s Tools for Surviving a Zombie Attack
Cute, shareable, and featuring many of REI’s fine products, this infographic providing 13 essential piece of equipment you’ll need in case of a zombie outbreak is one for the win. It also teaches five critical skills to help you from becoming a ravenous snack for the ravenous hordes of flesh-eating ghouls.
5. Airbnb’s Spooky Vacation Contests
Last year Airbnb gave away a night in the catacombs under Paris which was quite the opportunity, as only 200 people were allowed to visit the catacombs at that time, let alone sleep there. This year, participants can login and submit their answer to “What would you say to the Count if you were to come face-to-fang with him in his own castle?” in order to win a Halloween night stay in Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania.
Intriguing, on-brand, and a deliciously spooky once in a lifetime experience.
6. Target’s House on Hallow Hill and Treatster
Target went all out last year with two different first-of-its-kind halloween social media campaigns.
Their House on Hallow Hill, a choose-your-own-adventure-style story users could play on YouTube on their mobile devices was as a sort of VR portal into a spooky haunted house,just happened to be furnished with items available at Target.
It also launched Treatster, a social network tool that allowed people to share information about which houses were must-visit spots for trick-or-treaters on each block. No quicker way to cut straight to all the best houses with king-sized candy bars.
7. Oreo’s Movie Reenactment Vines
Oreo paid homage to classic scary movies with Milkenstein and the Exortwist via lo-fi Vine (RIP) parodies made with cookie as actors. It was a smart and relevant way to make audiences hungry for Oreos during the candy-eating season.
8. Vivino’s Wine and Candy Pairings
This wine pairing infographic is a perfect example of how even brands that don’t seem like an obvious fit for a kid-friendly holiday such as Halloween can capitalize on adult audiences interested in getting into the spirit.
It’s useful, interactive, comical, and is well-branded. We’re thinking a mix of Twix and some bold red for Halloween.
9. Tide’s Stains Better Be Scared Video Series
Another movie reenactment video series that went hugely viral–the original Carrie parody has had over 250,000 views to date. The videos are simple, nostalgic, and are quick wins to stay top of mind for the brand as customers look to remove chocolate stains and sticky stuff once the candy stash is all gone
10. Ford’s Haunted Car Wash
Another classic video entry aimed at scaring the pants off of unsuspecting victims with a pop-up haunted house, this time disguised as a car wash. Honestly, it’s always funny, especially when it isn’t happening to you.
You think you are safe from the Halloween festivities in your car? Think again.
Bonus Accidental Hit: Burger King’s Halloween Whopper
It wasn’t a purposeful content marketing campaign but last year Burger King made waves with their special Halloween Whopper’s surprising side effects. Apparently eating the black bun resultefnatd in #GreenPoop, a Halloween hashtag for that will go down in history.