Did you know Halloween is a huge boon for business, and not just in the US?
While there’s a strong focus on candy, costumes, and decorations, Halloween is a huge retail event reaching even more categories, like cars, video games, and even makeup.
Check out these fantastic and frightening Halloween content marketing campaigns that kept audiences worldwide in delicious suspense:
1) Burger King Trolls McDonalds – with Clowns
What better way to kick off our top seven Halloween content marketing campaigns than with Burger King’s ingenious idea. It combined customer interaction with the clever trolling of rival McDonald’s and its famous clown mascot.
Burger King offered a free Whopper burger to the first 500 people to visit select Burger King stores dressed as a clown. The campaign was promoted via a creepy clown-filled YouTube video with the hashtag #ScaryClownNight.
A campaign that combines clowns and trolls? We want our Whopper!
2) Long-Form Horror Ad by Skittles
In a Halloween campaign titled “Bite Size Horror,” confectionary giant Mars screened a series of four commercials for Skittles, Sunburst, Snickers, and M&Ms, each featuring a mini horror movie. Rather than directly promoting the products, the videos engaged the viewer with the brand by creating unforgettably scary stories, ending with a screenshot wishing “Happy Halloween.”
The long-form videos ran for two minutes, providing the necessary time to develop the plot, characters, and suspense for an engaging video story. This follows a clear trend as part of the recent rise in long-form video, which has been known to achieve even higher completion rates than shorter video ads.
Check out the Skittles “Bite Size Horror” commercial, which freaked out spectators when it was screened at a Yankees vs Indians baseball game:
3) Halloween Goes Haute Couture with Dior
If you thought Halloween was all about kids in costumes collecting candy, then you are missing out on the beautiful, dark side of Halloween. Even Dior got into the spooky vibe with an influencer campaign featuring Bella Hadid, where the supermodel demonstrated how to create fabulous makeup looks just for Halloween.
The “how to” makeup videos were promoted on social media under the #DiorMakeupHalloween hashtag, targeting an entirely new Halloween audience with content that speaks their language.
4) Not Just For Kids – Skoda Goes Scary
Candy, costumes, and of course, the obligatory pumpkin carving – Halloween is, and has always been, a special day for children.
Skoda, however, decided to appeal to the kid inside every adult. Its car commercial juxtaposes a young boy carving a face into an orange pumpkin against the adult version of the boy. Except years later, he’s carving a face into an orange….Skoda hood cover.
It’s a great example of content designed to appeal to different target audiences.
5) M&Ms Engages with Interactive Ghost Stories
Last year, M&Ms ran an interactive social media campaign in the month leading up to Halloween. The campaign featured a weekly installment of an ongoing ghost story, promoted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Every installment led up to two alternative endings, and viewers were asked to vote on their preferred finale. The following week, the story continued, based on the previous week’s winning ending.
The campaign combined some of the best practices of content marketing: a dynamic story, compelling video, and a layer of interactivity to get audiences engaged and personally involved.
6) Fanta’s Holistic Approach to Horror
Fanta is repeating its popular campaign featuring seasonal graphics on its packaging along with experiential Halloween kits available at every point of sale (POS). This year, the graphics can be scanned to Snapchat, where they unlock Halloween-themed filters.
The soft drink giant’s Halloween campaign combines physical and digital elements, building on its past success. Last year, Fanta sales grew by 23% at convenience stores during the Halloween period.
It just goes to show how powerful content can be when made interactive, and when it includes more traditional marketing activities.
7) Fortnite Does the Ultimate in Suspense – and the Results Show
We’ve discussed before how Fortnite, the world’s leading interactive computer game, pwns when it comes to content marketing. For a game that was released only a year ago, every whiff of marketing generates an incredible amount of interest, and Halloween is no different.
Last year, Fortnite released the Skull Trooper “skin” for Halloween, before the game reached the phenomenal levels of popularity it enjoys today. Now, the marketers behind Fortnite are using an incredible amount of hype to further ignite interest during Halloween 2018.
The question on everyone’s minds: Will Fortnite reinstate the Skull Trooper skin for Halloween this year? It’s this kind of suspense and build up that is the foundation of fantastic marketing.
Just check out the impact of the suspense-laden campaign on Google Trends — interest in the search term “Fortnite Halloween skins” just keeps going up and up:
Halloween is not for the faint of heart, and that’s true even within content marketing.
Spice up your Halloween content campaigns with creative inspiration from these seven spooky examples, and you’ll be celebrating with scary-good results!