Halloween Marketing Campaigns: 3 brands that killed it

Courtney Morgan

Senior Designer

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Let’s face the scary truth — while Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, many brands find themselves playing to the trends and putting their name out there in a world of overflowing fall clichés. It’s hard to blame them though. With pumpkin spice-flavored everything, flannel in all directions and the obligatory bird's-eye-view photo of boots in the leaves, what’s not to love?

But what about campaigns that focus on the spirit of Halloween itself? Sure, most brands don’t have a tone of voice that fits a scary movie script or a color palette that resembles the Halloween norm, but there are still ways your brand can stand out in a sea of ghosts and goblins.

Last October, three brands in particular flexed their creative muscles and did just that. Each showed a unique way their brand seamlessly synched with Halloween in an unexpected, engaging way, all while remaining true to their equity and goals.

1. Target: “The House on Hallow Hill”

Intrinzic-Halloween-Brands-3

In the past year, virtual reality (VR) has blown up and taken over digital platforms. The only thing better than watching a video is actually feeling like you’re in the video, and VR achieves exactly that.

Last October, Target jumped into the VR game and launched a YouTube series called “The House on Hallow Hill.” At the beginning of the series, a Raven snatches the consumer’s smartphone and quickly takes it inside a ghoulish-looking house. From there, the consumer is prompted to search for the sneaky bird and their phone by choosing between numerous haunted rooms and navigating through the VR world.

So, how did these videos tie in to Target’s iconic brand and help them with their goal of selling products? Each of the rooms was decorated to perfection in products all sold at Target. These products could be easily shopped through strategically placed links in the video player.

Don’t worry if you missed it last year, you can still partake in the fun!

2. Chipotle: Boorito Fundraiser

Intrinzic-Halloween-Brands-2

Most avid Chipotle lovers know that every year on Halloween, the restaurant has a fundraiser to raise money for the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation where customers dress up to receive an offer for a discounted menu item. While in previous years, Chipotle hadn’t requested costumes or outfits that fall within a decided theme, last year, they threw their customers for a curve that kept their creativity flowing.

To showcase the simplicity of their ingredients, Chipotle asked that the customers “spook them” by adding one unnecessary item to their costume. Chipotle wanted to showcase that unlike typical fast food chains, their menu isn’t made with thousands of additives and artificial flavors, but instead of 68 clean ingredients.

In addition to this, Chipotle supported this message by creating a “scary” short video entitled “Endless Line” that features a customer who enters a fictitious fast food chain (Cheapotle) that resembles what Chipotle would be like if it served traditional fast food. What’s the take away of their message? “Unnecessary additives are creepy.”

3. Airbnb: Halloween Night at the Catacombs of Paris

Intrinzic-Halloween-Campaigns

What would Halloween be without a little (or, in my opinion, ginormous) scare? Last October, the well-known home-sharing app Airbnb launched a promotion to win a frightening October 31st night stay at the haunted Catacombs in Paris. For those who may not know, the Catacombs are a maze of tunnels said to “contain the remains of six million souls” and “guaranteed nightmares” — what else could terror enthusiasts ask for on the scariest night of the year? To qualify to win, Airbnb asked people to send them explanations as to why they felt they were brave enough to endure the haunting stay.

The prize package not only included a one-night stay in “the world’s largest grave,” but also a visit from a storyteller, a bed to sleep in, dinner with a private concert, and of course, breakfast in the morning.

Not only did this promotion put the Airbnb name out in the public, but it also complimented the brand’s goal of “connecting people to unique travel experiences” all over the world with a budget of any size.

It’s safe to say that Halloween is one of the most interesting holidays to involve your brand in. So what are you stewing up this season to engage users and promote your brand’s purpose?

(Image sources: Target | Chipotle | airbnb)

Discover More

Purple as a Halloween color: The science behind this seasonal triad

The 5 best Halloween content marketing campaigns of all time

How 9 brands tweeted treats in the spirit of Halloween

Join the Conversation