Halloween Marketing Campaigns Deliver Spooky Results

halloween marketing campaign


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Halloween marketing campaigns are back in full force for the 2018 “trick-OR-treat” season! It may be cooling down outside, but this scare-fest season is heating up as some brands look to entice (and comically frighten) consumers with Halloween ads and messages that leave you wanting more. 

Here we’re spotlighting three Halloween marketing campaigns that stand out, reach consumers in innovative ways, and of course, succeed in their goal to “trick-OR-treat” consumers! 

First things first, what is a marketing campaign?

According to HackerNoon, a marketing campaign is “an activity that takes place outside of the day-to-day marketing tasks that are specifically designed to boost new revenue and enhance customer interaction.” True, we definitely agree with this definition!

However, the definition that we use here at EJP Marketing Co. is: A marketing campaign is an integrated series of promotional tactics that aim to achieve specific bottom-line driven objectives for the brand, or person, over a brief period of time. Here are the stages of a well-planned and executed marketing campaign:

Now let’s check out the 2018 Halloween marketing campaigns from Reese’s, M&M’s and Burger King!

Halloween Marketing Campaigns

Talk about driving conversations and results, the Reese’s™ #NotSorry marketing campaign has reported a 10-point increase in ad awareness since its launch in early June, according to this Marketing Dive article. Part of their broader strategy was to attract younger, trendy audiences by creating memorable brand experiences worthy of a social media hashtag share. To achieve this they developed engaging TV and online ads, as well as interactive in-store experiences that convey their #NotSorry brand messages. Additionally, they tapped into two existing “sorry-related” conversation trends that spur feelings of nostalgia among their different target demographics. 

reese's not sorry

The first trend was the 2012 “Sorry, I Was Eating a Milky Way” ad campaign from their competitor Mars. By responding to this ad, #NotSorry shows that Reese’s™ is bold and ready to take on their competitors…one bite at a time. 

The second trend that Reese’s™ capitalized on was coined by THE BEYONCÉ in her 2016 “Sorry” song and video which featured tennis great, Serena Williams. Beyoncé’s song spurred a conversation and pop culture moment for #IAintSorry. One that trendy brands, like Reese’s™, can gain ideas from and leverage for their benefit. 

M&M’s® “Ghosted” commercial tells the age-old ghost story with a shocking plot twist. Their message for this Halloween marketing campaign was to show an entertaining look at “surviving” the scariest night of the year – especially when you’re a famous spokescandy! Spoiler alert: the yellow M&M® did not survive the night!

 Haunted houses and horror flicks are not for everyone and the M&M® brand connected to our instinctual feeling of “survival” through this comical and chocolatey Halloween ad. One that reminds consumers that you can survive Halloween with America’s favorite miniature, round and colorful chocolate candies.

m&m halloween marketing campaigns

 Another reason we highlighted this M&M® Halloween marketing campaign is their integration of Spanish-language ads into their broader marketing mix. This shows that M&M® understands the value of engaging the Hispanic population, which is now 18% of the U.S. population. The depth and influence of the Hispanic demographic’s purchasing power ($1.7 trillion) cannot be understated! 

Want to talk more about the benefits of moving towards the ‘total eclipse effect’? Or if you’re reading this and thinking, “What if my business does not have these strategies in place?” ​Our team works with businesses to develop integrated marketing & communications strategies, as well as individual focus areas. You can also send us an email at hello@ejpmarketingco.com.

Burger King’s® novelty menu item “Nightmare King” has been ‘clinically proven’ to create nightmares after eating it! Yes, that’s right – after doing in-depth and innovative consumer research the brand ‘concluded’ that nightmares are 3.5 times more likely to occur after eating the “Nightmare King.” Burger King® strategically partnered with Paramount Trials and Florida Sleep & Neuro Diagnostic Services to obtain quantitative research to support their claims. 

burger king nightmare king

Conjuring up videos similar in likeness to “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity,” the footage style of Burger King’s® TV commercial aims to convince viewers that if they dare to eat this burger they will have haunting, yet delicious, nightmares.

Studies show that Millennials are choosing and ordering more healthy food options, while the Generation Z demographic is going more to the tried and true “traditional” eateries like Burger King®. To leverage this trend, Burger King® partnered with Postmates, a food delivery app service, to ensure more thrillseeking Generation Z’ers are able to have the “Nightmare King” delivered to their front door, or even a haunted house, this Halloween.

Don’t Get Spooked

There are plenty of tactics you and your team can use to capitalize on the spookiest time of year! From email marketing and giveaways to hosting online or offline Halloween costume contests, leveraging a Halloween marketing campaign has the potential to increase your brand’s awareness and online engagement.

We hope these Halloween marketing campaigns haven’t ‘spooked’ your imagination! If you’d like some additional ideas, check out this Inc. article, “Halloween Is Coming. Here’s How to Integrate the Holiday Into Your Marketing Plans.”

New, strategic and spooky marketing campaigns can be a great way to promote your brand and products – if done correctly. Remember, our EJP team is here to answer your questions and help you design a marketing plan that is ideal for the upcoming holiday season. Whether you’re a small business or Fortune 500 company, a marketing campaign that taps into an upcoming trend, holiday or key moment can be a beneficial way for you to engage with your target audience. 

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Written by Serena Jenkins, Assistant Account Executive for EJP Marketing Co.

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