10+ Halloween Marketing Campaign Ideas to Scare Up Sales [2019]

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10 of the Best Halloween Marketing Campaign Ideas to Scare Up Sales

Marketing Seasons Strategy | Sep 30, 2019

The holidays are great chances to connect with customers on a more personal level. Halloween can be a time to bring out the scary, the surprises, the games, or whatever that fit your brand in the form of Halloween marketing campaigns.

Halloween is undeniably one of the most expensive and, consequently, most profitable holidays in North America, as well as around the world.

According to NRF and Statista, Americans spend about $9.1 billion annually on the holiday; buying decorations, costumes, makeup, and candy. It might seem like not a very smart move to hang $9.1 billion in front of a majorly eCommerce audience.

After all, in-store retail is definitely superior here:

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A Figure Shows the Most Used Stores by Halloween Shoppers

But when it comes to Halloween inspiration, eCommerce and digital take the cake:

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A Figure Shows the Top Inspiration Sources for Halloween Shopping

Although many don’t account for Halloween to be a big promotional season, evidence suggests it’s wise to start thinking of it in terms of opportunity for some well-thought marketing campaigns.

As one of the most underutilized holidays as far as marketing goes, this is every brand’s opportunity to shine. Take advantage of the billions being spent in the US alone to draw your audience closer. Almost anything goes when it comes to Halloween marketing.

You can celebrate this holiday with your audience in whatever way works best. Explore efforts brands have made to make the best out of this holiday.

1. Burger King: Scary Clown Night & The Ghost of McDonald’s

Burger King in the UK came up with a really incredible Halloween campaign.

Some could claim Burger King was trend-jacking the movie It or Stranger Things. But it’s pretty obvious, they were taking a jab at their competitor, by inviting the competitor’s mascot clown to change allegiance.

This somewhat creepy commercial plays on all that’s great with Halloween marketing campaigns; joining in on the joke, speaking the pop culture lingo, and being memorable.

Halloween is definitely a more playful holiday, so if you’re going to take part and spend the budget, make sure you have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to go all out because that’s usually what gets customers talking (and sharing).

Not thinking it’s enough, another Burger King in Queens, New York dressed up as the ghost of McDonald’s for Halloween. That’s one that will turn some heads!

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An Example of the Halloween Marketing Campaign Burger King

2. Kylie Cosmetics: Halloween Special Edition Cosmetics

Halloween and makeup are a match that everyone agrees on, and Kylie Cosmetics took this opportunity to make something that is fitting. Right on their Halloween dedicated page, the brand didn’t only sell special edition cosmetics, but product names and packaging were also on the theme.

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Kylie Cosmetics: Halloween Special Edition Cosmetics

They also had their social media posts on point with themed photos. Presenting unique uses for their cosmetic products, and sharing images of how makeup artists can use the Halloween Collection.

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An Example for Social Media Marketing Campaign of Kylie Cosmetics During Halloween

3. Urban Outfitters: Influencer Halloween Costume Set

Urban Outfitters certainly don’t take themselves too seriously. As such, they made headlines back in October 2018, with the release of an “Influencer Halloween Costume Set”.

Exploiting viral social media and its reach, this Halloween marketing campaign earned media exposure at its finest. You know the saying: “No press is bad press.”

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An Example of the Last Urban Outfitters’s Halloween Marketing Campaign

4. Fanta: Halloween Snapchat Lenses and Filters

Fanta, the soft drink brand, launched its largest holiday marketing campaign with new Snapchat lenses and filters, as well as two new flavors especially for this spooky season: ‘Blood Orange Zero and Pink Grapefruit Zero’.

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An Example of the Fanta’s Halloween Snapchat Lenses and Filters | Image Source: Ads of the World

Fanta Halloween Snapchat campaign has become one of the most successful ever brand activations on the platform. The campaign resulted in a highly engaged teen audience of 25 million unique users; generating over 137+ million impressions and the average engagement rate was 37%.

5. Purple: Sunday Nights’ Horror Story

No different from what Purple is known for, they came up with a marketing campaign idea that is really out-of-the-box.

Purple — and its agency; The Harmon Brothers — came up with a theme that is very not traditional, having played on the theme of scary to bring to light the real monster: Sunday nights.

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An Example of Purple’s Halloween Marketing Campaign: Sunday Nights’ Horror Story

These videos are not exactly what you might expect from a Halloween campaign, but it perfectly fits Purple’s brand image; taking a concept and pushing it to an amazingly strange place.

Moreover, they posted photos of the Purple Boys in the right order on their Instagram feed to show the full set.

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The Right Order Purple Boys That Show the Full Set

A common theme with these Halloween marketing campaigns is that they are a representation of brand persona. Purple is just a fitting example of this as shown.

6. Fanjoy: Jake Paul Halloween Mask

For Halloween marketing, Fanjoy employed the popularity of influencers to make their mark on Halloween. They offered products that they described as “influencers selling a piece of themselves”.

“We help influencers become entrepreneurs,” said Chris Vaccarino, the Fanjoy CEO. “It’s not just merchandise. We’re helping influencers sell a piece of themselves to their audiences and build meaningful connections.”

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Fanjoy Halloween Marketing Campaign: Jake Paul Halloween Mask

A $9.95 mask Jake Paul may not sound like much, but with 776 wishlist adds, and a dozen five-star reviews, the point wasn’t to create a high-margin, best-seller. The point was to give fans joy!

The mask was just the beginning of Fanjoy’s merchandising strategy, they then released a collection of other influencer-led products released seasonally throughout the holiday:

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Fanjoy Halloween Marketing Campaign: Jake Paul Halloween Mask

7. Hawkers: Know Your Fate With the Death Tarot

The online sunglasses store prepared a scary surprise for its visitors. It challenged them to click the Death Tarot from the homepage to reveal your fate… If they dared.

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Hawkers Halloween Marketing Campaign: Know Your Fate With the Death Tarot

Once the visitor lands on the Halloween page, a sunglasses-wearing skeleton fortune teller tells them what will happen in their future.

Definitely making it more interesting, it wasn’t necessary to go through the process to redeem the up to 70% discount. The thing about it is that’s not what you expect from your typical online sunglasses retailer!

8. Target: Halloween Ad Features a Disabled Girl as Princess Elsa

One wouldn’t define Halloween normally to be heartwarming, so this is most likely a first. Target included a young girl with braces as Princess Elsa in its Halloween flyer. This was meant as proof that princesses come in all shapes and sizes!

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Target: Halloween Ad Features a Disabled Girl as Princess Elsa

The lesson we came out with from this Halloween campaign is that it’s not essential to spend ridiculous amounts of money. The best campaigns are sometimes the most obvious or the subtlest ones.

9. Boost Engagement During Halloween: Koala Mattress—Spot the Spooky

Koala invited its fans to search its website designs for Halloween Easter eggs. They spread hidden images throughout their website to spice things up.

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Boost Engagement During Halloween: Koala Mattress—Spot the Spooky

This makes an excellent engagement boost. Why? Because it leads people, fans and potential customers, to go through their website … willingly.

It invites website visitors to really explore the images on their website; to take in the visuals, and read every line of text.

What made it even more effective, is that the entire thing was on-show on social media:

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Boost Engagement During Halloween: Koala Mattress—Spot the Spooky

For such a campaign to really take effect, the Easter eggs needed to be clever and well-placed throughout their website, yet not too hard so people are able to spot them, consequently, they could take part in the contest.

10. Tesco Spookermarket

Tesco went on and turned two of their nearly 7,000 supermarkets into a seasonal spookermarket for Halloween. Customers lucky enough to find them were in for a treat!

They would run into carts that move on their own, frozen hands, severed heads behind toilet paper, and more frights await unsuspecting shoppers.

What makes this campaign brilliant is how unexpected it is. No one really expects a supermarket to offer up some laughs and starts. Moreover, it’s not in all of Tesco’s stores so you really don’t know until you fall prey to their pranks.

The game is good because it’s just scary enough to make you laugh-scream, but not scary enough that your kids will run away and have nightmares for months which is the trick when your customers are quite literally all ages.

11. Ring: The Spooky Doorbell

The video doorbell, Ring, came up with a new feature for Halloween in the form of scary and spooky chime tones.

A wolf howling at the moon, ghosts fluttering around, or bats scattering about. The new chimes were perfect for the Holiday spirit!

Come to think of it, doorbells and scary sounds go together like trick-or-treat. So what could possibly be better than having spooky sounds come from your video doorbell when kids come knocking?

Final Word

Needless to say that Halloween is a great opportunity to build your brand and flaunt your personality. So, if you play it right, you can make your next Halloween marketing campaign frighteningly good!