28th October 2021

Get inspired to BOOst your business with these genius Halloween marketing promotions

Halloween is often marketed as the scariest time of year, but for businesses looking to engage with customers, it can also be one of the most profitable. Of all the core annual holidays and festivals in the calendar, Halloween is second only to Christmas, with the BBC reporting that the Halloween season in the UK is worth an impressive £427 million.

This creates a wealth of opportunities for businesses, but it can also feel like a lot of pressure to get it right. If you find yourself at a loss as to how to boost your business profile this spooky season, we’ve got you covered with all the inspiration you need. Here are three scarily spooky Halloween marketing campaigns that made more of the most frightful time of year.


🧛‍♂️ Universal Studios Watch Party

Back in 2019 – before the 2020s COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to large get-togethers – Universal Studios celebrated Halloween in a big way. The iconic amusement park is well-known for its annual Halloween Horror Nights, held across Florida, California, Japan and Singapore, and featuring attractions, parties, mazes and more. 2019’s events were inspired by the 1980s, and the promotion for the celebrations featured a short film that premiered at a virtual watch party.

The film was a nail-biting and attention-grabbing piece of cinema that pushed against the fourth wall by featuring a group of friends settling down to enjoy a watch party, only to have their deepest fears realised. The result was both entertaining and shocking and certainly got people talking.


🧟 Zombie Skittles Halloween marketing

One of the most ingenious Halloween marketing efforts came from Skittles, which swapped its usual sweet flavours for spooky alternatives in the run-up to 31st October. These included Mummified Melon and Boogeyman Blackberry – fairly standard flavours which were made ‘scary’ in name only – but packets also included a rotten Zombie flavour.

(image courtesy of MARS Wrigley Confectionery)

This was a new Skittle flavour that was deliberately made to look unassuming, but tastes awful – the idea being that the consumer will only know they are eating it when it’s too late.

The beauty of this campaign is that it plays on our fascination with taking risks, and fits perfectly into the viral culture. The inclusion of the zombie flavour made what would have been a fairly standard ‘spookification’ of a popular sweet into an online sensation, sparking video reviews, social chatter, a flood of Google searches and countless challenges and taste tests conducted by influencers and bloggers.


👻 M&Ms Interactive Ghost Stories

Many of the best marketing campaigns get customers involved, as M&Ms showed with their 2017 interactive ghost stories. Throughout October, M&Ms released weekly instalments of an ongoing ghost story across their social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Every instalment featured two alternative endings, and viewers could vote on which one they preferred. This would determine how the next instalment started, and the overall arc of the story.

This campaign featured many of the elements that make marketing great – an engaging story, a compelling video, and audience interactivity – and used them harmoniously in a way that kept audiences on board throughout the entire month of October.

Looking to scare the crap out of your competitors, and give your customer’s chills? Speak to our frightfully good team of marketers and let us take your next wicked Halloween marketing campaign to the next level?

Get in touch today to get a marketing campaign that bites!