Top Halloween Marketing Campaign Ideas From The Past
Halloween is creeping around the corner so we’re reflecting on some of our favourite Halloween marketing campaigns of all time!
Halloween is one of the most opportunist and profitable times of year for businesses. It is estimated that this year £687 million will be spent on Halloween this year in the UK. Let’s take a look at some of the bloody brilliant Halloween campaigns we’ve seen.
Marmite Trick or Treat
A treat for the lovers, a trick for the haters!
— Marmite (@marmite) October 2, 2018
Marmite, you either love it or you hate it and in 2018, Marmite let you choose whether their products were a trick or a treat. They launched specially packaged tubs of Marmite designed for the Halloween season.
The packaging drew attention to the controversy is marmite a trick or is it a treat? Do you love it or hate it?
Marmite produced two different designs one that said ‘trick’ in a spooky green colour for a poison theme, and a pink jar which said treat for a potion jar, it was a fun way of engaging their customers.
These jars were also personalisable for users who could put their name onto the jar allowing their customers to fully get involved. This also encouraged a wide range of user-generated content as those with personalised jars shared these on social media.
These Halloween campaigns were such a success that Marmite brought this campaign for three subsequent years including a special glow-in-the-dark version in 2018 limited to 100 purchases only.
— Michael Bayliss (@Michael_Bayliss) October 19, 2018
Clown around for a whopper
Clowning around doesn’t tend to get you very far in some scenarios but with Burger King, you could clown your way to a free whopper!
In 2017 fast food chain Burger King offered the first 500 people who visited their stores dressed as a clown for the Halloween season a free whopper burger. His campaign was not only in sync with the time of year but also launch their newest burger via YouTube featuring a spooky video of a clown encouraging the hashtag use of #ScaryClownNight.
Not only was this on the theme of the season, but it also poked fun at their fast food chain revival McDonalds.
Mcdonald’s is known for their Ronald McDonald clown mascot so this was a cheeky way of poking fun at their brand by incorporating clowns into their campaigns.
Burger King won several awards for the creativity for this campaign including a Clio award.
— Clio Awards (@ClioAwards) September 23, 2018
Fanta has always been one to keep your eye on at Halloween. They have been known to produce various frightening flavours such as rebranding their signature orange to blood orange, dark orange, and grape.
We’re adding a dark twist to our Fanta portfolio this Halloween, with a limited-edition variant that delivers the great-tasting flavour of blood orange in a spooktacular black liquid #ActionOnDrinks pic.twitter.com/z3dJjskDOk
— Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (@CocaColaEP) September 9, 2019
Over the more recent years, Fanta has created a range of packaging that fits the Halloween theme. This included cans and bottles with skull features and pumpkins.
Additionally, Fanta partnered with the social media application Snapchat to incorporate a QR code on its packaging.
When scanned the application opened up to a variety of scary filters users could use to create and send snap images with the Fanta branding. This encouraged a mass amount of UGC to be shared online and among friends.
— Fanta (@fanta) October 29, 2015
Rotten luck with Skittles
In 2019 sweet brand Skittles launched their Halloween limited edition Zombie Skittles. These special editing packs were filled with fearful flavours like Mummified Melon and Blood Red Raspberry. However, each pack featured a repulsive Rotten Zombie flavour meaning you had pot luck on picking out a tasty Skittle or having rotten luck with a Zombie flavour.
The brand used influencer marketing in order to create buzz around its product. They joined forces with influences who showed their target audience they were willing to #DareTheRainbow and play a game of rotten roulette. The influencers took turns picking out a flavour until one experienced the zombie Skittle flavour.
#Ad with new Zombie SKITTLES® candy the tables have turned on zombies this Halloween. Now you can eat them! Each pack has a rotten zombie flavor hidden among five fruity ones! I challenge you to grab a pack, try them with your friends & share your reaction using #DareTheRainbow pic.twitter.com/WJzG8edV4p
— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) October 16, 2019
They also encouraged others to take part in their spooky roulette game by sharing their reactions using the #DareTheRainbow hashtag on social media.
Skittles have since reinvented this campaign in subsequent years using shrieking sour flavour Skittlesto replace zombie flavour in the challenge.
#Sweepstakes Zombie Skittles have Rotten Zombie flavors lurking in every pack. Gather your friends, take the challenge and share with us using #Sweepstakes, #DareTheRainbow and tag @Skittles for your chance to win! https://t.co/oYg1VefAMY
No Purch. Nec.
50US/18+. Ends 10/31/19 pic.twitter.com/wv1nIlXTJC
— SKITTLES (@Skittles) October 4, 2019
M&S spooky snacking
During the pandemic when Halloween costume parties, horror movie marathons and gatherings were banned, Marks and Spencers launched their Halloween marketing campaign – a ‘Spooky night in’ range.
Perfect for staying in and watching terrifying TV shows his snack range features a range of food such as spooky chocolate bark, pizza featuring eerie eyeballs, and a spooky pineapple punch beverage, some BOO bangers sausages.
Happy Halloween! If you’re planning a spooky night in, try our homemade chocolate bark topped with spooky Percys and chocolate treats. Click here for the recipe: https://t.co/wiCsHvR5nE pic.twitter.com/Llq8jxuD8U
— M&S (@marksandspencer) October 31, 2020
They even made the frankencolin!
Colin’s had a spooky makeover: introducing Frankencolin and his scary Frankencolin minis! Hunt them down in store now for your fright-night feast at home. pic.twitter.com/jx5JO9NIFw
— M&S (@marksandspencer) October 18, 2020
To top it off they launched a cursed colin the caterpillar cake for the Halloween holiday season. M&S had a variety of pre-made snacks and meals that could provide customers with a scarily spectacular spread despite the ongoing restrictions.
Over the years M&S has also released a variety of spooky season-inspired takes on their most popular items. This includes Dracula-inspired Percy pigs, bogey chocolate buttons, and sweet chilli combo mix.
In halloween crisp news. Marks and Spencer have a halloween Sweet Chilli version of the combo mix, which absolutely needs to be a regular flavour. C’mon @marksandspencer make it so! pic.twitter.com/p3VLF6fTlg
— Richard Dzien (@rdzien) September 30, 2022
For tips on how to spookify your business next Halloween, take a look at our blog spooky marketing tips for a successful October.
And, for terrifyingly terrific tips for your next marketing campaign get in touch with one of our specialists.