V2 Marketing Communications Blog

10 Spooktacular Halloween Marketing Promotions

Written by Heather Kelley on Tue, Oct 22, 2013

People go batty for Halloween, spending more than $8 Billion on scary holiday essentials in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation. The Halloween season gives marketers an opportunity to do something unexpected, clever and fun. Here are 10 of our favorite spooktacular ads and social media promotions.

1. Tide Vine

Tide has debuted a fun, seven-part Halloween campaign using Vine, Twitter's increasingly popular six-second mobile-social video platform. The first video features the iconic orange bottle of liquid detergent at a senior prom, bloodily spoofing the upcoming remake of the movie "Carrie." The tagline: "Stains better be scared."

2. Booking.com Haunted Hotels

Booking.com, a lodging reservations Web site, is introducing a spooky campaign centered on “haunted” hotels, which includes a commercial to run on television and in movie theaters that is styled like a trailer for a horror film and featuring a frightened woman.

booking.com haunted hotels

3.  Papa Murphy's

In another example, the Papa Murphy’s International pizza chain is running a commercial that begins happily, with cheerful trick-or-treaters, then takes a dark twist.

4.  O’Hare Halloween Photo Contest

Chicago’s O’Hare airport is putting a fun spin on Halloween flying with a social media photo caption contest that encourages visitors to like and share this photo to win a Starbucks gift card.

O'Hare Airport Halloween Contest

5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Reese’s knows what’s truly terrifying at Halloween. This spot was released in 2012 and resurrected for this season’s trick or treating.

6. Chipotle "Dress to Kill"

chipotle s annual halloween boorito fundraiser returnsChipotle restaurants is keeping it simple this Halloween with a promotion that brings the social experience directly into their stores. Their “Dress to Kill” fundraiser wants its customers to dress up as “a horrifying processed food product.” Customers who visit a Chipotle location after 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 dressed as, say, a Twinkie or a fish stick, will get a burrito, bowl, salad, or an order of tacos for $2. The proceeds from the promotion (up to $1 million) will go to British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution,” which seeks to steer Americans away from processed foods.

7.  Little Caesar’s Forbidden Pizza

Little Caesar’s Pizza flipped traditional marketing on its head with their microsite, ForbiddenPizzaWebsite.com. Visitors who land on the page are warned not to enter their addresses or proceed forward. They pull at the curious consumer, who, after entering their address, is shown a photo of their home through Google Map technology. Ghosts appear across the photo letting you know your house is now officially haunted. The only way to “unhaunt” it is by going to pick up a Hot-N-Ready Pizza at the closest Little Caesar’s. How? They provide you the address of the nearest store using Google Maps. The execution is simple both visually and conceptually, but the unique messaging and local spin make it a top contender.

Little Caesar's 1

Little Caesar's 2

Little Caesar's 3

8. Dunkin' Donuts Halloween TV

Donut chain, Dunkin' Donuts haunts all media. This TV spot shows how costume choice can have some serious implications when it comes to Halloween feasting.

9. Dunkin' Donuts Twitter

The coffee and donuts brand is promoting their mobile offerings this Halloween using popular social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram. Both campaigns celebrate the season around the release of their Halloween-themed treats and mobile gift cards. 

The coffee and donuts brand is promoting their mobile offerings this Halloween using popular mobile-friendly platforms, Twitter and Instagram. Both campaigns celebrate the season around the release of their Halloween-themed treats and mobile gift cards.

The Instagram-focused contest asks fans to get creative with their Dunkin’ coffee cups by dressing them up and tagging the pictures with #DressDD.  On Halloween, they’ll announce the five winners who each will receive a $100 gift card. They’re also hosting the second year of their “Trick or Tweet” Twitter-only photo contest where fans upload pictures of their own jack-o-lantern creations, using the hashtag #carveDD. Five $50 gift card winners will be announced on Halloween.

Both campaigns keep it light and playful around the Halloween season, showcasing Dunkin’s unique personality while promoting their mobile capabilities.

Dunkin Donuts halloween

10. Mike's Hard Lemonade Zombifier

Zombies are hot! And Mike's Hard Lemonade will keep the party screamin'. Theycreated an app that allows visitors to their Facebook page to ‘zombify’ themselves by uploading a picture. Once you have been ‘zombified’, you are able to tweak every little detail to be the, um, "un-life" of the party. But that’s not all. In order to increase engagement among users, Mike’s Hard Lemonade allows visitors to see everyone’s pictures and vote for a top zombie.

Mike's Hard Zombifier from Ruta on Vimeo.

This is just a bit of the fun Halloween themed marketing we like. What is your favorite? Share a link to site or video in the comments.

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Topics: Social Media, social media marketing, Advertising

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