5 Hair-raising Halloween Marketing Campaigns


It’s that time of year again! While many are organising Halloween parties, watching horror movies and coming up with costume ideas, more and more brands are trying to spook the living daylights out of customers to get noticed. From genius stunts and online campaigns, to on-site experiential, here are the brands that are slaying Halloween marketing.

1. ‘Carrie’ Film Release – Coffee Shop Surprise

To mark the release of the highly anticipated 2013 remake of Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’, the team at MGM Films staged an elaborate prank on some unsuspecting patrons of a Manhattan coffee shop. They stage an elaborate scene in which a woman with telekenetic powers gets angry and wreaks havoc! The stunt garnered almost 70 million views to date and was a huge success.

2. Tesco – ‘Spookermarket’

While customers were hitting their local Tesco to pick up some monkey nuts and pumpkins, they were in for a Halloween surprise! Tesco littered on of their UK stores with hidden actors and props to scare the living daylights out them!

They filmed the entire thing and posted it online – to date, it has over 18 million views on YouTube and Facebook combined. As a nice add on, Tesco also released a series of ‘How To’ videos in conjunction with the main video, so Halloween enthusiasts could try it at home for themselves.

Would you have the guts to spend the night in the Paris Catacombs? Airbnb posted an otherworldly listing on their site, offering those brave enough the chance to win Halloween night in “the final resting place of 6 million souls”.

The prize was for two people to enjoy a free concert, dine and spend the night in the subterranean labrinyth of bones.

It’s not the first time that the accommodation site used a unique listing to get attention. In 2016, they offered sports fans the chance to win a money-can’t-buy luxury bedroom INSIDE the Olympic stadium at Rio 2016.

4. Universal Studios – Snapchat Promotion for ‘Ouija’

An oldie, but a goodie. Even though sponsored content on Snapchat is now commonplace, Universal Studios was the first to use native advertising on the photo-sharing platform.

The company promoted a 20 second clip from their upcoming horror ‘Ouija’, which was placed in users Snapchat Stories. Users lost their minds with fear, thinking it was a legitimate story posted by a friend. Universal successfully reached their target market and the success of the ad paved the way for more and more brands using Snapchat to reach consumers.

5. Marks & Spencer – Little Shwop of Horrors

M&S teamed up with Oxfam for their philanthropic Halloween campaign ‘Little Shwop of Horrors’. They set up a one-stop pop-up shop for all your Halloween costume needs, but with a twist.

Instead of BUYING their costume, customers were encouraged to bring their old clothes to the shop and swap them for something new – thus cutting down on waste and helping to raise money for the charity. M&S added a bit of star power to the mix, inviting ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ star Joanna Lumley and Irish model and presenter, Angela Scanlon, to launch the event. Celebrities like Nadine Coyle, Simon Pegg and Jessie J were also some of the first to donate items of clothing to the store.