Halloween isn’t just about costumes and candy; it’s a prime opportunity for brands to unleash their creative spirits and create memorable marketing campaigns. At Giant Propeller, we’ve always admired the boldness and innovation showcased during this spooky season. So, in the spirit of Halloween, we’re sharing some of our favorite marketing masterpieces that not only startled and entertained but also made significant impacts.
- Martha Stewart, the queen of homemaking, teamed up with Liquid Death, a canned mountain water brand, to create a Halloween ad that’s both hilarious and oddly satisfying. With her deadpan delivery, Martha uses Liquid Death cans to decapitate Halloween-themed dolls. The unexpected pairing of Martha’s traditional image with Liquid Death’s edgy branding is pure marketing genius. It’s dark, it’s funny, and it’s unforgettable.
- Leveraging the supernatural, Burger King introduced the “Ghost Whopper” in 2019. But what set this campaign apart was their unique tactic: they had a psychic, the “medium extra-large,” communicate with spirits to get their thoughts on the new burger. A lighthearted take on ghostly interactions, this campaign made headlines and garnered substantial social media attention.
- Proving that experience can be the best form of advertising, Ford turned a local car wash into a haunted house. Unsuspecting drivers and their passengers were treated to a horror-filled experience as they slowly navigated their way through. The genuine reactions captured were both hilarious and terrifying, making it a memorable and share-worthy campaign.
- Combining simplicity with creativity, Guinness executed an impressive Halloween campaign with their ‘spooky shadow coasters’. When placed under a light, these coasters cast eerie shadows of spiders, bats, and other creepy creatures, turning any pub or bar into an instant haunted house. It’s a subtle yet effective nod to the Halloween spirit. Distributed in bars, patrons loved the idea, purchasing multiple pints to collect more of the coasters that were given away with each drink. They even took the ‘ghosters’ home, which was an unexpected, positive result for the company.
- Embracing technology, Topshop transformed its flagship Oxford Street store with a virtual reality waterslide. Customers could take a spooky, immersive trip around the store, gathering points as they ‘trick or treat’ their way through. This campaign is an excellent example of blending the physical and digital realms for a unique Halloween shopping experience.
- To promote their range of Halloween-themed cans, Fanta set up a thrilling elevator prank. Participants would step into an elevator, which would seemingly malfunction and free-fall, only to reveal it was all an immersive screen experience. The riders’ reactions, a mix of sheer terror followed by relief and laughter, made for an entertaining and viral campaign.
As we observe these brilliantly haunting campaigns, the underlying theme is clear: successful Halloween marketing is about merging creativity with authenticity, and presenting the unexpected. Especially with the experiential and activation-style campaigns we highlighted, it’s evident that marketing magic often happens when brands create genuine connections with their audience. These campaigns not only entertained but forged memorable bonds that transcended the digital realm, proving that even in a world increasingly driven by screens, the power of human connection remains paramount. At Giant Propeller, we always appreciate brands that think outside the (coffin) box, and these campaigns certainly hit the mark.
In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, seasonal events like Halloween offer brands the perfect canvas to showcase their creativity, tell compelling stories, and engage audiences in unique ways. So, here’s a toast to these marketing marvels, which have managed to capture the eerie essence of Halloween while leaving a lasting impression.