5 Wickedly Good Social Media Campaigns
Halloween is a trendy holiday for both young and old. From easy DIY costumes to an epic jack-o’-lantern displays to fun-sized candys, we can’t get enough! In fact, consumers are projected to buy over $10 billion Halloween-related products, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), and retailers are prepared for the influx of Halloween demand for candy, costumes and decorations.
The NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay spoke about the Halloween predictions, “Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one. Retailers have implemented several measures, such as bringing in Halloween products earlier than normal, to ensure their shelves are stocked with seasonal candy, décor and other items ahead of this important holiday.”
According to the NRF, Halloween consumerism has been growing every year. Americans are ready to get back to some sort of normalcy after more than a year of modified holidays during the pandemic — so they are predicted to celebrate Halloween to the fullest.
Valerie Jennings, CEO of Jennings Social Media & MarTech (JSMM), explained that the holiday shopping season is starting earlier and earlier due to the pandemic. “Consumers are longing for nostalgic experiences and happier times. They are looking for ways to celebrate and enjoy time with their families. Halloween is the kick-off into the online shopping season which generates revenue for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the holidays and New Year’s. Retailers are starting earlier due to the shortage of products and shipping delays. Stores are already displaying Christmas decorations and trees, blurring the lines between the holidays. ‘Tis the season of social media and online shopping!”
Here at JSMM, we know the essentials of a successful holiday campaign revolve around sincerity, consistency, killer collabs, engaging storytelling and — in Halloween’s case — sometimes, humor! Here are our five favorite brands with spooky-good Halloween campaigns from this past month:
- Snickers – Bite-Size Halloween Candy
It doesn’t matter what product you are marketing, engaging storytelling is the key to a great campaign. During the Halloween season, spooky stories are incredibly effective and captivating to audiences. Snickers produced a more funny than scary Halloween short story.
Snickers was able to create an engaging Halloween campaign all while producing an Oscar-worthy short film. The commercial has all the jumps and twists of a regular horror movie all while advertising a delicious product.
Snickers could do more with the Halloween campaign by incorporating it with their Instagram however, their great short film grabbed our attention and made us want to reach for a Snickers bar after watching.
- Temptations – Tasty Human
Temptations, the cat food brand, decided to go a different route and tap into cat owners’ deepest fears: being devoured by their cat. Temptations frightfully real treats are “Human Flavored.” Their commercial shows a man in a bath telling us that if “cats were bigger they would try to eat us.” So, he feds his cat some new treats, human-flavored ones. Check out the video for yourself.
Similarly, their Instagram feed reflects the Tasty Human campaign. Their feed showcases cat owners expressing their fears that if their cat was larger it would try to eat them. However, they keep their cats at bay with the Temptations Tasty Human-flavored treats.
Overall, the Temptations Halloween campaign was thought-provoking, to say the least. However, we like this campaign because of its original idea and capitalizing on a real fear while putting a funny spin on it.
- Crest – Candy Safe
Halloween candy is notorious for producing cavities in kids’ teeth so Crest, the toothpaste brand, needed a fresh, unique spin when they wanted in the on the Halloween campaign game. After getting a bad wrap from the folks who dare hand out toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters, they’ve decided to team up with candy this year. Instead of marketing against candy, they hasve launched their Halloween campaign for the protection of candy — with candy safes. According to Business Wire, Crest has created a candy safe for kids to keep their candy away from their greedy parents.
The #BringOnTheCandy Safes campaign invited consumers to enter into a competition to win a limited edition Candy Safe and toothpaste. Crest’s Halloween campaign is a great spin on a product that normally can’t find a path into marketing for Halloween. Overall, the #BringOnTheCandy Safe as a Halloween campaign strategy gets a nod from us for originality.
- Lego, Star Wars and Disney+ – Terrifying Tales
Three mega brands have teamed up to produce a “Hallowstream” marketing campaign. These spooky stories showcase your favorite Star Wars characters as Legos in some frightfully funny shorts.
The collaboration between the three major brands is a great campaign strategy because all three brands use the Halloween campaign across all their channels. Check out Legos’ Instagram posts.
Secondly, the Halloween collaboration is marketed to all ages — not just those oung enough to trick-or-treat. The friendly writing of the show speaks to all viewers, not just the perceived audience of the brand.
Overall, Lego, Star Wars and Disney+ have been unstoppable for years when Disney bought the brand. However, the Halloween campaign, “Hallowstream” is an original idea that we’re hoping to see more of in the upcoming years.
- Reese’s – A Better Place
Reese’s has always been a huge player in the Halloween market. Not just because it is arguably the best candy ever, but because they have a large Halloween marketing campaign every year. In 2019, Reese’s launched an interactive social media campaign featuring Neil Patrick Harris named, “It’s Alive.” According to Marketing Dive, “Reese’s is creating an original experience to engage people with its brand while gaining significant exposure among fans of Neil Patrick Harris, who has 2.9 million fans on Facebook and 8.1 million followers on Instagram.” The campaign asked Harris’s followers to create a haunted house. This campaign garnered tons of attention for the brand and was able to engage a base of followers they did not have before.
This year, Reese’s has taken their Halloween marketing campaign to the next level. The delicious chocolate and peanut butter lovechild has partnered with Nextdoor, to create a trick or treat map app. Nextdoor is a social media platform for neighborhoods. Nextdoor wrote in a blog post that the purpose of the Treat Map was for neighbors to let their community of trick-or-treaters know if they were handing out candy, decorating their home, or both.
On top of their Treat Map, Reese’s is now pushing their famous Reese’s pumpkin as the “Official Pumpkin of Halloween.” According to Food Sided, the chocolate candy set up a “friendly pumpkin showdown” at Krochmal Farms, located just outside of Salem, Massachusetts. The event asked visitors to choose pumpkins or chocolate pumpkins. Unsurprisingly, Reese’s pumpkin won, hands down. The brand then passed the challenge onto social media users. Using the hashtag, #ReesesPumpkinPatch on Instagram to showcase their take on the chocolate pumpkin patch.
Finally, Reese’s overall campaign theme for Halloween in 2021 is “A Better Place.” Their commercial claims that millions of Reese’s go missing on Halloween every year, but that’s okay because they are “in a better place.” Their advertising took a spin on spooky but kept it light-hearted and funny. In total, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups takes the cake for the best Halloween Campaigns.
Marketing for major holidays is a must for brands. We saw Halloween campaigns from toothpaste all the way to cat food. Brands have to be able to adapt and produce engaging storytelling that is fresh, funny and, of course, spooky!
Our favorite brand’s Halloween Campaigns incorporate all media outlets like Instagram, YouTube and TV commercials. However, the most successful campaigns venture outside of the box — like Reese’s collaborating with a neighborhood app. Brands that can create a more interactive social media campaign have great success as well.
Halloween consumerism has grown over the years and has reached a new height in 2021. As more brands are putting their own twist on their Halloween marketing campaigns, we can’t wait to see what the rest of 2021 has in store!