Scaring the Competition – Halloween Marketing That Works

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It’s become a prevalent date in the marketing calendar.

Whether brands are naturally aligned with all things scary or not, October provides a perfect opportunity to reach out to new and existing customers in a creative way.

If you perfect the art of spooky marketing you can promote intrigue around your brand (who doesn’t wonder about the ‘unknown’?!) and more importantly, increase your customer base to those who otherwise wouldn’t have engaged with your day-to-day activity.

So with that being said, we’ve picked our favourite frightful marketing campaigns that made an scarily-big impact.


Airbnb – A Night In Dracula’s Castle

The global platform for room, home and building lettings has grown massively in the past three years.

Part of their growth has been investment in brand awareness marketing campaigns that utilise trends and calendar dates.

For their Halloween campaign in 2016, they listed ‘A Night In Dracula’s Castle’ on their site as a competition where the winners would be flown to Romania for an all-expenses-paid trip.

Users submitted their interest (free of charge) with the promise to stay in the candle-lit castle. With over 88k entries, the campaign certainly caught the interest of the public around the world.

Going from a small online concept to help solo-travelers find somewhere to stay to a global giant that dominates accommodation search, Airbnb is now the most recognised online platform for room rentals and is estimated to be worth $30billion.


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Marks & Spencer – Count Colin the Caterpillar

Every year Marks & Spencer launch a range of halloween products.

With everything from children’s costumes to decorations and foods, the British store promote ghoulish goods throughout October both digitally and in-store.

Taking a slightly different approach for their Halloween activity in 2016, M&S opted to use a popular product to lead their campaign.

The ‘Colin the Caterpillar’ cake took centre stage and they released a ‘makeover’ guide to turn the family favourite into a spooky cake for parties.

This year, the brand have gone one step further and released a limited edition version of the cake that is already ‘ghouled-up’!

A brilliant campaign that gave an old favourite, new life (or death?).


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IT Movie – The Sydney Balloons

It’s been hard to ignore ‘IT’ this year.

The intense brand awareness campaign across all channels paid off for the 1990s mini-series remake as it smashed box-office records to become the first horror movie to pass the $300million mark.

With an array of activity ranging from VR experiences to eery website banner takeovers, our favourite has to be the guerrilla marketing that was unleashed on the streets of Sydney prior to the city’s premier showing.

Taking one of the most recognisable elements from the franchise (for none-horror fans, it’s the balloon), teams of offline marketeers placed the red helium-filled balloons across the city attached to sewer grids.

Accompanied with a hashtag and info about the launch, the stunt was well-received and saw international press coverage as the film entered the opening weekend in Australia.


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