A scarier combination than a vampire in a blood donation clinic!
Here’s a combination spookier than a balloon in a needle factory: Halloween and marketing. Because who needs monsters under the bed when you have Halloween marketing strategies to keep you up at night?
Every October, brands don their funniest Halloween costumes.
From Starbucks becoming “Starboo’s,” their “Phantom Frappuccino” or their “Hauntingly Beautiful” this year, to Burger King calling themselves “Burger ‘Scary’ King” or with their #ScaryClownNight campaign, it’s like every company is going to a costume party, and they don’t want to be left out of the best costume contest!
Imagine Coca-Cola as a vampire or McDonald’s as a possessed clown.
Undoubtedly one of the most successful and clever campaigns of the past, Burger King’s #ScaryClownNight campaign, where customers who showed up dressed as a clown received a free Whopper.
In the ad we saw some clowns very similar to Ronald McDonald (McDonald’s clown) and at the end the slogan says, “Come as a clown, eat like a King”. A spooky way to appeal to Halloween lovers.
The Horror of Marketing Mistakes: when you become the bad guy in the movie
Now, let’s talk about the dark side of this holiday. Halloween marketing mistakes are scarier than a skeleton in a dog shelter.
In 2010, PepsiCo launched a Halloween campaign in Argentina called “Pepsi Cemeteries”. The campaign included images of cemetery gravestones with fictitious names of competing brands, such as “Coca-Cola”, “Fanta” and “Sprite”, insinuating that Pepsi’s beverages had “buried” the competition.
This campaign was considered distasteful and offensive, as it mocked death and mourning in an insensitive manner. The community and consumers expressed their displeasure on social media, and PepsiCo was forced to withdraw the campaign and issue an apology.
The incident serves as a reminder that Halloween humor and themes in marketing should be handled with care, and themes that may be insensitive or disturbing to the public should be avoided.
That’s an example of what not to do! You don’t want to be remembered as the villain on Halloween.
Another blunder for Pepsi was when they took their slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi generation to China, only to realize that, translated into Chinese, the slogan read “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”
Costume contests and funny pranks: more than just a kid’s thing
Costume contests are not just for kids on Halloween. Companies organize online contests for their followers to showcase their craziest brand-related costumes. Prizes can range from a ton of candy to a “Best Hamburger Costume” statuette.
In addition, some brands play harmless pranks, such as changing their websites for a day to look like a witches’ store, where you can buy “magic potions” that are actually normal products at high prices. Ah, the spirit of Halloween!
Spell with offers and discounts
Halloween deals and discounts are like the secret spell of marketing. Brands offer promotions that will make you say, “OMG, I need that zombie unicorn costume in my life!”
You know, things like “Buy one, get a second for half price” or “31% off to celebrate October 31”. It’s like they’re casting a spell on your wallets!
Halloween in the digital world
Halloween marketing is not just limited to the physical world. In the digital world, brands are joining in the fun with themed email campaigns, spooky website banners and social media ads filled with pumpkins and ghosts. In addition, influencer marketing dresses up in extravagant costumes and performs special collaborations to keep their followers entertained and engaged.
Halloween and marketing are a funnier combination than a cat in a Frankenstein costume.
Brands get creative, clever and sometimes a little crazy, all in the name of entertaining and engaging their customers.
And while the mistakes can be scary, when done right, this spooky holiday can be a goldmine for brands and a never-ending source of laughs for the public.So, as you prepare for the “trick or treat“, don’t forget that marketing also puts on its funniest costume and expects you to join in the fun!
Happy Halloween, marketing freaks!