Top 7 Halloween Campaigns To Inspire Your Brand

Looking for the best Halloween campaigns to inspire your brand? From the latest AR filters to spooky twists on traditional OOH, these marketing ideas will level up any Halloween campaign.
Fanbytes | Halloween campaigns

In 30 seconds:

  • We’re listing the top 7 Halloween marketing campaigns and why your brand should take note of them.
  • The younger generations can’t get enough of the halloween season. How can you use marketing now (and fuel retargeting ahead of the Christmas push)?
  • Content marketing for Halloween shouldn’t spook you. These killer campaigns will supercharge your holiday marketing right through to the end of the year – here’s how.

Looking for Halloween campaigns to inspire your marketing strategy? This is the article for you. Customers are bracing themselves for a difficult autumn – but they still want to have fun. Brands that tighten up their Halloween marketing strategies will nail ROI and increase demand generation.

You’d be forgiven for thinking COVID-19 restrictions followed by the cost of living crisis would dampen consumers’ “fright fever”. But you’d be wrong. The National Retail Federation predicts that 2022 will have the highest percentage of people celebrating Halloween since 2018. Consumers are predicted to spend an estimated £687 million on the holiday this year (up by 80 million since last year).

Unlike Christmas, which has more weighty consumer pressures of expensive gifts and food paired with traditional family time, Halloween is a chance to let go – something that marketers should reflect in their campaign ideas.

Potential customers are on the lookout for ways to lift their spirits with halloween-themed activities. So, where is their inspiration coming from – and where can you reach them?

Halloween is social

The Halloween hype, like most holidays, is hard to miss on your high street and shopping centres. Cobwebs, pumpkins and skeletons seem to be everywhere. But in the current digital age, you won’t just get a reminder on your weekly shop because the internet is taking Halloween by storm. 

Social media is where consumers are heading for their spooky season inspiration. Naturally, #halloween is trending on all social media apps. Leading the way is Gen Z, 98% of whom use social media as shopping inspiration – but millennials and Gen X aren’t far behind.

Marketers can take full advantage of this with tricks and treats throughout their social media presence. Not only does this engage current followers, but – on TikTok especially – this content’s relevance is a surefire way to end up on target customers’ For You Pages (FYP), meaning you’ll reach an even wider audience.

In fact, in 2022, TikTok should be your bread and butter when it comes to Halloween and social media trends. Right now, the Halloween hashtag on TikTok alone has racked up over 20 billion views. But it’s not just hashtags that will secure your brand attention. For many young consumers, TikTok is the “new Google” – they’ll be using it as a search engine to find ideas for halloween costumes, halloween decorations and more – so it’s vital that your products are what they find.

The hype doesn’t stop at Gen Z. Over 30% of Millennials spend more on Halloween than any other non-religious holiday. It’s their generation’s favourite time of year. And they’re social media-minded, too: Nearly half purchase items to post them online for the holiday, giving brands the perfect opportunity for organic growth and user-generated content (UGC). Additionally, as much of their generation have children, over half of them feel that extra push to spend for the spooky season.

From costumes to makeup and party planning, consumers are in the mood to spend. So how can you build a campaign that’s relevant, on-point and achieves your KPIs? Here’s some bone-chilling inspiration from the best halloween marketing campaigns

The top 7 Halloween campaigns to inspire your brand

Whether it’s up-to-the-minute VR social media marketing or transforming more traditional marketing channels, it’s vital that marketers use forward-thinking techniques to keep front of mind. So sink your teeth into these brilliant examples of halloween marketing to help you build an enviable Halloween strategy.

Streams & Screams

Horror movies and thrillers are at the heart of Halloween fun, and streaming services are the easy switch-on to get your scream-on. 58% of all households in the UK subscribe to at least one online streaming service. So how have they stood out amongst the competition? Here are two stream queens that made a mark for Halloween.

1. Netflix & Chills

Taking advantage of the popular term “Netflix and Chill,” the streaming service marketed their chilling inventory of movies and series with “Netflix and Chills”.

The streaming giant has continuously led the marketing pack at Halloween, from interactive Snapchat filters to promote Stranger Things to scare factor infographics, so users could choose what horror films or TV shows to watch based on just how horrified they wanted to be. 

Netflix streams & screams

This year Netflix has added a Streams & Screams section with all the classics and some newbies. Over October, they also make sure to release their company’s own Netflix Original bone-chilling entertainment to maximise views.

Why should your brand take note?

Netflix’s Halloween campaigns do so well not just because they’re a streaming powerhouse, but they fully immerse their brand in the Halloween holiday.

Netflix consistently uses varied platforms to market the content through user interaction, entertainment, and relevancy. Last year on TikTok, they created a pumpkin carving video to get creative juices flowing. They drummed up anticipation with a Halloween countdown, releasing new horror movies each day of the month. Their Netflix & Chills: Halloween Edition” trailer raked up over 200k views on Youtube alone.

Brands need to take a page out of Netflix’s campaign book and use multiple channels to ace their strategy whilst promoting exciting and eye-catching Halloween-themed content that has the potential to go viral.

2. Disney + and The Hallowstream

You’ll find another spooky-season streaming success story at Disney+. Not only did the company create a Hallowstream campaign with all the best ghoulish content, but they also teamed up with Lego to release a special Star Wars show.

Since Disney+’s target audience is families and kids, the company’s partnership with Lego was the perfect way to begin the Hallowstream with their original spooky special. They released Terrifying Tales, which included a series of short episodes with fan favourite characters and Halloween plots. With jokes, jump scares and a call to the dark side, it encompassed everything about Halloween family fun (and Lego Star Wars.)

@samplertimes Sally sculpts the Pumpkin King. #Ad #Hallowstream is upon us. 🎃👻 Get ready to scream and stream all of your favorites and more, on #DisneyPlus ♬ original sound - Lawrence Becker

To supercharge UGC and create organic growth for this campaign, Disney+ used the hashtag #hallowstream on TikTok and collaborated with plenty of creators (like the stop motion artist @samplertimes and recipe account @tastemade) to promote the activity. The hashtag has over 5.2 million views, showing just how powerful this strategy was.

Why should your brand take note?

Making sure you work with the right social media influencers and brand partners is essential in any successful campaign. Collaboration can supercharge your organic growth, allowing you to borrow targeted audiences and attract them to your brand.

Every collaboration Disney+ undertook aligned with their brand values and target audience. When we work with brands, we use our award-winning data and insights tool, Bytesights, to ensure your brand finds the ideal influencer. You can find out more about how it works here.

Freakish food & beverage

95% of consumers’ planned spending at Halloween is on sweet treats, chocolates and food. That makes this time of year highly lucrative – but even more competitive – for the F&B industry. These brands’ campaigns were sickeningly sweet, and you should use them for inspiration.

3. M&Ms

The reigning masters of entertaining ads gave this seasonal campaign a fantastic variety. Their M&M’s Ghosted short video ad incorporated their iconic colourful chocolate characters in a funny scenario of escaping being eaten – or not. 

With social media AR filters, recipes on Instagram Reels, entertaining digital ads and limited edition products and giveaways, M&M is the blueprint for Halloween campaigns. What they do well is combining their classic brand with the holiday season. They present new products and make sure that when you think of Halloween, you think of M&Ms.

Why should your brand take note?

M&Ms cleverly use social media to create a connected community around their brand. Their experiential ethos has provided the building blocks for a brand culture that appeals to multiple generations. Their trick? Content that generates high levels of engagement.

Over on Instagram, M&Ms create high-quality ads and utilise Instagram Reels. Video content on this channel attracts 67% more brand engagement. M&Ms’ creative also encourages users to share their content, highlighting a calculated UGC campaign that clearly works.

On TikTok, M&Ms collaborated with the beauty and skincare brand ‘It Cosmetics’, and asked influencers to create makeup looks as M&M characters. It’s a smart move: last year, TikTok influenced 59% of users’ Halloween costume purchases and 42% of their sweets and chocolate purchases. So combining the two was a sure-fire hit. The other ingredient for success? Exciting visuals. Including eye-catching creatives throughout your social media platforms will guarantee attention.

4. Burger King V McDonalds

Burger King executed an impressive Halloween campaign on their fast food enemy, McDonalds. Burger Kings trending hashtag #ScaryClownNight spread the word for the first 500 customers to be awarded a free Whopper if they went to their nearest Burger King dressed as a clown. The teaser video included a creepy clown that looked scarily familiar to McDonald’s own mascot, Ronald McDonald. This campaign encouraged customer interaction as well as an on-the-nose snub to their rival.

Another great Halloween campaign from Burger King was #TheScariestBK. The brand gave individual Burger King stores their very own Halloween costumes and “dressed” them up as McDonalds. Over 2 billion people saw the campaign online, with over 1000+ tweets per hour on the first day of its launch and a 488% increase in brand mentions.

Everyone loves a good troll moment, especially between the two kings of fast food. It got consumers talking and sharing the brand’s content, and best of all, it made the brand enjoyable to be a part of, as it didn’t take itself too seriously. The great part of Halloween is that it’s all about messing around. And Burger King did just that.

Why should your brand take note?

Burger King uses its social media campaigns to amplify its brand as fun and creative. Most importantly, though, they merged digital content with in-person sales. Getting consumers to make the trek to a physical store was an essential part of their Halloween campaign, generating tremendous engagement.

The other aspect of this campaign that made it so successful? Burger King capitalised on consumers’ desire to capture the Halloween spirit. The IRL interactions directly encouraged UGC as social media users posted about their spooky visit to Burger King, thus promoting further organic growth and brand awareness.

If you want to see our work with Burger King and how we skyrocketed their engagement rates, check out the case study here.

5. The Curse of Svedka Vodka

Svedka Vodka played on the nature of relentless annoying ads for their Halloween marketing campaign. They targeted a millennial audience with creepy banner ads. Since younger generations are famously ad-averse, this Halloween campaign drew attention to the creepy nature of digital marketing following them around the internet – just like a stalker from a scary movie.

The ad includes haunting music and a distorted voice saying, “if you’re watching this, you are now cursed!” And the only way to break the curse is to visit the Svedka Vodka website and share the ad.

Why should your brand take note?

Halloween is a great time to experiment with digital marketing formats, and this campaign turned a potential weakness (hatred of banner ads) into a memorable Halloween-themed moment. Even better: this campaign encouraged viewers to share the ad to ‘curse’ their friends, thus promoting organic growth.

This Halloween ad campaign plays on well-known marketing tropes, allowing viewers to get in on the joke. And that’s the secret ingredient: humour.

Halloween is an inherently fun holiday, so brands should be tapping into this with their creative strategies. In particular, young consumers want brands to be “fun” and “authentic”. That means this kind of campaign language will land well with them.

Ghoulish get-ups

Costumes and terrifying makeup illusions are a pillar of the Halloween experience for consumers. From stomach-turning realistic SFX makeup to jaw-dropping outfits, makeup and apparel are at the centre of Halloween digital content – making it a vital stop for e-commerce.

6. Dior’s devilishly good campaign

If “creepy” isn’t your brand’s style, don’t worry. Dior’s Halloween campaign with supermodel Bella Hadid is a masterclass on Halloween glamour.

In a memorable Instagram video complete with eerie music, Dior promoted their iconic 1953 Rouge Dior 999 red lipstick with a dark backdrop, with Bella sporting a vampish makeup look – and unsettling video editing that certainly took some spooky Halloween inspiration. The campaign was simple yet effective, as users loved the surprise of seeing the supermodel nonchalantly wishing them a “Happy Halloween”. 

This campaign works to show how even the most prestigious brands can involve themselves in Halloween activity and engage their customers during the holidays.

Why should your brand take note?

Dior’s campaign received close to 400k views. Why? Because Halloween was a chance to show a well-known face in a new context.

Beauty customers are a top target for influencer marketing. Dior may have partnered with a celebrity in Bella Hadid, but successful brand-influencer collaborations don’t necessitate big names. Micro-influencers can achieve 60% higher engagement rates for campaigns that get users shopping

At Fanbytes, we know which influencer partnerships generate the best ROI. Using trusted influencers is excellent for brand awareness, but you can actually use them throughout the marketing funnel. Get in touch to learn more about our influencer strategies.

Halloweening with meaning

7. Unicef’s Trick or Treat Campaign

For Halloween, established charity United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) combined their child-protective work with a key component of child-friendly Halloween: fun.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has raised more than $195 million since it first launched back in 1950. The program historically involves the distribution of small orange boxes by schools to trick-or-treaters, in which they can solicit small change donations from the houses they visit.

In 2022, the organisation has a fully-integrated campaign that includes social media filters, TikTok influencer marketing and “Trick or Treat” halloween decoration posters with digital QR codes that lead to the UNICEF website to donate.

On TikTok, the hashtag #TOT4UNICEF (Trick or Treat For Unicef”) has accrued 944k views. Ambassadors on TikTok create fun costume ideas under the hashtag; influencer Noah Beck (@noahbeck) gained over 725k views on his video. He encouraged people to save on Halloween costumes and donate to UNICEF instead.

Why should your brand take note?

This campaign suits all generations celebrating Halloween. Gen Alpha will be trick-or-treating (with their parents in tow), whilst Gen Z and Millennials will be scrolling social media feeds for shopping inspiration. As a campaign with a social cause, this integrated solution also creates a perfect opportunity for WOM marketing too.

There are a large range of activities associated with halloween, and this approach allows UNICEF to reach audiences at every step, ensuring they are front of mind. Consumers are making an effort to go door to door and buy costumes, so why not trick or treat for a good cause while at it?

One step closer to a killer Halloween campaign

These campaign examples show just how fang-tastic a time Halloween is to up sales, boost brand awareness and create content that converts. What’s the next step?

Marketers need to capture the excitement of Halloween by bringing something new to the table. Take inspiration from the examples above and consider how your brand can do something that customers will talk about — after all, with this spooky holiday, there’s extra margin for creativity. Mastering this will mean your brand will be front of mind when customers start considering Christmas shopping.

If you aren’t sure which are the right ingredients for your marketing brew, let us sprinkle a bit of knowledge. Get in touch to find out how we can create a killer campaign that harnesses the power of socials and hits your KPIs every time.

For more bewitching tricks and tips to become halloween heroes, check out our articles below:

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