Happy Halloween! In the midst of pumpkin decorating, haunted houses and trick-or-treaters, a number of brands are leveraging spooky celebrations to promote their products. From augmented reality experiences to poking fun at their competitors, here are five brands who have done a great job at creating something unique this Halloween season.
1. Burger King
Re-using a marketing concept the chain has pushed in the past, Burger King is once again poking fun at one of its largest competitors this Halloween – McDonald’s. This year, in a commercial reminiscent of a horror film trailer, a young man is chased into a Burger King restaurant by a version of Ronald McDonald that looks more like a cross between Jigsaw (Saw) and Pennywise (IT). To align with the campaign’s slogan, “Come as a clown, eat like a king,” select Burger King restaurants in the United States are also offering free Whoppers to the first 500 customers who show up on Halloween dressed as a clown.
Perhaps one of the most talked about brands this October, Budweiser has launched a massive global campaign leveraging Halloween. According to Budweiser, celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day and Victoria Day are big in Canada in terms of a marketing push from beer brands, but brands have yet to really capitalize on Halloween. Partnerships with numerous bars to deliver Budweiser Halloween parties, a special edition “Bloodweiser” glass, and collaboration on a Halloween-themed music video for R&B singer Kehlani are just a few of the ways in which Budweiser hopes to own the celebration in Canada and beyond.
If you grew up eating Kellogg’s cereal and playing CD-ROM computer games on your desktop PC like many younger millennials, you probably remember the excitement of opening a box of Froot Loops and pulling out a copy of Roller Coaster Tycoon from the inner cardboard of the box. This Halloween, the treat in select boxes of Kellogg’s cereal is a scan-able app that asks the age-old question, “Trick or Treat?” Kellogg’s has partnered with Shazam to create this app, which delivers an augmented reality gaming experience for users as well as a list of Halloween-themed recipes using Kellogg’s ingredients.
Bacardi looks at Halloween from a different perspective this year, celebrating people around the world who dress in costume throughout the year. The “Dress to be Free” campaign focuses on two groups in particular, who each use costume as a means of performance, liberation, and tradition – Brazilian carnival dancers and South African Pantsula troupes. In addition to a digital marketing push, Bacardi hosted a Dress to be Free Halloween party in New York, as well as smaller promotional events across Canada and the United States,
Leveraging not only Halloween, but the recent release of popular Netflix show Stranger Things 2, Verizon Fios Internet in the United States launched a commercial starring Stranger Things actor and fan favourite Gaten Matarazzo. In the ad, Verizon pokes fun at the “scary” things people face today, like slow download speeds; And the commercial of course positions Verizon Fios as the best solution.