6 Wickedly Clever Halloween Campaigns To Learn From

  • UPDATED: 22 November 2022
  • 8 min read
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Halloween may not compare to the enormous commercial opportunity holidays like Christmas or Black Friday present. But this spooky season allows marketers to indulge in bone-chillingly creative campaigns that grab customers’ attention and indulge in terrifyingly bad wordplay.

Halloween Spending Trends

Does the fact that Halloween originated in Ireland and Scotland mean European brands should focus on it more? Customers love spending on Halloween. According to Statistica, customers in the UK spent around £474m on Halloween in 2019. This makes Halloween an opportunity you as a marketer cannot miss! Be it increasing brands awareness, sales, retention, app installs. Whatever your marketing goal, good Halloween marketing campaigns can definitely be a good push forward in achieving those.

Let’s take a look at Halloween marketing campaigns that hit the nail right on the head, so you can implement some of these to retain and engage your customers this Halloween season.

Ghoulishly Engaging Campaigns To Learn From


Dead Man’s Fingers and their Halloween App

UK-based alcoholic drinks producer, Halewood Artisanal Spirits launched a Halloween app to increase traffic to their website and encourage more purchases. The app called Fruit Fright can be accessed when customers scan QR codes on wooden stirrers presented with their fruity drinks. The QR code will be activated in over 700 pubs in the UK and will be live for the whole month of October.

          Halloween Campaign- Dead Man's Fingers


Key lessons to takeaway from the campaign


🎯 Invest in seasonal marketing:

Focus on dressing your app, website or creative content in Halloween costumes if you cannot launch new apps to help customers celebrate and make it a Halloween party! Add seasonal Halloween elements and Halloween decorations to your mobile apps, better yet! Add a small Halloween element to your app icon. This will help your app stand out amongst a sea of others occupying your customer’s mobile screen.

🎯 Focus on a smooth connected experience:

The brand made an app available when customers visit pubs and buy the drink so they can drive website traffic. They ensured that they have multiple touchpoints across different channels to keep their customer engaged throughout their journey.

🎯 Don’t treat it like a one-day event:

Halewood Artisanal Spirits’, business development executive, stated: “We are seeing an increase in consumers looking to celebrate occasions like Halloween for longer, meaning that it is becoming more than just a one-day event.” This also means, you as a brand marketer can let your seasonal marketing campaigns work for you longer.

Burger King’s Halloween Game

Burger King launched three new Whoppers for Halloween to capture new customers and re-engage with their loyal customers. Similar to Dead Man’s Fingers, Burger King also had a strong focus in gamifying the customer experience to drive conversions and increase business for the new Halloween Whopper editions. On the purchase of each Whopper, the customer could unlock different levels of the game “Underworld”, “Red Forest of Horror” and “Black Haunted House”.

Eye catching holiday marketing : Burger King's Halloween inspired game

Key lessons to takeaway from the campaign


🎯 Invest in Gamification:

Burger King’s in-app game discounts, influencer marketing, and Halloween parties led to 200K+ played games in two weeks and a 6% increase in new menu orders. More and more famous brands are investing in gamification to connect with their customers which garnered scary good results.

🎯 Connect offline and online channels to increase engagement:

Leverage an app to give customers more ways to interact with you and to reinforce your offers and messages at stores. Connect all digital and offline channels to make online offers easily accessible in-store. Make use of geofencing to promote in-store offers. The right approach to sustainable engagement is an omnichannel one.

🎯 Promotional discounts and coupon codes still work:

Creating promo codes and coupons on your seasonal campaigns draws shoppers to purchase from your brand and participate in the seasonal campaigns brands launch. During a period where cost of living has seen a huge increase, offering savings is a fantastic way for you to reduce consumer desire to look for alternatives.

M&M Max and Millie’s Ghost Stories:

The brand struck gold with these Halloween campaigns. M&M came out with a series of 30-second animated videos that ran throughout the month of October. The story was told throughout 7 videos. This marketing campaign was centered around Millie and her Halloween candy. The viewers could pick the direction of the animated series by selecting options for the outcome.

Key lessons to takeaway from the campaign


🎯 Create interactive content:

Interactive content is a popular trend with millennials and GenZ who constantly refresh their social media feed to see what’s new . The first video was viewed over 2000 times and the fifth 17000 times. The brand was smart to jump in as an early adopter and test the ability to drive engagement over a period of time with an interactive story. A strategy that will make the content more memorable and raise brand awareness.

🎯 User generated content:

Including user generated content as part of your Halloween campaigns is a great way of ensuring constant engagement, which is what the Candy brand did! With the intense competition brands are facing brands have to stand out to be seen. As a result customers are more weary about brands they interact with, especially GenZ and Millenials. User generated content is a great way of building an authentic brand that your audieance is keen to buy from.

🎯 Focus on the distribution of your campaign:

The brand distributed and promoted these videos consistently through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Promote your campaign on all the channels your customer is present on.

     Millie and Max: Chapter 5

Help us create Ch. 6! Does Millie choose A) M&M’S Ghoul’s Mix B) M&M’S White Candy Corn#MillieAndMax #Halloween pic.twitter.com/nR7Ce3vj3v

— M&M’S® Brand (@mmschocolate)

The League and Soul Cycle’s Push Notifications

The League is a social dating app where the users are vetted by the team before being accepted. The app used push notifications to ensure a fun time and build on their quirky brand image. The League’s push notifications are a great example of how to incorporate a spooky vibe into their halloween themed campaigns to engage with their loyal customers.

The League's Halloween Campaign

Soul Cycle also uses push notifications to remind users of their brand identity. They also use this channel to invite customers to attend classes regularly.

Soul Cycle's Halloween Campaign


Key lessons to takeaway from the campaign


🎯 Use Push Notifications:
Push notifications are a great way to engage with customers. The channel offers marketers meaningful and effective ways of engaging with customers throughout their journey. For Halloween, most brands use push notifications to alert customers about sales and offers.
You can further optimise push notifications based on their behaviour, their activity on your website, their previous purchase and preference etc. With lockdowns being lifted and physical stores open, push notifications can also help you send location-based messages to your customers and drive them to your store.

🎯 Stay true to your brand identity:

With seasonal marketing, most marketers get carried away building breath-taking creatives and clever campaigns while their brand identity gets sidelined. It is vital that your Halloween marketing campaigns and messaging are not contradicting your brand messaging throughout the rest of the year.

Svedka Vodka: The Banner Ad Curse

Svedka Vodka used video brilliantly to grab the attention of their customers and got a free pass (somewhat) to retarget their customers with their ads incessantly. After clicking on a video of Halloween cocktail recipes, viewers were shown another that said “You are cursed now”. Cursed with hellish ads. The vodka brands stayed true to the threat and retargeted the viewers with a continuous stream of ads to garner more attention online.

Svedka Vodka: The Banner Ad Curse


Key lessons to takeaway from the campaign


🎯 Create virality:

The success of most marketing campaigns depend on how viral they become. Brands like Svedka Vodka create controversial ads to achieve virality. Other brands evoke emotions and use nostalgic messaging to appeal to customers on a human level.

🎯 Don’t cross the line:

The Svedka Vodka campaign could’ve easily been considered bothersome because of the constant ads the customer saw. Brands should strive to be sensitive when planning their marketing campaigns.

Lyft and Netflix’s Stranger Things Collaboration Video

Lyft collaborated with the hugely popular Netflix series, Stranger Things to create a memorable experience for the passengers. Passengers who chose the “Strange Mode” were taken on a spooky ride with strange and eerie things happening during the ride.

Key lessons to takeaway from the campaign


🎯 Influencer Marketing & Collaboration:

Collaborating with influencers and bigger brands is key to expanding your loyal customer base. “In 2021, the Influencer Marketing market in Europe seems to have already reached €10b – €11b with an expected average annual growth (CAGR) of 30% until 2025!” states a report from Quentin Bordage. With more and more companies realising the importance of having an influencer marketing strategy in place, you’d be left behind if this isn’t part of your Halloween marketing plan. How you collaborate with brands or work with influencers will depend on your goal. Some ideas for collaborating with them include guest blogs about Halloween special offerings or range, product reviews, Halloween lookbooks etc.

Angry Birds Halloween Campaign

Angry Birds, one of the most popular and beloved games, released Angry Birds Halloween in 2010. The game featured multiple Halloween themed episodes for players to enjoy. The game started with a focus on Halloween. Ravio Entertainment then released “Angry Birds Seasons”. In this edition, each episode was based on different events, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, New Year’s etc.

Angry Birds Halloween Campaign

Key lessons to takeaway from the campaign


🎯 Seasonal App Store Optimization:

Updating your app’s product page or icon to coincide with specific events and considering seasonality in your ASO strategy can help drive more downloads. It can also help reengage old inactive users and provide app users with a new experience.

When you’re working on seasonally optimising your app, ensure you keep the local market in mind. Keep in mind, whether the region you’re marketing to celebrates the event or not.

With the examples above, it is evident that the opportunity that Halloween offers brand marketers is limitless. At the centre of an effective Halloween campaign lies a deep understanding of your customer. What drives them, what is it that they expect from your brand, what frustrates them etc.

To help you better create the best Holiday campaigns we’ve compiled a recipe book with Halloween, New Year and Christmas campaigns from leading European and North American brands like Macy’s, Burger King, OTTO and more .

You can get your recipe book here. The report also gives out strategies that marketers can use to personalise customer journeys during the holiday season.

Further Reading & Listening

Holiday Marketing Tricks That Can Help You Win Treats

What You Need to Know Before Planning Holiday Engagement Campaigns

Engaging Your Customers In The Age Of Virtual Oktoberfests

How To Build Loyalty Programs That Your Customers Will Love

Customer Engagement: Actionable Strategies for 2021 and Beyond


Frequently Asked Questions

What Halloween Campaigns are covered in the blog?

The blog covers Halloween Campaigns from Dead Man’s Fingers, Burger King, Angry Birds, The League and Svedka Vodka.

How can you engage Halloween customers beyond Halloween?

While your Halloween marketing campaign will help you bring in new customers, to ensure loyal customers and prolonged engagement it is vital to invest in a platform that helps you understand customer behaviour and target them across all channels with personalised messaging through channels most relevant to them, at a time they’d be most responsive.

What engagement strategies does the article talk about?

The article covers how an omnichannel approach, gamification, influencer marketing, user-generated content, using promos and coupons and more can help increase engagement.