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Here in the UK we don’t appreciate how big a deal Halloween is in other parts of the world, particularly in the US, where some folks are lobbying for it to become a national holiday!

We know that brands love seasonal events like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, as it gives them a hook on which hang a marketing campaign. Halloween too, presumably. It invites marketers to put their Scream masks on and get creative...

So it surprised me to find that there is little going on out there. Are brands missing a trick here? Or is Halloween not such a big deal after all?

Anyway, here are four examples of Halloween-themed campaigns that use social media platforms to engage people in the most ghoulish ways possible. There may be the odd takeaway here to keep in mind when running your next seasonal campaign, Halloween or otherwise.

Sears

The retailer is really going for it this Halloween, with a joined up approach combining an online marketing campaign and offline store makeovers around the Zombie Shopper theme. 

The firm has a great engagement strategy already, having already adopted ‘social shopping’ and embraced the key social media platforms. But now the undead can shop for bargains! There’s a dedicated Twitter feed to help new(zom)bies to shop.

Check out the Zombie version of its homepage. You may need to ‘Switch to English’ in the event that you’re not fluent in ‘Zombian’. Or to put it another way: “Baghah, rannah ah bangaz. Brnhr.”

Sears has also created a bunch of videos to support the campaign. This one has racked up 68,000 views on YouTube:

Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The owner of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari has created a viral video that is best viewed in full screen, in a dark room, with the sound turned up, and with your face two inches away from the screen. The detail in those bats is incredible. But did you spot the hidden message? 

There’s more than just a video though. The firm has temporarily replaced its website with HalloweenHorrors.com for the duration of the campaign, which is supported by a presence on Twitter and Facebook.

Nightmare on 13th Street

This “well-known haunted house” commissioned decapitate.me, which allows people to, erm, collect severed heads. It’s simply a case of taking or choosing a picture, cleaving one's skull, and then sharing the picture via Facebook and Twitter integration. Lovely!

Death By Orgasm

Our friends at Lovehoney invite you to kill yourself with pleasure. Depending on where you work, this may not be safe for work!

I'm sure there must be some others out there. What did I miss? 

Chris Lake

Published 27 October, 2010 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

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david kely

low budget, pretty cheesy, terrible story lines, horrible costumes...Suppose that all means its perfectly targeted for halloween!

about 6 years ago

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Craig Elimeliah

You left out Converse's Frankenpic campaign on Facebook

about 6 years ago

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Allen Bonde

Retro fashion retailer ModCloth.com did a simple + fun group costume contest on Facebook this week (Like, and vote by commenting). It's finished but you can see results here: http://www.facebook.com/ModCloth?v=app_123940807662319 Allen

about 6 years ago

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Tamara@Adaptive

I thought the first one was hilarious! The salesman was super animated and the tag line was right on. The second one could use some work though. It is true that while some retailers get into halloween, they don't do nearly enough- I am going to guess that this is because it is not a gift giving holiday like Valentines Day or Xmas. Thanks for putting these up though- at the very least, they're good for a morning laugh. Tamara

about 6 years ago

Jonathan Wolf

Jonathan Wolf, Director of Product Strategy, EMEA at Bazaarvoice

Petco.com in the US is also doing a great campaign/contest in which customers are prompted to post stories and pictures of their pets in costume (written from the pets' point of view, natch): http://www.petco.com/petco_Page_PC_halloweenstories.aspx. Cool (or disturbing, depending on your point of view) example of how you can engage customers if you tap into their shared passions. [Disclaimer: I work at Bazaarvoice, the company powering the campaign]

about 6 years ago

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Benjamin

I applaud a mature brand like Sears for trying something like this... and the videos are quite funny. I wrote a full review of the campaign here: http://www.headstandmedia.com/sears-goes-zombie/ if anyone is interested.

about 6 years ago

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