Halloween is now big business. The spooky event is the UK’s third most popular festival (after Christmas and Easter) in terms of retail spend, with UK consumers spending over £300 million on Halloween-related items last year.
The growing popularity of the festival also carries over to social media, where retailers and brands are keen to attract attention and net their share of that £300 million. Here are five fun campaigns from last year…
1. Oreo Paranormal Snacktivity videos
Oreo has always been one of the leaders at social media and Halloween, so it’s no surprise their offering is one of the best. Last year they made a selection of “paranormal snacktivity” videos on Instagram and Vine.
This got over 12,000 likes – by using a sense of fun.
2. Ford’s scary car wash
Ford invited prospective purchasers on a test drive with a difference. Test drivers were asked to stop off in the car wash and were in for a shock when things turned scary mid-wash. The car maker used special effects trickery and actors to put the heebie-jeebies into the drivers. The video was very successful for Ford, with over 1.7 million views on YouTube.
3. ASOS Menswear Trick or Tweet game
Fashion retailer ASOS got into the spirit of Halloween with a Twitter game called “Trick or Tweet”. ASOS’s approach to Halloween was less tricks, more treats, with a number of prizes awarded to Twitter users who took part. They cleverly ran the promotion the day before Halloween, allowing them to take advantage of the excitement around the festival but avoiding getting lost in the noise.
4. O2 Possessed
Taking a similar approach to Ford, O2 decided to play pranks in their own “haunted house”. Members of the public could win tickets to visit the house, along with celebrities, to get spooked out by O2’s high-tech tricks.
All of the stunts were filmed, helping entrants to the house to further spread the reach of the campaign on their own social media channels. Those who didn’t win a trip to the house were invited to talk to an O2 guru, to learn how to use smartphones and tablets to recreate the scary scenes at home.
5. Sephora’s Pinterest boards
Halloween is big on Pinterest, with many brands creating their own Halloween-themed Pinterest boards. Makeup retailer Sephora has one of the best – they invite followers to contribute their Halloween looks and the popular board now has over 268,000 followers.
Halloween social media tips
Looking to pull off your own scary social media stunt? Learn from these examples and encourage interactivity: nearly all of these campaigns encouraged interaction from the public in some way, showing that Halloween is a time to maximise the community spirit of social media.