Weird rides, smart hauntings and empty hangers.
Every year, brands and businesses channel their inner ghoul to create campaigns, content and experiences that tap into Halloween.
While we wait for 2023’s batch of campaigns to give us jumpscares, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane to revisit some of our favourite campaigns from Halloweens gone-by.
Stranger Things & Lyft drive people crazy
Stranger Things fans in the US had their weird dreams made a reality when Lyft introduced ‘Strange Mode’ on its app in 2017. It gave intrigued passengers a real-life in-car experience emulating key parts of Season 2 of the award-winning series set in a 1980’s Indiana.
This fun campaign struck while the iron was hot and the show was a part of the cultural conversation. Along the way, it created lasting memories for those who took the bait and connected with a younger audience in a way that more traditional media couldn’t.
Alongside the experiential campaign, wider messaging made its way across digital content and in-app executions – all thanks to some clever, multi-platform integration.
Samsung’s Stevenage haunting
Although an acquired taste in terms of interior design, you’ve got to appreciate the creativity that went into this haunted house experience. Samsung transformed the oldest house in Stevenage into the ultimate tech-powered haunt, allowing the public to celebrate the holiday despite the COVID restrictions in place at the time.
Those who got to see the spooky stunt were treated to a custom-built 13ft mechanical skeleton, a garden taken over by smart-tech pumpkins, plus every SFX bell and whistle imaginable, all controlled and monitored by the Samsung SmartThings app.
The campaign perfectly demonstrated the capabilities of their innovative tech on a mass scale, and the adaptability of experiential marketing, promoted across their social media channels and in-store opportunities. Samsung also created a series of masterclasses on how to use the SmartThings app to recreate the effects on the house.
Lottie London trades ‘Blood for Beauty’
And yes, we’re talking REAL blood.
Make-up brand Lottie London got fang-tastically creative with last year’s Halloween marketing in aid of the UK’s national blood bank shortage. This clever campaign encouraged people to exchange ‘Blood for Beauty”, by donating blood and posting the evidence on social media giants, TikTok and Instagram, tagging @lottielondon and using #BloodForBeauty throughout October for a chance to win the brand’s Vampire Diaries collection.
This campaign addressed an important healthcare issue, raising awareness and giving its audience the chance to contribute something of real social value (their blood). Its use of a social-first strategy, with TikTok and Instagram as the main output channels, positioned their content right in front of their Gen Z target market.
Likewise, the ‘Love sucks’ Vampire Diaries collection is Gen-Z ‘core’, with the product names playing on key characters in the hit series and tapping into pop culture.
Poundland’s see-through in-store stunt
Harry Potter fans rejoiced as they stepped foot into Poundland and “saw” their own FREE invisibility cloak hanging on the wall. The Halloween collection was Poundland’s largest collection to date, and every store was jam packed with merch for the spooky season.
The cloak stunt drove a pun-heavy social conversation across social media platforms, and helped position Poundland in trending topics in the run up to the day.
Digital PR also drove coverage with the likes of The Mirror, Heart radio, and other national publications.