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Scary-Good Marketing for Halloween


Photo courtesy of jp3d2k via Flickr

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. There’s something about this time of year–with the fall colors, cider mills, skeletons on porches and yes, everything pumpkin–that reminds me of being a kid. Today, while trick-or-treating doesn’t have the same appeal that it used to, I still love when a brand or product can get me back in the Halloween spirit with clever use of fear, food, or fun. Here I’ve compiled a few of my favorite examples of campaigns that are getting Halloween marketing right.

Chipotle’s Boorito fundraiser

Every year since founding the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation in 2011, Chipotle Mexican Grill has hosted “Boorito” – Chipotle customers who come in wearing a costume on October 31 will receive select menu items for $3. All proceeds up to $1,000,000 go toward the foundation, which aims to create a more sustainable and healthy food supply. I really like how they combine a good cause with a fun call-to-action and a discount on food for customers – a win-win campaign.

You’re Next movie posters

There’s no lack of promotions and trailers for horror movies around Halloween time. And sure, scary movies might sell themselves in the fall, but the saturated market means production companies need to create a campaign that makes their movie stand out. Cue You’re Next, a murder/slasher film released at the end of August this year. Their team put together a campaign of movie posters touting completely different movies altogether (for example, Tyler Perry’s Tempation), but then added an overlay which created the terrifyingly real effect of someone standing behind or next to you as you look at it. As Alex Maidy mentions in the article, there was no need for the poster’s text to have anything to do with You’re Next–the subtle effect immediately gets the viewer’s attention that these movie posters aren’t what they seem.

Carrie coffee shop viral video

To continue with the theme of using scare tactics for movie marketing, you may have seen this one making its way around the Interwebs last week–the people behind the new release of Carrie created an insane stunt at a coffee shop in New York City.  Thinkmodo, a New York-based viral video marketing company, hired actors and technicians to scare unsuspecting customers with a telekinetic spectacle of books flying off shelves, tables tipping over and a woman sending a man flying up the side of a wall all without touching anything. I would have been terrified out of my mind if this had happened to me. But the video went viral, and the stunt reminds everyone exactly how frightening that movie actually is.

This site most likely gets the majority of its traffic for the entire year during the month of October. And people who visit the site are there for a very specific reason. So how do you get them to stick around? What caught my eye was how offers value to its online customers by creating a YouTube channel filled with how-to videos for Halloween makeup. This is a great marketing idea that could work for nearly any brand or company too. Giving customers something extra makes them feel like they are getting more than what they pay for.

These are just a few examples of some cool marketing this Halloween season. Have you seen any others that have scared you straight–into checking out their product? Tell us in the comments!



About Gina Joseph

Gina Joseph is a features writer for Cision Blog, and is also the digital engagement manager for Cision’s marketing department. She’s a book nerd, Detroit sports enthusiast, lover of cats, lifelong Phil Collins fan, and budding snowboarder. Find her on Twitter @gmg912.

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