Halloween has evolved into a major consumer holiday, with an estimated $6.9 billion in spending in 2015. While that figure is down from its height in 2012, it’s clear that Halloween has gone from a modest retail holiday with kids wearing a simple white sheet to parade around as a ghost to an empire, partially as a result of the influence of media and social media in disseminating the most popular costumes, candy and Halloween movies so widely.
Think about it—character-based companies like Disney have a whole stream of revenue based on costumes, and social media has created essentially a worldwide costume contest, not to mention that great Halloween costume idea you can find in Pinterest.
So, it’s no surprise that many notable brands are embracing this spooktacular occasion with major marketing campaigns—and not just the candy companies. From Crest and Oral-B (yes, the toothpaste and toothbrush brands) to Target, retailers are hopping on the haunted hayride. Of course, the sweet treats are playing their respective roles, as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most creative and effective Halloween marketing campaigns of the past few years.
The (Cutest) Curveball
Rather than hide from the holiday that is the arch enemy of oral hygiene, Crest and Oral-B seized the opportunity to highlight the other negative effects of candy than a few cavities—real life ravenous little monsters.
This campaign, which featured a series of hilarious videos, reportedly garnered 7.3MM views, not to mention a 3% spike in sales for the brands in a 4-week period.
The ad agency for Milk’s Favorite Cookie channeled its inner Tim Burton in its 2014 “Laboratorium” campaign, a series of short films creating “nomsters” out of Oreo cookies combined with common Halloween candy. The Mini Oreo Snack Trap, made in a beaker from a jelly bean, is my personal favorite.