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Eerily excellent 2018 Halloween marketing campaigns to sink your teeth into

Written by Abbie Jukes on Thursday, 01 November 2018. Posted in PR, Sales & Marketing

Trick or treat? No matter your preference, these Halloween marketing campaigns seek to satisfy even Dracula’s bloodthirsty appetite

Eerily excellent 2018 Halloween marketing campaigns to sink your teeth into

Photo credit: Taylor Herring / Flickr.com

Halloween this year could be the biggest one yet for retailers, with those wishing to go bump in the night increasing in numbers. GlobalData, the research firm, has reported that UK sales made from Halloween 2018 are set to increase by 2.1% on last year to £491m.

Those wishing to look the part for All Hallow’s Eve provide the greatest chance for retailers to spook their customers, with costumes and clothing making up a staggering third of Halloween spending.

Whether your plans for Halloween include dressing to scare or tucking into hoards of candy, these eight campaigns below are set to enhance your experience, becoming some of the most frightening yet for consumers. Read on if you dare…

(1) Burger King’s most nightmarish sandwich yet

Set to terrify even the soundest of sleepers, Burger King, in collaboration with Paramount Trials and Florida Sleep & Neuro Diagnostic Services, has produced a green burger alongside the launch of a new scientific study. The study’s lead Dr. Jose Gabriel Medina claims that: “After eating the Nightmare King, the data obtained from the study indicated that the incidence of nightmares increased by 3.5 times.”  Maybe one for only the bravest to feast on.

(2) Spotify’s ad banned on grounds that it is too scary for children 

Apparently, even some ads are too petrifying to contemplate watching, which is the reason why Spotify’s latest ad has been pulled by the ASA. Building on previous well-known horrifying experiences of puppets in horror films, Spotify’s ad features a doll-obsessed with Camila Cabello’s Havana. The ASA ruled that as “the ad was set inside a home, including a bedtime setting, and featured a doll, meant it was particularly likely to cause distress to children who saw it”. Perhaps one for the faint-hearted to avoid watching them.

(3) Nothing but treats from Reese’s

Having commissioned research to find out how Americans really feel about their Halloween candy, an overwhelming 90% are underwhelmed and would gladly trade it in. With that in mind, Reese’s came up with a solution – the Reese’s Halloween Candy Converter. A vending machine designed by the peanut butter-centric chocolatier, the Candy Converter takes in the sweets trick or treaters feel cheated by – with one dubbing it “low-rent candy” – and spits out peanut butter cups in exchange. 

(4) Love survives even death in LG’s latest marketing campaign

Love conquers all – even death, apparently. In LG’s ad for New 5-Camera LG V40, after staring obsessively at his phone amidst chaos, a zombie is stopped in his tracks. Zooming in on a poster displaying a romantic film using his phone, the zombie is caused to contemplate the phenomenon of love. Spotting a fellow female zombie, the male zombie then embraces the chance to love her while snapping a cosy selfie together – presumably to post on Instagrave.

(5) M&M’s uses a shocking plot twist device

Not all things go bump in the night – some just glide through objects entirely. This is something that M&M’s have drawn on for Halloween 2018. Best buddies Red and Yellow are walking along side-by-side in a charming Halloween setting, however, it soon becomes clear in an all too recognisable horror film twist, that all is not as it seems, with Yellow not only sporting a suspicious-looking bite mark in the back of his head that appears to have rendered him a little off-colour.

(6) Farmers Insurance comes back to haunt you

Unusually focusing on the dead rather than the living, Farmers Insurance utilises Halloween as a chance to highlight the importance of implanting life insurance.  Rather than life insurance coming back to haunt you after your demise, this ad features a  zombie, mummy and a vampire across three ads to highlight the importance of taking out life insurance – while you’re still alive. The campaign is being rolled out across social media channels such as Facebook to increase its momentum.

(7) The Ghoul of Coca-Cola

Spotted tube hopping and spooking commuters, the ghost in Coca-Cola’s latest advert has done the trick. Giving an edge to the rush hour for Big Smoke workers, the Ghoul featured in Fanta’s Twisted Carnival, which began on October 6 2018. The tour was designed to showcase creepy immersive experiences and took place across the country, travelling from Westfield to Birmingham and Liverpool to Thorpe Park. Enough to trigger a reaction from even the toughest of people, the Ghoul was spotted cradling a doll and rocking a chair – if that’s not enough to put you off of public transport, nothing will.

(8) Giffgaff forced to remove “monster girl” ad after complaints

Spotify’s ad isn’t the only one to be removed from marketing this year – albeit for different reasons. Featuring a monster girl being forcibly removed from her home of monstrous guardians and later returning to them after not fitting in with her human family, giffgaff’s latest ad launch has faced backlash after being accused of targeting vulnerable people. Speaking for the UK Adoptive Parent Support Group, John Cutler said that the ad accurately depicts a child’s removal from the family home, an event said to be incredibly traumatising for the child involved. giffgaff’s head of advertising has since apologised for the mistake. While the company appears to have got it wrong after celebrating the holiday for six years running, its 2017 was the height of its creativity as the ad secured over three million views on YouTube – check it out below. 

About the Author

Abbie Jukes

As an English PhD student in London, Abbie has joined the Elite team as an editorial intern to gain an insight into the industry. Outside of university and the office, she will be found in the gym, reading the latest fiction novel or looking to book yet another holiday. Follow on twitter @AbbieJukes_x for spontaneous ponderings.

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