Thanks to young consumers’ eternal love for Halloween, more unexpected brands are getting in the spirit. Unexpected marketing campaigns are locking fans in coffins, telling tarot fortunes, and more…
Halloween is becoming increasingly important for brands as it solidifies itself as a high-spending holiday among young consumers. The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics Consumers report that consumers plan to spend a total of $9 billion this year, a slight drop from 2017 but still an impressive sum. Over 175 million plan to celebrate the spooky holiday, spending $3.2 billion on costumes, $2.7 billion on decorations, and $2.6 billion on candy. Millennials’ continued passion for the holiday, despite their adult status, is helping to boost those numbers—including the sales for pet costumes. Eighteen percent of those celebrating Halloween plan to dress up their pet, a 2% jump from last year that’s mainly being attributed to Millennials, according to Bizwomen. Besides dressing up their furry friends, our own recent survey on their Halloween plans points to how their seemingly eternal enthusiasm for the holiday will play out in their spending. The majority of 13-36-year-olds believe you’re never too old to celebrate Halloween, with a little more than one in three young consumers planning to wear a costume this year and most planning on eating candy.
Of course, brands are vying to take a bite out of young consumers’ budgets. Last year, we saw Stranger Things trend on social media for their interactive billboards, while Mars thought their spooky shorts were so good that they just re-release them this year. This year, it looks like brands with easy tie-ins to the holiday (like candy) are being outshone by some less obvious contenders. Here are the four not-so-obvious brands that are getting creative this Halloween through tech, one-of-a-kind experiences, and more:
Six Flags hosted a 30-hour coffin challenge for anyone that wanted to live out their worst nightmares. The theme park went viral when they announced their challenge to fans: stay in a semi-enclosed coffin with no tech devices (just one non-tech item was allowed, and one participant brought her crossword puzzle book) for 30 hours and receive a $300 cash prize, top-tier season passes, Fright Fest line-skipping privileges, and, of course, the coffin you spent so much time in. Over 3,000 people applied for the highly-hyped competition and just six were chosen, according to the Chicago Tribune. The verdict from one of the six who survived? “It wasn’t very comfortable.”
2. Jagermeister Tarot Cards
Jägermeister is celebrating Halloween with augmented reality tarot cards. AListDaily reports that special branded snapcodes can be found in select stores and bars and be scanned to activate a Snapchat experience that reveals drinkers’ fortunes and a beverage recommendation. For instance, advice like “Trust in your instinct and follow your gut” could be paired with an “ice kühl shot.” Jägermeister’s Practical Magic marketing push should bolster their self-reported 34% rise in seasonal sales.
Booking.com is inviting people to stay overnight in a haunted hotel to promote their new offering, Booking Experiences. For the nights of October 29, 30, and 31, fearless souls can book a stay at the San Francisco Dungeon in their “Ghosts of Alcatraz” suite, decked out to look like an old-school Alcatraz prison cell. Not only will guests get a swag bag, a welcome cocktail, and themed pajamas, but they’ll be told a ghostly bedtime story, join a “witching-hour séance,” and get VIP entry to the spooky on-site show.
King’s Hawaiian—yes, the dinner roll brand—has created a feature film for Halloween. Ad Age reports that The Legend of Hallowaiian tells the story of three friends that find a “pineapple-headed monster” in a cave on Halloween. The 82-minute animated film is aimed at a younger audience and features celebrity voices like Mark Hamill. Branding for the actual bread is light in the film (a tactic that also worked in last year’s spooky shorts from Mars), appearing only when someone passes out carbs instead of candy and when a character smells them in their trick-or-treat bag. The movie is available for purchase on DirecTV and in select theaters.
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