Halloween marketing campaign

7 Memorable Halloween Marketing Campaigns and Why They Worked

To shed light on the most memorable Halloween marketing campaigns, we asked seven professionals, including a Marketing Manager and a founder, to share their favorites. From Universal Orlando’s authentic Halloween experience to Chipotle’s “Boorito” campaign, discover the campaigns that left a lasting impression on these industry experts.

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Universal Orlando’s Authentic Halloween Marketing Campaign Experience

No one does Halloween marketing campaign better than Universal Orlando. The most successful campaign of all has nothing to do with paid advertising or brilliant email copy. It’s how they’ve managed to get a true fandom that shows up in droves every year for an opportunity to be a part of Halloween Horror Nights. 

They have their pick of all the best scare-actors, performers, and dedicated service workers ready to give it their all. There is no better way to create an immersive experience than through the lens of true fans of the holiday. Their emotional connection and pride translate to a level of detail that blows the event out of the water every time. Authenticity equals magic!

Halloween marketing campaign

Joshua Pennington, Marketing Manager, BRANDco

Mars and Fox’s Unconventional Horror Campaign

As a horror fan, Mars and Fox’s Bite-Sized Horror campaign delighted me. The Halloween marketing campaign featured four short films promoting these brands’ candy product lines: M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles, and Starburst. Mars saw their biggest Halloween sales gain in the last five years, and both companies immensely benefited from these promotions. Created by upcoming horror directors, these ads became popular by aiming to frighten people instead of advertising their products.

One ad is about a dad searching with his daughters for a slain motorcyclist, while another features a woman stuck in an oscillating lift. In one film, a boy comes across his clone while out playing, and in another, a hunter becomes prey on a sunny day. All the ads provided short but creative horror doses during the Halloween season and generated incredible sales for the brands while winning multiple awards. These ads showed how thinking beyond conventional approaches can yield unlimited dividends.

Halloween marketing campaign

Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

Liquid Death’s Shocking Collaboration with Martha Stewart

When considering Halloween marketing campaign, Martha Stewart is most likely not the first person who comes to mind. However, that doesn’t matter to Liquid Death. The canned water brand teamed up with Stewart for Halloween to create the aptly named Dismembered Moments Luxury Candle.

The campaign features a surprisingly chilling commercial with a serene and flattering Stewart promoting the candle, accompanied by appropriately horror-filled screams, fake blood, and heavy metal music in the background. The shock factor is high with this one, and it works!

Halloween marketing campaign with Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg, Founder and CEO, Tripplo

Airbnb’s Controversial Catacombs Night

In October 2015, Airbnb launched a Halloween marketing campaign called “A Night in the Catacombs,” which drew international attention. The prize put the company in the spotlight: the winning couple could spend a night in the Paris catacombs, surrounded by seven million skeletons. 

To win, contestants had to write an essay explaining why they were brave enough to undergo such an experience. While promoting the campaign, Airbnb emphasized the uniqueness of this event. It had spent a mind-blowing €350,000 to rent the catacombs, which highlighted the reward’s exclusivity. This boosted public interest not only in the venture but also in the company. 

I feel that combining one of the most mind-blowing locations in the world with the company’s leading service was a brilliant idea. It took advantage of the Halloween marketing campaign fever and caused some controversy among locals who opposed the concept of monetizing death. Yet, I believe such a fuss only helped Airbnb gain more recognition.

Martyna Szczesniak Featured 7 Memorable Halloween Marketing Campaigns and Why They Worked

Martyna Szcześniak, Community Expert, MyPerfectResume

Snickers’ Humorous Halloween Tale Integration

One Halloween marketing campaign that left an indelible mark was Snickers’ “Horseless Headsman” commercial. The ad starts with the Headless Horseman, a classic Halloween character, handing out candy to kids. However, he’s notably missing his head, not just in the typical fashion, but entirely. A friend hands him a Snickers, implying he’s “not himself” when he’s hungry, and upon eating it, his head (with the iconic pumpkin) reappears. 

What struck me was the brilliant integration of brand messaging with a beloved Halloween tale. It seamlessly wove humor, narrative, and product promotion. The campaign was memorable, humorous, and resonated well with the festive spirit, showcasing Snickers’ marketing genius.

Halloween marketing campaign with Richard Frankel

Richard Frankel, Disability Lawyer, Bross & Frankel, PA

Cadbury’s Captivating Halloween Spirit

My favorite Halloween marketing campaign would have to be the one by Cadbury. They created a series of spooky commercials featuring their iconic chocolate bars in fun and creative ways. 

They filled the ads with Halloween-themed decorations, costumes, and a catchy jingle that always got stuck in my head. What I loved most about this campaign was how it captured the spirit of Halloween while also showcasing the deliciousness of Cadbury chocolate. The visuals were captivating, and the ads always left me with a craving for their tasty treats. It was a clever and memorable way to promote their products during the Halloween season.

Halloween marketing campaign with Lukasz Zelezny

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO Consultant, SEO Consultant London

Chipotle’s “Boorito” Campaign

Halloween is a fascinating time for Halloween marketing campaign, bridging creativity with commercial opportunity. If I were to select a favorite, it would undoubtedly be the 2015 “Boorito” campaign by Chipotle. Their blend of humor and social responsibility was both engaging and impactful. By asking customers to add unnecessary items or “additives” to their costumes, paralleling the additives in fast food, Chipotle subtly promoted their commitment to natural ingredients.  

This ingenious linkage between a popular cultural event and the brand’s core values resonated deeply. The fact that participants could get a burrito for just $3 if they dressed accordingly was the cherry on top. It’s akin to merging a stage play with a seminar—enlightening yet entertaining. 

Such a Halloween marketing campaign reminds me why marketing, when done right, can be both a force for good and a catalyst for business growth.

Halloween marketing campaign with Ankit Prakash

Ankit Prakash, Founder, Sprout24

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