A Halloween Advertising Tip-or-Treat


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Let’s play a scary game where we come up with two advertising or social media campaigns for two completely random companies to capitalize on the upcoming Halloween holiday.

Okay – it’s not that scary, but the results might surprise you (unlike your coworker hiding behind the door in his scream mask. He tries it every year).

Halloween is around the corner – and if your business doesn’t sell costumes or candy, you might think you can sit this holiday out. But we want to show you how your business’s marketing and advertising efforts can capitalize on practically any holiday or miscellaneous event.

By utilizing online tools and some divergent thinking, you can jump on the topical search traffic terms and interests of some of your key audiences.

We chose two completely random companies using RandomLists and created paid advertising and social media campaigns for Halloween.

Dial:

This one was a softball, admittedly. Dial embodies washing and cleanliness, and Halloween embodies fake blood and cakey make-up.

There weren’t any results for “how to wash out fake blood” or even “wash fake blood,” but “fake blood” sees an unsurprising 89 percent increase in search during the month of October compared to the rest of the year. You can see that during a search, relevant search includes “How do you make fake blood that doesn’t stain?”


Overall, “fake blood” and “DIY fake blood” increase from an average 36,000 searches in September to 182,000 searches in October with medium to high competition and relatively low suggested bids around $0.21-$0.34.


Dial would want to target only the audience that would likely be a purchaser, and not the 13 year-old looking for gory images in boredom. By modifying their campaign, they can select their search ads to show only to an adult 25 to 55-year-old demographic range…essentially the moms or dads helping their bored 13-year-old think of a costume idea. They’ll not only be responsible for making the costume but the inevitable clean-up after.


Harley Davidson:

More of a hardball. Creating a campaign off of something that’s not typically related to your product or brand requires more than search tools – but rather your finger on the pulse surrounding that holiday and some social media interaction.

Eventually this will come full circle: Wendy’s has gained an incredible amount of attention for their interaction on social media.  From unsolicited roasts to McDonalds to a rap battle with Wingstop, Wendy’s hasn’t been shy about publically interacting with other brands.

Some single tweets gain over 238K likes and 106K retweets. Although their follower base is 2.08 million – this is likely how a fast-food chain garnered that much attention.

In mid-October, Mars Candy Brands came out with a series of spooky ads for candy brands. The M&Ms two-minute short shows a daughter summoning a slain motorcycle ghost to “stay with them forever.”

Using this shout-out technique, Harley Davidson, with 394K followers, could tweet back to M&M’s Brand Twitter account, which has 94K followers, about the commercial.


The tweet could read something like “We’ve been in business since 1903, so his motorcycle was probably a Harley-Davidson.”

There are two things to remember if your brand goes this route: You won’t have complete control of the results, and your interaction should be genuine. Remember your brand voice and account for follow-up; otherwise, your attempt could be fruitless. Millennials, and frankly, people in general, prefer authentic and genuine brands.

To learn more about how Russell Herder approaches digital marketing projects for authentic brands like yours, see our digital marketing capabilities.