Halloween Advertising Campaigns: Brands enjoying a slice of the pumpkin pie

Many brands are well-versed in harnessing the power of the Christmas advert, but with consumers embracing the spookiest night of the year, it’s presenting an opportunity for brands to enjoy a slice of the pumpkin pie before the festive season kick starts.

While Halloween advertising campaigns may have customarily focused on product promotion, we are seeing brands use the calendar hook as a growing opportunity to ooze their personalities through their marketing.

This year’s selection of publicity treats conjures a range of emotions, including a desire to take action, laughter and pay homage; we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite Halloween marketing campaigns below.

Our favourite Halloween advertising campaigns of 2019

ITV’s Blood Squad

Advert: ITV2’s Blood Squad

Why it works: Building on the success of last year’s blood drive campaign, ITV2 and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has once again teamed up in order to dispel the myths surrounding blood donation amongst young people.

The NHSBT taps into ITV2’s huge audience of 16-34-year-olds – which is 4.1 million weekly viewers – to amplify its message about the importance of blood donation and to encourage more young donors to register. The campaign is led by Emily Atack and Joel Dommet – hosts of I’m A Celebrity… Extra Camp – and features an array of other famous faces who don some of their scariest Halloween-themed looks as they audition for their part in the Blood Squad.

Skittles’ witch script switch

Advert: Skittles’ witch script switch

Why it works: Skittles is known for its somewhat outlandish ad campaigns, which have included milking Skittles from a giraffe and people contracting ‘Skittlespox,’ and this Halloween ad campaign – the first from the brand in five years – stays true to tradition.

Skittles has taken a familiar fairy tale and turned the tables on its well-known antagonist. Viewers meet a witch and a young man – who is sitting in a pan under a blue flame in the witch’s kitchen – lured there by the appeal of Skittles. But, ironically, this witch is actually calling for her visitor to leave out of pure frustration as the young man asks for more Skittles.

Continuity is the key for Skittles and by sticking to its deadpan personality and clear brand tagline ‘taste the rainbow’, it’s given us a treat with this witty advert.

Spotify’s Stay Scary campaign

Advert: Spotify’s Stay Scary campaign

Why it works: Instead of the usual ghoul or black cat, audio streaming platform, Spotify, is instead encouraging party-goers to dress up as iconic musicians this Halloween – a selection of artists who pushed the boundaries in their careers. Clever thinking – we think – from the brand that might well be putting the music into many a Halloween celebration.

Spotify is promoting the likes of Billie Eilish, Alice Cooper, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Freddie Mercury, amongst others, through a series of short videos and a pop-up shop (for those spending Halloween in New York). Think Britney Spear’s yellow python and Billie Eilish’s spider crown.

So there you have it. Our pick of some of the Halloween marketing campaigns that have caught our eye, and harness these brand’s personalities in a big way.

At Freshwater, we work with our clients to develop and hone their brand strategy, bringing the most important aspect of their business to life. Find out more here.