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5 Scarily Good Halloween-Themed Marketing Campaigns

Fanta Halloween Cans

Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with some hauntingly clever marketing? These five campaigns are so spookily on-point they’re sure to give you chills.


Burger King’s #ScaryClownNight

In 2017, shortly after the movie “It” hit theaters, Burger King decided to capitalize on the creepy clown trend — and troll one of its biggest competitors at the same time. On Halloween, the fast food chain offered free Whoppers to the first 500 customers that came in wearing a clown costume. Along with the offer, the company released a video featuring a Burger King employee being chased by scary clowns — one of which bore a suspicious resemblance to Ronald McDonald.

With the slogan, “come as a clown, eat like a king,” this campaign was irresistibly clever. It combined the best of culturally relevant content, free giveaways and lighthearted competition to get audiences talking. Nothing like terrifying clowns, free stuff and fast food rivalries to get the internet buzzing, right? And now, two years later, it still remains one of our favorite Halloween marketing success stories.


Fanta’s Festive Snapchat Codes

A couple years ago in the weeks leading up to Halloween, Fanta released a series of special edition cans that featured festive designs, including Frankenstein, Dracula, a skull and a witch. Not only were these cans fun to look at, but they also had a unique QR code that people could scan to get fun, limited-edition Halloween Snapchat filters.

Catering to its fans’ Snapchat addiction, Fanta really put its knowledge of its audiences to good use. The campaign was a great way to incentivize customers to purchase Fanta — and inspire them to share the brand’s name on social media — all while providing a fun and memorable experience. It’s scary what people will do to get a great Snapchat filter!


Svedka Vodka’s Curse of Ads

You know that creepy thing where you look something up online and then ads for it follow you around everywhere? One Halloween, Svedka Vodka put a fun — and even creepier spin — on ad retargeting. It all starts with a short video (which viewers might click on through social media or receive from a mischievous friend). The video informs you that you have been “cursed with hellish ads,” and as soon as you are done watching, SVEDKA ads designed to match the video start following you around the internet. The video encourages you to spread the curse by sharing it with your friends.

Under normal circumstances, ad retargeting can be a bit unsettling — and for some, a bit off-putting. But by playfully acknowledging the naturally creepy nature of these ads, SVEDKA was able to launch a creative, on-brand campaign that was relatable and fun for its audiences. It made for a perfect Halloween marketing trick people couldn’t forget — even if they wanted to.


WD-40’s Creaky Door App

You know that spooky, creaky sound doors make? The one WD-40 is supposed to fix? Well, in light of Halloween, the brand didn’t want its loyal customers to miss the festive sound of a poorly lubricated door, so the company launched a Haunted Door App that made it easy to replicate the sound when you opened the door for trick-or-treaters or friends.

This campaign was another great example of knowing your brand and knowing your audience. In a low-key, entertaining way, WD-40 highlighted the benefits of its product, while providing a tool its customers would actually enjoy using. And we assume that after a few young kids managed to get ahold of the app, the nonstop creaking that ensued probably inspired their parents to double check their supply of WD-40.


M&M’s Interactive Ghost Story

There’s nothing like a good ghost story to get you in the Halloween spirit. And one October, in the weeks leading up to Halloween, M&M’s decided to tell a ghost story of its own. Each week, the company released a new installment of the story across its social media platforms. Best of all, at the end of each chapter, readers got to vote on what would happen next, making the story an exciting interactive adventure. The ghost story was fun and accessible for a wide range of ages, making it a great fit for the company’s broad customer base. And because each installment was approximately 30 seconds, it was easy for viewers to fit into their busy lives.

For us here at Mustang, all it takes is hearing the word M&M’s to make us crave candy. So we have to imagine that these weekly reminders of the delicious candy-coated chocolates helped to boost sales. And better yet, by creating a fun, festive experience for its customers, M&M’s likely helped build brand loyalty that will help to differentiate it from its competitors for years to come.


Whether it’s for Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Year’s or Fourth of July, tying your marketing campaign into a holiday is a great way to show your brand’s personality and gain some extra attention from your audiences. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help — contact us today!