The spooky appeal of Halloween

Campaigns with a Halloween theme can be frighteningly impactful. Here’s our pick of tricky treats.

por Mark Tungate , Adforum



As a season, autumn has its fans, particularly if they get a kick out of Halloween. The annual fright fest is a favourite with brands, which is hardly surprising: in the US alone, last year consumers spent 3.1 billion dollars on candy during the Halloween period, according to Statistica, slightly up on the previous year and “exceeding pre-pandemic levels”.

So what kind of strategies do agencies use to jump out at their customers? Since we mentioned candy, let’s start with this lively M&M’s spot from The&Partnership in the UK.




Not very scary? All right, let’s bring you right up to date with a new campaign from TBWA and fast food chain Jack in the Box. The brand has just brought back its “monster tacos”.






Staying in the fast food realm for a moment, the agency Windfor’s in Tbilisi, Georgia, worked with McDonald’s on a topical Halloween campaign driven by AI. It turned comments on social media into AI images and invited customers to do the same. As a result, AI overtook the brand’s social channels.




When Heinz wanted to launch its Black Garlic Mayo, it travelled to Romania and set up a store in the middle of woods "haunted by vampires." Anyone who found the store got a free sample. It’s doubtful anyone tried, but there’s some amusing acting in the spot.




Is selling a house frightening? It is according to online real estate company Opendoor and Venables+Bell, who combined a seasonal installation with a QR code to promote the brand’s services.




Amid all the fun, some organisations have used Halloween to convey serious messages. This idea from Rethink in Canada, which raises awareness of domestic violence, is both simple and effective.




In Belgium, Publicis hit on the notion of being “scared to death” to talk about organ donation.




Meanwhile, effective copywriting is the key to this campaign for House Angel in Bolivia. Stay with it until the end.




Let’s get back to the snacks and finish with something epic. This next film – a stylish piece of branded content for Uber Eats – apparently featured no less than a million dollars’ worth of embedded discount codes. It weighs in at over three minutes and hits all the beats of the horror genre. Probably best to watch it during the day.