So it Begins…
It’s that time of the year again. You walk into your favorite store, minding your own business and bam! You accidentally walk into an animatronic witch or ghost moving around and screaming like crazy. Then it hits you… HALLOWEEN! Yes, the time of the year where the ghouls come out to play and Halloween candy is on the mind! Halloween is a great time for marketers to think of fun and scary ways to create buzz around their brand!
Where did these ghouls come from?
Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, has a history that harkens back 2,000 years ago to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1 and believed the eve before (October 31) the boundary between the dead and living was blurred. Halloween was originally celebrated in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. As immigrants came to the United States in the late 1800s so did Halloween. Americans slowly began to integrate the costumes that Celts once wore to ward off ghosts.
Similar to Halloween, Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that celebrates friends and family who have passed on. With Mexican roots, the holiday has slowly integrated into the lives of people living in border states. The calavera (skull), a Dia de los Muertos symbol can be found in the form of pan de muertos (bread of the dead), figurines and painted on people’s faces. You’ll find that the line blurs between both holidays in American culture as people dress in traditional Dia de los Muertos attire for Halloween.
Scaring up the cash
Dressing up for Halloween means big business! In 2015, 2.53 billion dollars was spent on purchasing Halloween costumes. Yeah, that number in itself is pretty scary from a consumer standpoint, but is impressive from a business standpoint. It can help explain why Party City, the largest retailer of party goods, amps up Halloween marketing.
Even our client, Goodwill San Antonio, gets into the Halloween spirit with their annual Halloween contest that’s promoted through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and in-store. This year’s “Wickedly Easy” Costume Contest can earn 20 winners, one from each San Antonio store, a prize valued at $100. Now that’s something to dance about!
Trick Or Treat
Of course costumes aren’t the only thing flying off shelves. Halloween candy plays a big part in trick or treating. Sure, Halloween candy doesn’t need much marketing for those of us with a sweet tooth, but Hershey’s and Mars make an effort. In 2015, both brands utilized social media to increase there brand awareness and engagement during Halloween. Reese’s did a great job of getting into the Halloween spirit with their social media efforts, providing Halloween party recipes and dressing up their famous peanut butter cups as monsters!
Let’s All Get Into The Halloween Spirit!
Now, you don’t have to be a costume or candy brand to get into the Halloween spirit. Some of the best marketing campaigns don’t even fall into either category. In 2015, Airbnb advertised a Halloween contest where one winner would spend a night in the Paris Catacombs during Halloween. All you had to do was submit an essay explaining why you were brave enough to spend a night. This genius marketing idea obviously gave Airbnb press coverage. Did we mention it wasn’t a joke?
So this Halloween, get into the spirit, not only with costumes and candy, but with marketing for your company or personal brand! Show your ghoulish side and have a Happy Halloween!
Written by Randy Estevanes, the Marketing/PR Account Coordinator with the Communications team at esd & associates, specializing in social media management and public relations.