For brand marketers, Halloween is about more than costumes and candy. It’s an opportunity to tie a product or service to a timely event and to add a creative twist to the day-to-day. This year, it was also an opportunity to further demonstrate the power and versatility of new social media marketing tools such as Vine.
While every Halloween marketing effort can’t be ghoulishly good, many of the online marketing efforts launched by consumer packaged goods companies in the days leading up to Halloween teach valuable lessons about how to stimulate brand-based conversations across social networks and make a well-established brand new again.
Old favorites + new tools
Spooky movies are a Halloween staple for many and the inspiration behind the Vines created by Oreo and Tide for the occasion. By tying the brands to The Exorcist and Carrie, respectively, both companies were able to create short, engaging and humorous videos that showcased their products.
In just a matter of seconds, Oreo’s vine of ‘The Spilling’ provides a humorous snapshot of the iconic cookie facing a milk flood. Shared via Twitter with the hashtag #OreoHorrorStories, the video also provides an opportunity for fans to engage further by sharing their own Oreo horror stories.
Tide, on the other hand, took advantage of an opportunity to tout the brand’s stain fighting powers with a ‘Stains Should Be Scared’ frame at the end its Vine.
The lesson? Latch on to a popular tradition (watching scary movies on Halloween) and experiment with new social media marketing tools to share the message.
Keep it simple
While some brands opted to create Vines to showcase their Halloween marketing, others opted for creative imagery to showcase their products.
There’s Orville Redenbacher’s ‘Movies are better with popcorn’:
And Crest’s ‘Have a Sweet Halloween’ complete with a Crest blue pumpkin:
The lesson? Visuals are powerful marketing tools. These images can be shared in email marketing campaigns, on websites and across social networks. They don’t require elaborate messaging; they just require a little creativity and a timely tie-in.
The element of the unexpected
Would you ever expect toothbrush and toothpaste companies to be pro-Halloween candy? For Oral-B and Crest this was the premise of a short video ‘Halloween Treats Gone Wrong’ which has garnered more than 3 million views in the two weeks since it was posted. The video has also caught the attention of trade and mainstream media.
By asking children to taste healthy Halloween treats and suggesting that these ‘treats’ will be replacing candy, Crest and Oral-B have captivated consumers with a spoof video that is not only entertaining but reinforces the brand’s selling points. The video concludes with the message ‘Nothing is more horrifying that Halloween without candy’ followed by ‘Thankfully there’s Crest and Oral-B.’
The lesson? Asking people to stretch their imagination to imagine the unthinkable (Halloween without candy) both grabs consumers’ attention and brings humor to a potentially miserable situation. Like Tide’s Vines, the video also positions the products as solutions to a problem – in this case, sugar from Halloween candy being bad for oral hygiene and leading to cavities.
With the holidays fast-approaching and the popularity of visual marketing, it will be interesting to see which brands take center stage with timely, compelling social media marketing that resonates with consumers. Which brands stood out to you for their Halloween marketing in 2013?