In search of the most creative and cost-effective Halloween campaigns, we asked PR and Marketing Managers to share their favorite examples and strategies. From the intrigue-driven Burger King Whopper campaign to Airbnb's gamified Dracula's Castle campaign, here are the top five insights they shared on executing a creative campaign on a shoestring budget.
"PR pros and entrepreneurs should take inspiration from Burger King's “Nightmare King” campaign. The brand leveraged spooky vibes by crafting a burger it claimed could induce nightmares. The genius of this campaign is that Burger King did not have to create a brand-new product from scratch; rather, the brand repurposed an old favorite. Entrepreneurs can similarly play up Halloween's themes on a budget by creating shareable content like DIY costume ideas related to their industry," says Emily Reynolds Bergh, Owner at R Public Relations.
"The 'Burger King Halloween Whopper' campaign from 2015 is truly admirable," agrees Anastasia Chernenko, PR Manager at Belkins. "This simple idea generated significant buzz and engagement during Halloween. A limited-edition Halloween Whopper with a black-colored bun was introduced. The curiosity about what made the bun black led to a lot of online conversations and media coverage.
"At Regency Fireplace Products, one of my favorite Halloween campaigns that we have done in the past was the 'Stay Warm for the Spooky Season' campaign, where we featured our favorite fall-time fireplace pics and put them on sale," says their Marketing Manager Sean Coffey.
"When you think of autumn, you think of crispy, colorful leaves, hot chocolate, flannel blankets, and chilly, cozy afternoons by the warm fireplace. Playing into this niche, in addition to paying attention to the increase in home improvement trends before winter, we found that inventory was selling like hotcakes, pun intended."
"One excellent Halloween campaign in the past that I admire was by Kit Kat, when they promised a winner would get a candy bowl that never ran out of candy, just like in the fairy tales. A creative campaign on a limited budget can be done by sharing DIY tutorials and including products we sell, like makeup products or decor items," says Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist at Ubuy UK, and recommends:
"A contest can also be run via social and web channels, wherein users are encouraged to share photos and videos with branded hashtags, and offer prizes for the most creative entries."
Ranee Zhang, VP of Growth at Airgram, says "One Halloween campaign I admire is Oreo's 'The Spooky Spider' cookie design. They turned a simple cookie into a creative, memorable Halloween treat.
She recommends: "To execute a budget-friendly campaign, I'd focus on user-generated content. Encouraging customers to share their own Halloween-themed content featuring our product, with a contest or giveaway incentive, can generate buzz without breaking the bank. Leveraging social media, influencers, and creative hashtags amplifies the campaign's reach, making it both cost-effective and engaging."
"Have you ever heard about Airbnb's "Night at Dracula's Castle" campaign?
In 2016, the company offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend Halloween night in Bran Castle, often associated with Dracula. Airbnb crafted a compelling narrative around the campaign, emphasizing the mysterious and eerie aspects of the castle, perfectly aligning with the Halloween theme," reports Nina Paczka, Community Manager at Resume Now.
"The campaign was run as a contest. Airbnb used social media to promote the game and create excitement by publishing content related to the Dracula myth and the history of the castle. Winning guests were encouraged to document their experience through photos and videos, shared on social media.
The usage of the gamified approach increased engagement, while the involvement of social media created a buzz that shot up on its own, even after the contest ended. These two cost-effective elements contributed to the success of the entire campaign, and this is exactly the strategy that could be used."
This expert panel was published in collaboration with Featured.
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