Marketers Dress Up Their Brands for Halloween

During this time of year, many marketers dress up their brands for Halloween to have some fun and shake up their traditional marketing. What was once just a day for kids to dust off their ghost and goblin costumes, and score some free candy from the little old lady up the street,  has turned into a billion dollar business. Halloween is now a major holiday and kicks off the beginning of a 4th quarter of holiday marketing campaigns.  October has now become a time when kids of all ages are on a month long sugar high and marketers dress up their brands for Halloween. Here are a few of our favorite Halloween marketing campaigns from the past few years:

ACE Hardware

If you’re a TV fan, you probably remember the zombie craze that took America by storm in 2011 (yes, right after the Vampire craze). ACE Hardware tapped into this popular trend and released this commercial around Halloween. Not only did they create a holiday commerical, they also used a topic that was popular at the time. Who knew ACE Hardware was a place for zombie do-it-yourselfers?


Nothing says Halloween like a prank involving terrifying monsters, right? Well, Ford would definitely agree. In 2011, Ford released a video where they asked some unsuspecting customers taking a test drive to stop at a car wash close by during their ride. Once inside, it was not your typical car wash. The drivers were understandably terrified, and of course it was all caught on tape! The now video has over 1.8 million views on YouTube.



Everyone is familiar with the Snickers “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” campaign and countless commercials that have come across our TV screens recently. They have found a tagline and theme that works for their brand and have stuck with it, so it was no surprise that when Halloween came around in 2015, their commercial reflected the same theme. The only difference was that this time, a notable Halloween character was involved – The Headless Horseman…or should we say Horseless Headsman.


While many brands put out a Halloween commercial, Chipotle took Halloween one step further with a promotion that benefits a good cause. Last year, their Halloween campaign showcased the “creepiness” of unnecessary ingredients and developed a short film, “Unneces-scary”, to show what it would be like if their ingredients weren’t fresh. Spooky! Aside from this, Chipotle offers $3 “Booritos” to customers who wear their costumes to the store. $1 from each burrito sold on halloween goes towards the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which is geared toward sustainable food efforts.

Halloween is a great time for brands to show their fun side and create a spooky campaign for halloween or switch up their existing strategy. While these examples are all major brands with huge marketing budgets, smaller companies can find inspiration in their Halloween spirit. You may not have a few million dollars extra to create a brand new commercial, but simple things like creating a Halloween themed logo for you social media pages may just do the trick. The ideas are endless, just remember…it’s supposed to be fun!

About the Author

Cailyn_Chrystal_ProfileCailyn Chrystal is a Project Manager at 898 Marketing.  Cailyn develops strategies and manages implementation of content through social media channels for 898 Marketing and it’s clients, as well as optimization strategies for websites and content. Cailyn is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and a graduate of Duquesne University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Communications.