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Our top 3 Halloween campaigns

Posted by tamar.riley | 30 October

Here at TLC we've been working the graveyard shift hoping to be spooked by some creative campaigns ... and we've not found many! The US's influence on this calendar period hasn't reached many brands but instead the retailers. But are the brands missing a trick? Our creative team have compiled their top 3!

Runner up:

Krispy Kreme

I noticed this in Tesco the other day. Krispy Kreme are doing a few things for Halloween this year, but the one that was most clearly advertised was the taste your fate promotion they're running. Essentially it's a special doughnut that they've launched. When you bite into the doughnut you find out if you have been 'tricked' with a fizzy lime filling or 'treated' with a chocolate truffle filling. The POS featured the line 'We dare you to taste your fate', which I thought was a nice way of egging people (especially kids) into having a go. I think this is a pretty fun idea, introducing a challenge element into the promotion rather than just getting something free.

Additionally, Krispy Kreme also have a new Halloween themed box when purchasing their assorted dozen ­ which comes with a free bat mask. They will also be running spooky colouring activities for children in stores over the half term, as well as distributing ŒKrispy Kreation¹ doughnut decorating activity packs, the 'perfect activity' for the children, either in store or to take home. I think Krispy Kreme are a brand which are able to utilise Halloween to their advantage, as their products are basically treats, and therefore the connotations are there for them to play up to with ease.

Runner up:


Toyota have launched a promotion offering £500 - £1000 saving on a new car and highlighting the many interesting and unique ways you could spend that saved money. A simple idea that steps outside of the usual car dealership cash saving humdrum. It's not strictly a halloween promotion (I saw another ad offering a free hot tub within the same idea) but obviously took the launch timing into account for one of the executions. Fair play.
This is certainly a left field nod to Halloween so I like it. It would be easy to slip into something more obvious but the charm is in the bizarre.
Overall it's a nice way to dress up a cashback/saving promotion with a simple and fun idea behind it. I know I'd enjoy the opportunity to spend a morning coming up with ads on how best to spend a spare £500! 'FREE SUMO WRESTLING RING when you buy a new Toyota this weekend!'

Our winner:


This is the second year that the newsagents, McColl's has run it's charity Halloween campaign. Teaming up with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), the retailer will include a number of spooky in-store promotions, especially centring on trick or treat. Suppliers will donate when selected products are purchased. In addition, special Halloween magazines can be purchased for £1, with 50p going to charity, while customers will also be able to donate through collection tins at the till, via text message or online.

The thing I find interesting about this campaign, is the fact that it is focussing on giving to charity, where as Halloween is generally a time where children are focussed on getting as much as they can for themselves.

So whilst at first glance it may appear an unusual connection, I think the different angle is a clever approach (it generated over £172,000 last year). Halloween is a time heavily associated with children, and this campaign's focus of saving young lives is a clever way of maximising on that. Particularly since Halloween is now the third largest seasonal event for McColl¹s. Though the campaign is raising money for a relatively serious cause, it has been approached in a playful way, with stores displaying window vinyls, bunting and balloons, and holding fundraising events such as fancy dress and guess the weight of the pumpkin.

 Christopher Cackle Joyce, Dave Dungeon Hughes. UK Creative team.