By: Danny Hahn
So Black Friday is on its way, close on the heels of Christmas, and retail is already gearing up for all those unmissable post-Thanksgiving fire sales. However, amidst a busy election year, there’s one holiday coming up very soon that marketers are capitalizing on: everyone’s favorite witching hour – Halloween. In the spirit of the holiday, many brands have taken on themed products, campaigns, and even Halloween costumes of their brand mascots. Snickers came out with a spot capitalizing on the Halloween candy frenzy in which a “horseless headman” attempts unsuccessfully to frighten a group of trick or treaters. The kids question his title, contending that he must mean he is the headless horseman. They give him a Snickers bar to help him orient himself, claiming that, “You get confused when you’re hungry.” The video follows Snickers’ new campaign tagline of, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” You can find the spot here, and check it out for yourself.
Other candy brands have also put their names out in the Halloween ring. Peeps and Kraft’s Jell-o have both advertised Halloween themed recipes for fun treats to share with friends at Halloween parties or to hand out to trick or treaters. These brands have set up websites where users can discover seasonal recipes, and also explore what the rest of the site has to offer. Of course, one of the most famous treats of the season comes from General Mills, who have continued the tradition, started in 1971, of releasing the Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Franken Berry cereals to coincide with the fall season and the Halloween spirit. The three cereals have been very popular over the years, which explains their continued reintroduction, every year, for over 40 years.
While many brands are bidding their own ads and even releasing Halloween themed products, some have gone so far as to brand Halloween costumes themselves. Progressive has pushed for their own brand mascot, Flo, as a costume for party goers to choose this season. The insurance company has set up a website page that outlines the 10 steps to dressing like Flo this Halloween, and links visitors to a custom Amazon page for a Flo costume (the official one of course). The page can be found here for those interested in dressing up like the insurance mascot this year. Only time will tell if we’ll see flocks of white aprons and red lipstick this Halloween, or just a lot of bad Bain and Big Bird costumes. Either way, it’s clear the season has everyone scrambling for funny hats and bags of candy, a fact that these brands have made sure they take full advantage of.