5 frighteningly good Halloween marketing campaigns

Alexandra Hicks
In 2018, Americans spent a staggering $9 billion on Halloween. Yes, you read that right—$9 billion! The money went to items like costumes, candy, decorations, and other random goods. Want to get in on a piece of the pie? Here are five super creative and successful marketing campaigns tailored to Halloween.

The winter holiday season is one of the best times to launch a marketing campaign and get ahead of the competition. But before we’re consumed by what seems like a never-ending Christmas season, we get to experience some frighteningly fun and clever Halloween ads.
Halloween is by and large the best opportunity of the year to engage with your customers in a creative (and spooky) way. If you’re wondering why, the answer is simple; Halloween has less competition for ad space than all the other major holidays, meaning campaigns are more affordable, and there’s more room for you to experiment and shine.


To give you an idea of how to fully take advantage of this opportunity, let’s take a look at some of the most successful and unique Halloween campaigns that we’ve seen.


#ScaryClownNight got some serious attention on social media. It started with a 90-second video that features a young man exiting his suburban home on a dark, quiet night. He hops on his bicycle and begins riding through the neighborhood while ominous music plays in the background. After turning a corner, an army of clowns—the leader of which happens to look like an extra creepy Ronald McDonald—descends on the street and begins chasing the young man. The commercial ends with a quick message, “Come as a clown, eat like a king”.

Bravo. Who among us doesn’t know someone who is terrified of clowns? Aside from being very memorable though, this campaign also included real-life meetups of “scary clowns” at Burger Kings across the United States.


LG’s “So Real It’s Scary” **commercial isn’t over the top with blood and guts, zombies, demons, or cheap frights. It’s simple and realistic, and that’s precisely why it’s so scary. The company installed a grid of monitors on the floor of a building’s elevator. People got in as normal, but once the elevator started moving, the monitors played an image of the floor falling away beneath their feet.

It’s really the thing that nightmares are made of. But the point of the campaign wasn’t to make anyone pee their pants, but rather to showcase the quality and “lifelike colours” of their monitors—albeit in an extremely attention-grabbing way.


Guinness is known for their creative advertising, and while their last Halloween campaign may not have been the most extravagant, everyone loved their ghost and monster shadow-shaped coasters. The final effect was cute, fun, and something that people could use at home for a Halloween party, or at a bar around the holiday season.
Simple, creative, and extremely effective. Not to mention, something like this doesn’t break the bank; Guinness actually got an ROI from selling the coasters.


_Stranger Things_ is a global phenomenon. According to CNBC, 40.7 million household accounts around the world watched Season 3, Episode 1 of Stranger Things in it’s very first weekend. Finding a way to capitalise on this trend definitely has the potential to be effective. Take it from Topshop in the UK, who transformed part of its London flagship store into various settings from the show.
Locations included Joyce’s living room, the Hawkins Lab, and Will Byers’ hideout. Store visitors were able to explore the store as if they were in the film, learn about future episodes, and, of course, buy Stranger Things merchandise.


This brilliant Halloween campaign gave visitors the opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind, terrifying experience: a night in the Paris catacombs. The catacombs are a network of underground cemeteries that house the remains of more than six million deceased souls, and are believed by many to be extremely haunted.
AirBnb described their setup as a “sprawling maze littered with skulls and bones”. It was actually a contest, and two winners were chosen after sending in a short essay describing why they were brave enough to spend a night with the dead.
Many people begin Halloween shopping as early as late August.


To finalise, if you’re trying to launch a holiday ad campaign that stands out, Halloween is an excellent time of year to do so. Do keep in mind that many people begin Halloween shopping as early as late August, so take that into consideration when planning ahead!