Marketing Events and Campaigns for Halloween

As people prepare to celebrate Halloween, businesses brace for one of the biggest retail events of the year that generates nearly $7 billion in revenue, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). With thousands of products and shopping options to choose from, here is how retailers will inspire people to shop during this Halloween that you can try for your business.

Offer freebies with every purchase

Most Halloween promotions are likely to include discounts and other special offers. But a smart alternative is to give away free gifts with purchases. You can use low-cost products that are small and easy to ship with every Halloween order, such as pumpkin carving kits or strings of pumpkin shaped lights. These small gestures will push reluctant customers to make purchases and help regular customers feel they’re getting better deals. The product shots of these freebies will also give a holiday feel to your emails.

Halloween pancake

For example, customers can stop into participating IHOPs and get free scary pancakes for kids aged 12 and under on Halloween from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Host in-store special events

Themed events around Halloween are a great way to invite new shoppers to your store to have a great time. They are also an opportunity to improve overall traffic and get free publicity for your business. Disney is planning something similar this year with their in-store events.

Halloween in-store event

The store invites everyone to come dressed in their favorite Disney costumes to enjoy crafts, treats and costume parades. All participants can share photos of Disney characters at the event on Instagram with the hashtag #disneystore! Some will be featured later at

Encourage followers to share Halloween-inspired content

Ask your audience to explore their creativity by sharing Halloween-inspired creations on your business’s social media profiles. Halloween-themed photos on Pinterest will inspire many other kids. Halloween-related stories, drawings and jokes can build excitement among customers; generate search traffic and give you content for Halloween promotions.

Halloween user content on FB

The Disneyland Halloween Time team is collecting and using great user-generated content to build excitement around Disney events on their Facebook page. You can also showcase a gallery of customers’ Halloween photos on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. You can even submit a link to Digg to rank high on search engine phrases around Halloween.

Connect Halloween advertisements to good causes

Many retailers use Halloween to launch campaigns that deal with socially responsible causes such as education on the dangers of drunk driving or smoking. McColl’s is joining with the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) to launch some “frightful fundraising” this Halloween. The campaign will include a number of in-store promotions for families stocking up on their trick or treat goodies. It will allow CRY to reach a huge audience and increase awareness.

Here is another example where a photographer gives away customized portraits to anyone who makes a donation to the Charity Canned Food and Blood Drive.


Multichannel retailer HSNi will offer kids and parents Halloween-themed products that help kids, this Halloween. HSNi will donate a minimum of ten percent of the purchase price to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for each item purchased in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF stores at, and to support lifesaving programs for children.

Go where your target shoppers’ are

BuySeasons, an online retailer for costumes, has seen that their mobile website traffic increases dramatically during commuting hours and on weekends, as people browse for costume ideas while they’re on the go. However, most shoppers will use a laptop or desktop to complete their purchases. To reach shoppers across screens, BuySeasons launched mobile Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on Google Shopping this year, in addition to desktop PLAs, and created mobile-optimized web pages to make navigating the website much easier for mobile shoppers.

Marketers have observed that searches for “makeup tutorial” videos on YouTube spike every October as people look to complete their costumes. This year, M•A•C Cosmetics launched a series of videos on YouTube to promote their latest collection, creating a playlist of how-to videos that show users ways to create Monster’s Bride and Day of Dead looks.

Halloween make-up tutorial

M•A•C will also generate awareness for videos with their in-search ads when people look for “makeup videos”.

Find partners to plan themed products

Around holidays like Halloween many retailers collaborate to launch themed products. To promote its Halloween packaging, TruMoo teamed up with the women’s lifestyle site SheKnows to sponsor its Halloween section. TruMoo’s month-long, family-oriented “31 Days of Tricks and Treats” campaign includes tips and recipes that are available to consumers on both the brand’s blog and its Facebook page.

Halloween Trumoo

This campaign is a great illustration of how brands can capitalize on Halloween. TruMoo related the everyday drink of chocolate milk to consumers by repositioning it as a holiday treat and providing related content.

How do you plan to use the excitement of Halloween to connect with your customers?

About Kriti Adlakha
I have been working in the field of marketing and brand development for more than eight years. My experience ranges from hospitality to media and IT products to outsourced services. During my journey, I have worked with print and new-age media and have enjoyed developing content. I have also learnt and worked on marketing tools like adwords marketing, analytics, CRM and the list is steadily growing. Having acquired post-graduate diploma in business management from IIM, Calcutta, I love new challenges and learn from each experience. In my blog, I share marketing strategies that enable small and medium businesses to market in a small budget. I also discuss how to use different online tools that can help businesses to monitor returns of their marketing investments. Above all, I love to hear back from my readers!

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