Halloween – A Spooktacular Marketing Opportunity

It is the end of October. and we are soon to be attacked by an overwhelming number of Pennywise the Clowns for this year’s Halloween. I mean, obviouslythat is going to be a top costume this year.

Currently, I am experiencing a serious case of Procrastination Station and have yet to decide what to be tomorrow. I have spent the last couple of days scrolling through Pinterest and reading any possible BuzzFeed article about the subject to pin down something quick, easy and witty to wear. However, this year I have become distracted by the fact that Halloween is essentially a huge marketing ploy, though a fun one, that I look forward to being a part of each year.  Everyone is a walking advertisement, Flo from Progressive, Taco Bell hot sauce packets, M&M’s and more – there is no way to escape and I am living for it.

Brands capitalize on the Halloween season, but how?


The Walt Disney Company has a strong grip on childhood and they know it. Personally, I am team Belle all the way. Disney doesn’t stop at films; with each hit there is a number of merchandise to go along with it, and that includes Halloween costumes. Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar have given them quite the portfolio to inspire their Halloween costume options. Most recently, Disney drew criticism for its Halloween costume of Maui from their hit film Moana. The Polynesian-inspired costume caused backlash for insensitivity towards the very culture it was drawing inspiration from. It doesn’t stop at characters prominent in pop culture. A go-to couple’s costume is Jack and Coke.


Fact: Halloween equals candy. If I don’t have at least one Reese’s on Halloween then I may die. If any industry is to benefit from Halloween, it is going to be the candy companies. It is almost like clockwork – once October 1st hits a lot of the advertising you see begins to have an eerie undertone. Even Miller client Capitol Chevrolet embraced the Halloween spirit with its October campaign. Reese’s staple Halloween costume has become a staple during this season. M&M’s went above and beyond with its latest campaign, taking horror in advertising to the next level.


Yes, it is obvious to even those not within the marketing, PR and advertising industry that horror movies and Halloween go hand-in-hand. If you can rely on anything during the month of October, it is that many film studios will release a horror movie during the month. It makes sense – horror, thrillers and gore are a staple of the month of October. However, over the years, some film franchises have gone the extra mile, almost becoming a tradition during this holiday season. One such franchise would be SAW. When the first film premiered in October of 2004 audiences didn’t know that they would be treated to a new film each October over six years. The newest film, Jigsaw, is following in its predecessor’s footsteps and premiered this past Friday.

In conclusion, I think I will be dressing up as our VP of Creative Jimmy. It should be an easy costume – all I need is a Mountain Dew (another brand), while eating whatever candy I can get my hands on. And perhaps I will pop in The Shining because #Halloween.