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Halloween Campaign Roundup 2023 #HolidaysMonth

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I would never pretend to be the most enthusiastic Halloween fan. I mean, I love a good horror movie and enjoy a good tooth-rotting bar of chocolate as much as the next person but the whole concept has always felt a little contrived to me. However, having recently returned from Walt Disney World and experienced how the Americans do Halloween I can at least appreciate the appeal. And, if nothing else, it really gives creatives a license to pull out all the spooky stops.

So, to kick off month (albeit a day early), let’s take a look at some of the most creative Halloween campaigns of 2023.

Creep Fake

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Stink Studios has launched Creep Fake, an R&D project that explores the creative and technical potential of combining generative AI technologies. Released in time for Halloween, this interactive experience invites users to confront a sinister twin version of themselves on a custom-built mobile site. Creep Fake employs a unique blend of Gen-AI technologies, allowing users to engage in a conversation with their malevolent twin before encountering an unexpected AI-driven surprise.

Pop Tarts Robot Chicken

Pop-Tarts, while not traditionally associated with Halloween, gets in on the fun with a campaign tied to Adult Swim’s longest-running show, “Robot Chicken.” A new ad takes place in the stop-motion “Robot Chicken” universe, featuring the brand’s “Agents of Crazy Good” spokes pastries working alongside a mad scientist to create a robotic toaster. This toaster helps them realize “every Pop-Tart’s dream: to be eaten anywhere at any time.” The spot is currently running across TV, YouTube, and social media.

M&M’s Rescue Squad

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M&M's has deployed an M&M’s Halloween Rescue Squad to help Americans who are at risk of running out of candy on Halloween night. The squad will be on call starting at 3 p.m. on October 31 to deliver free candy across the country to participating locations in under an hour, in partnership with Gopuff.

Haribo

Haribo has released a public announcement for adults to give trick-or-treating kids the “sweets they deserve this Halloween”. The 60-second film starts off with a series of adults sharing the disappointing treats they have given out to kids, including a slice of malt loaf. The spot then cuts to a handful of dressed-up children expressing the hardship they go through just to receive less-than-satisfactory sweets. As a result, they’ve compiled a list of acceptable sweets demanding “fair treats for treat or treat”.

Meta Thrillboards

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Meta marked its launch of its latest virtual reality headset with 3D immersive “thrillboards” in Shoreditch, London. Taking inspiration from Ghostbusters and The Walking Dead, passers-by were able to step into the billboards and become a part of the two worlds.

Burger King The Call

Burger King is gearing up for Halloween with a creative and spooky campaign that draws inspiration from TikTok horror trends. The fast-food chain, in collaboration with Dentsu Creative, its social media agency, is aiming to resonate with Gen Z by tapping into their fascination with horror and Halloween. The storyline begins with a young woman watching TV alone at home, with a familiar Burger King jingle playing in the background. Suddenly, she receives a creepy phone call from a blocked number, warning her that something is back and coming for her. What follows is a suspenseful and campy horror sequence, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

Kraken Rum Screamfest VII

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Kraken Rum welcomed guests to an immersive experience, where the price of drinks was determined by their heart rate. Invited to visit a terrifying horror gauntlet, the intrepid donned heart rate monitors to measure their resilience to fear. As a result, the more their heart pounded, the more they paid at the bar. The dark and twisted experience was held at The Clerkenwell Catacombs and designed with The Recreational Fear Lab.

Beavertown

Beavertown Brewery's Futurama-inspired film is something out of a nightmare. The animated film billed as “a story of turbulence, tentacles and terror” follows the story of a skeleton boy named Sonny. On his flight from Bermuda to Worlds End International, Sonny’s nervousness for flying turns to terror as he spots signs he may be in the company of sinister monsters. Through the three-minute film Sonny’s journey changes shape as creepiness oozes from all corners, but this is only the beginning as aliens swarm the craft when he reaches his destination.

Tesco Trail to Treats

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Tesco teamed up with N2O to create a treats-inspired retail experience to entice shoppers with its Halloween toolkit. Designed to bring the kit’s spooky characters to life, the experience drew people in with samples from brands such as Mr Kipling, Monster Munch, Jammy Dodgers, Party Rings, Chupa Chups, Maryland Cookies, Accolade Wines, and Diablo Wine. After indulging in goodies, customers were invited to embark on a witch hunt through the aisles, using clues to figure out mystery words. At the end, a photo opportunity featuring spooky characters was also available.

Airheads Scarefest

Airheads has put together an AI horror film festival called A.I.rheads Scarefest, challenging five selected filmmakers to create an AI-generated Halloween-themed film that incorporates the famous Airheads balloon. Additionally, Airheads fans can try their hand at AI horror filmmaking and submit their short film for a chance to win a year's supply of Airheads candy and a $2,000 cash prize.

Header image by Colette Alexandratos

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