5 Outside The Box Halloween Ads and What You Can Learn From Them

Halloween is here and with it come a few ad campaigns that rise above the rest.

This year, four ads did a great job of garnishing the attention of their audiences. Let us know which one is your favorite!

1. Mars Serves Up Bite Sized Horror

The first outside of the box campaign comes from the Mars Corporation (Skittles, Snickers, M&Ms) who have decided to take a long-form approach to advertising. Instead of telling you to go out and buy Skittles, they instead decided to provide some amazing content and entertain viewers.

To do this, they created four short films that don’t mention their product other than a one second bumper on the front of the short introducing the idea of ‘Bite Sized Horror.’

To say the least, the ads are a refreshing break from what most brands are doing and are well worth the eight minutes it takes to watch all four.

What you can learn from Mars:

Sometimes entertaining is the best form of advertising you can do. By creating these two minute long pieces of highly shareable content, Mars will likely get more free impressions of their brand than they ever would should they have gone the traditional advertising route.

2. Comcast Creates Their Own Product Placement Opportunity

The media giant, Xfinity, took a similar approach by making a five-minute long horror short for their customers. With this commercial, Xfinity (who is usually more noted for receiving negative press), has managed to create an ad that appears to actually be getting praise from their customer base. They even did a good job of showcasing their new home monitoring system in the ad.

The story may not be the most original, but it’s hard to argue with its production value or it’s praise. Most comments on social media are from fans who are incredibly positive, and in some cases even asking for sequel films. We’re just happy that we can likely expect more ads like this from Comcast and other large brands.

What you can learn from Comcast:

Good content can change the way you are viewed by your customers. This first piece is a fantastic start at promoting a positive identity from Xfinity. If they can release a few more good campaigns like this, then the public perception will undoubtedly continue to trend upwards.

3. Burger King Clowns Around

Burger King decided it wanted in on the Halloween action too, taking a shot at its long-time rival McDonalds. To do this, Burger King jumped on the fandom surrounding the movie IT and tried to capitalize on how creepy clowns are (Sorry, Ronald).

The ad shows a teenage boy fleeing from an onslaught of deranged clowns when he finally finds refuge inside a Burger King. That’s when the commercial announces Burger King has set up a promotion: anyone who comes into a BK dressed as a clown on October 31st will get a free Whopper.

It will definitely be interesting to see how this all unfolds. On one hand, Burger King might get some good press when all the videos of clowns ordering burgers hit the internet. Alternatively, it could backfire horribly if there’s too much clowning around in their stores.

What you can learn from Burger King:

Move fast. Burger King recognized that the creepiness of clowns was at an all-time high thanks to the movie IT, so they jumped on the idea to make fun of McDonald’s while they still could. If they waited until next Halloween to start this campaign it wouldn’t have had near the effect or interest that it’s generating today. As advertisers, we need to keep our ear to the ground for any opportunities that can help our brands get an edge on the competition.

4. Svedka Vodka Gets Creepy With Retargeting

Have you ever looked for a product online and then been followed around the internet by banner ads that seem to track your every click? Well, Svedka has noticed them too, so they decided to launch a campaign that amps the creepy factor up a whole level.

Here’s how it works. If you get served a Svedka ad on YouTube, then they retarget you to death with creepy ads. Some that even know your location or device you’re on. The banner ads ask you to “spread the curse” to your friends and family by sharing click-bait articles with the incentive of ending the curse.

What you can learn from it Svedka:

Being edgy can pay off. These ads are creepy and there are no two ways about it. But they are also incredibly creative and fun, and as long as the good outweighs the negative and they aren’t insulting anyone, then you should be in the clear.

5. Lyft Makes A Strange Move

Lyft has said they are all about creating unique experiences for their riders, so to get in line with the Halloween spirit, they teamed up with Stranger Things to create a stranger ride.

When the driver picks you up, things quickly start to go awry and the app starts to glitch. Then when the driver stops, everything gets turned upside down. The whole experience leads to some very frightened yet oddly happy customers who get the ride of their lives.

What you can learn from Lyft and Netflix:

Finding a company to partner with can be a great way to grow your audience. Stranger Things and Lyft are clearly not competitors; however, their target audiences are incredibly similar. Finding these companies to advertise with can be beneficial to both companies if done right.

If you liked this article…

Then you might like our podcast Mind Your Marketing where we talk about ads every single week and discuss what’s good, what’s bad, and how we can learn from them. Take a listen to one of our latest episodes where we talk about the Bite-Sized Horror campaign: