Trick or Treat : The Brand Edition

Regardless of the holiday or occasion, brands and businesses alike will find creative (or uncreative, as the case may be) ways to jump on the bandwagon and advertise or promote their services off the back of it. Who can blame them? Halloween is certainly no exception.

Often, rather than directly relating advertisements to their own products or services, brands focus on gaining as much brand recognition as possible. For instance, the much anticipated John Lewis Christmas adverts hone in on people’s emotional and nostalgic relationship with Christmas. In doing so, they have created something much more powerful than simply flashing their products across a screen; they have created the ultimate brand recognition, and above all, brand loyalty.


‘Branded Pumpkins’

Check out some of our favourite creepy campaigns below:

Chipotle – Unneces-scary ingredients

Relatively simple, yet effective, this long-standing fund-raising campaign does exactly what it says on the tin. Simply stop by a Chipotle on Halloween in fancy dress and you walk away with a burrito for only £2. However, last year they took things up a notch, releasing a satirical video highlighting all of the unnecessary additives present in traditional fast-food (why miss an opportunity to bring down the competition!?). Customers last year had to add an unnecessary ingredient to their outfits to qualify – up to 1 million dollars went to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. Good job, Chipotle!


Ford: “Spooky Car Wash Prank”

In true horror parody, automotive giant Ford set up a filmed test drive in which 30 strangers were asked to stop at a car wash on their way. Of course this wasn’t your average car wash, with actors dressed up as monsters appearing out of the darkness and scaring the life out of the passengers. Launched by a creative agency in Detroit, this campaign instantly went viral and has attracted over 1.8 million views on YouTube to date.


Tesco: Spookermarket

Perhaps a step up from the standard hidden camera ‘scare-tactics’ for audience gratification format, Tesco also re-directed customers to their own products and content, which surprisingly is not always common practice. The comedic online film shows various set-ups of ghoulish creatures appearing in the fresh food aisle and behind toilet papers, before viewers are directed to examples of how they can create similar spooky situations at home (using Tesco products of course).  2.4 million Views


Candy Kittens: ‘Dead Good’ Halloween vending machine

Not one to miss the Halloween train, Gourmet sweet brand Candy Kittens were kind enough to offer unwitting passers-by free sweets from a bright pink vending machine in Boxpark, Shoreditch. Hidden camera in place, when pedestrians went to retrieve their sweet treat, they were instead greeted by a large hand belonging to an unknown creature. Again simple, yet giving the audience what they want – a vicarious Halloween fright/laugh! This spooky installation is moving up in the world and will take pride of place in Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street this Halloween, so pop in if you dare!


Halloween as a holiday lends itself perfectly to creating a buzz around a brand with tongue-in-cheek and, often, low budget campaigns have the potential to make a serious impact. Stereotypical techniques such as ‘Blair witch-esque’ handheld POV filming and eerie music rule over big-budget ad campaigns – so it’s no surprise brands want to make the most of it!

Jack Roberts

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