It doesn’t take a carefully-brewed witch’s potion to conjure up memories of Halloween past – just a trip to the store. Bushels of pumpkins stand sentry at the entrance. Humongous bags of candy overflow from the shelves. Fairy wings and vampire teeth become unlikely neighbors in the aisle that once held small kitchen appliances.

Of course, not everyone partakes in the Halloween hoopla. But the 179 million Americans who do? They’re not afraid to open their wallets. In fact, consumers spent an estimated $9.1 billionon holiday festivities last year, raiding costume shops, pumpkin patches and candy aisles.

More than consumers’ love for carving gourds and donning disguises, this proves that Halloween marketing is frighteningly effective – especially for brands willing to get spooky to make a sale. And if you think that scary-good Halloween ads are limited to big-name candy brands, then we’ve got a treat for you! Here are some of our favorite Halloween ads from recent years:

This haunting Burger King adpromoted #ScaryClownNight, an opportunity for clown costume-clad patrons in select cities to get a free Whopper. BK successfully sent a spinetingling message to its competitors with the ad campaign, proving that other fast food chains had some oversized shoes to fill.

Wonderful Halos made citrus spooky with this ad, putting an interesting new spin on an old fairy tale. The brand proved that great storytelling, when executed properly, makes an impression that lasts far longer than a bowl of candy left unattended on a doorstep. You might remember this eerie one, too.

Volvo put a decidedly morbid twist on Halloween safety, abandoning the typical candy corn-y message. The ad wrapped up the “ABCs of Death”with a nearly fatal car accident that was avoided thanks to the vehicle’s autonomous driving capabilities.

Need a quick recap? Let’s review what sets the marketplace’s top brands apart, even the ones you won’t find in a trick-or-treat bag:

  • Strategy: Don’t wait until the last minute! Successful Halloween marketing, whether a prank or a campaign, takes careful planning and expert execution. There have been plenty of campaigns that proved to be more trick than treat…
  • Storytelling: Remember that from a consumer’s point of view, good marketing is all about the story, not the sale. Creative storytelling inspires emotions – from happiness to heartache – and gets remembered.
  • Spook Factor: Some brands go for horror, others feature humor in their Halloween marketing. No matter which approach your brand chooses, be sure to employ the perfect amount of “spook factor” that’ll grab consumers’ attention without going off brand.

If you’re ready to launch a bewitching campaign that’ll have consumers under your spell, get in touch today!We’re pretty confident you’ll like the strategy we cook up … and at the very least, we’ll share some of our Halloween candy. Maybe.