Most horror movies follow a similar goose bump-inducing formula, relying on tried-and-true scare tactics to inspire both fright and delight. You can practically guarantee that there will be foreboding music, a dimly-lit scene and typically, at least one spine-tingling scream.

The most terrifying films, however, don’t follow this template. Instead, they flip the script – and create one that’s completely original and unexpected. They disrupt the status quo, just like the best brands when it comes to standout marketing campaigns.

Grabbing movie-goers’ – and consumers’ – attention requires a break in the mundane. And holidays, like the spooktacular one fast approaching, present great opportunities to try something unexpected.

These big-name brands did exactly that, launching innovative campaigns that not only surprised consumers but sent them reaching for their wallets. From spooky soda brands to ones crushing the candy game, here are some of M2’s favorites from Halloweens past.

Marketing Mischief
Pulling Pranks

Burger King, inspired by the TP-toting pranksters of Mischief Night, pranked McDonald’s in 2016. The fact that we’re still talking about the stunt confirms its brilliance.

Extra Boo for Your Buck
Connecting Campaigns Across Platforms

Fanta had the brilliant idea to tie the branding on their cans to a Snapchat campaign. The QR codes were used to unlock Halloween-themed Snapchat filters and lenses, but Fanta didn’t stop there! Check out this creepy virtual reality experience that really got folks talking – and screaming!

Adding Apps to the Mix

WD-40, known for de-squeaking, created an app that mimicked a door creaking. Users simply tapped a button on their mobile devices to create a horror movie-worthy creak – and a spooky surprise for trick-or-treaters.

Candy Converters
Thinking Inside the Box

Reese’s delighted consumers last year by creating a “candy converter” that allowed them to trade their second-class sweets for Reese’s. The stunt brought Reese’s off the candy shelves, putting a tasty spin on out-of-home advertising.

Here at Motivated Marketing, we’re constantly brainstorming new ways to help our clients stand out – whether it’s a fun Halloween prank or a long-running campaign. To learn more about our approach, get in touch today! Email or call 843.856.7322 – and if you’re lucky, we might even share some of our Halloween haul.