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Brief Published: 31 Oct 2016

Halloween 2016: AR, UGC, Wellbeing & Edutainment

Now the third biggest retail event in the US behind Christmas and Easter and with steadily growing allure, Halloween means big business. The National Retail Federation predicts US sales of $8.4bn in 2016.

User-generated content, in-store tutorials, wellbeing and spiritual ‘services’ plus augmented reality (AR) concepts – of both the ‘gamified’ and product-testing variety – lead the field. We select the highlights.

 User-Generated Content

  • American general retailer Dollar General has partnered with Coca-Cola-owned soft drink brand Fanta on a social media-driven campaign called #FantaDGWickedlyGood, attached to Halloween-themed Fanta cans and Dollar General’s costumes and decorations. Consumers were invited to upload images of themselves using the goods on Instagram and Twitter with the accompanying hashtag, with the best being transferred to micro site Destination Coke. Running concurrently, consumers with Dollar General’s app receive promo-based push notifications to their mobile devices when in-store.
  • US department store Macy’s has created an elaborate pop-up shop in its Herald Square, New York flagship with American home décor retailer Grandin Road. Visitors pose with animatronic mannequins and skulls, while an interactive booth allows them to take a gif photo shoot on a tablet, which can then be emailed to the participant on-screen. Users can post their gifs to social media directly from the booth. See also Contextual Commerce.

Augmented Reality: Trialling & Gamification

  • Aping the success of Pokemon Go, Australian shopping centre Australian Fair launched mobile augmented reality game Haunted Hunt, linked to its Reward Me loyalty app. Users follow clues to floor-based, AR-triggering stickers throughout the mall; Halloween characters are revealed on-screen when an app user’s mobile is pointed directly at them. Players that complete the game are rewarded with a Halloween-themed goody bag. See also The Gamification of Retail, Kids Retail Online and Rebooting Loyalty Programmes, 2016.
  • US beauty brand Ardell partnered with AR app YouCam Make-Up to let users virtually trial eight Halloween-inspired looks. When the mobile device’s camera is focused on the user’s face, AR facial recognition software accurately overlays the chosen look. All looks are accompanied by ‘how to’ tutorial videos as well as an option to purchase – by redirecting users to the relevant product page on Ardell’s e-commerce site. For more on this specific topic, see also Reassurance & Play: Virtual Testing Adds Value in Communications Innovations from S/S 17 Catwalk Shows.
Coca Cola x Dollar General
Ardell AR App
Australia Fair Halloween AR Game

In-Store Edutainment: Wellness & Self-Expression

  • The London flagship of British department store group Selfridges is hosting theatrical live make-up demonstrations and tutorials in partnership with British make-up brand Illamasqua. Its Art Collective tutors (part of the brand’s training school) show guests how to create a Green Witch character and offer top-tips demos using Illamasqua’s key products.
  • British fashion retailer Topshop hosted a number of “spirituality and wellbeing” workshops over a four-day programme at its Oxford Street flagship in London. Hosted by British experts in their fields, the limited-space workshops included magic-potion making with shaman Wolfsister; mindful doodling with a meditative focus with healthy retreats business Native Highs; and tarot readings with New Age Hipster. Each session was bookable via the experts’ own websites. Also see The Business of Wellbeing Macro Trend.
  • Luxury London department store Fortnum & Mason is running an in-store jack-o’-lantern carving workshop. A simultaneous Twitter competition allows fans to submit images of their carvings hashtagged #TrickorTweet to win a luxury food hamper.
  • Samsung used its New York 837 Hyperactive Flagship to cement its wider, highly socialised approach to retailing. It hosted 10 days of celebratory activities such as a six-mile run in Halloween costume along the Hudson River in association with yoga wear brand Lululemon, digital pumpkin designing and face painting.
Fortnum & Mason Trick or Tweet Competition
Samsung 837 Lululemon Halloween Run