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Brief Published: 31 Oct 2014

Multimedia Retail: Halloween 2014

Target on Instagram

While Halloween visual merchandising has largely taken a back seat in 2014, the spooky season still holds massive allure across retailers’ quicker-paced digital channels. Savvy brands are tapping into the zeitgeist with multimedia campaigns designed to drive both online engagement and in-store footfall – trading on key themes such as the consumer desire to handcraft and, unsurprisingly, a love of playing dress-up. We select the best. 

  • American mass-market retailer Target’s ‘Halloween Hill’ Instagram experience consists of a series of 15 culinary/crafting tutorial profiles accessed via the retailer’s main feed. When users click through to these other profiles, they get pictorial recipes for treats to cook and instructions for crafts to make. The campaign encourages picture tagging and the use of Like2Buy – a US-based service that allows users to shop directly from Instagram (for more on Like2Buy, see full report Instagram for Retail Brands). All items from the tutorials can be bought both online and in Target stores.
  • UK supermarket Asda partnered with British augmented reality (AR) company Zappar for a one-day, children-targeted Monster Halloween Hunt in-store. To join the hunt, users activated the AR tool via Asda’s main app, allowing them to see (by holding up their smartphones) virtual imagery overlaid onto the store in front of them. By following a set of instructions, they were led to a series of virtual hidden trap doors positioned around the shop floor (a shrewd move to push users across all areas of the store). These opened to reveal a host of clues, allowing participants to help ‘Sir Spook to find his missing shopping items for the monster ball’, and be entered into a prize draw for a £100 gift card.
  • UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has launched a series of costumes with an accompanying ‘Spooky Speaker’ smartphone app that changes a child’s voice to suit the costume, while an animated mouth appears on-screen to further help bring the character to life. Point-of-sale and in-store activities including store PA systems also feature spooky voices from the app.
  • US-based ice-cream chain Baskin Robbins is hosting a “spooktacular” Twitter sweepstakes campaign in partnership with US confectionery brand Hershey’s. Halloween-themed questions relating to the Hershey’s Heath chocolate bar and Baskin-Robbins’ frozen items will be posted to the @BaskinRobbins Twitter account. Each day, those who reply using the hashtag #TrickBRTreat will be entered to win in-store gift certificates.
  • US-based image-sharing platform Pinterest is ramping up media partnerships for Halloween, including one with American YouTube beauty tutorial vlogger Michelle Phan for a ‘Handmade Halloween’ campaign. It aims to further draw attention to ‘Pin Pricks’ – a curated selection of themed content selected by the team at Pinterest, which launched earlier this year.