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Brief Published: 31 Oct 2013

Hashtag Halloween, US 2013


Halloween retail promos once revolved purely around point-of-sale and window installations. Now, savvy brands are using social media to tap into the revelry and drive footfall – in-store and online. Consumers’ desire to play dress-up provides the strongest hook for 2013. We select the highlights.

  • US fashion retailer American Apparel is offering entry into a gift-card competition for any fans that post photos of themselves in their Halloween costumes on Twitter – on the proviso that the outfits feature at least one item from the store. Photos can be uploaded with the hashtag #aahalloween.
  • US fast-food retailer Chipotle’s ‘Boorito’ promotion encourages visitors to dress in costume on Halloween night. They are rewarded with access to a $3 menu, whose proceeds benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation: a brand spin-off dedicated to “creating a sustainable, healthful and equitable food future”. The hashtag #boorito is also promoted for the sharing of in-store costume images.
  • US pharmacy and convenience store Duane Reade has launched a ‘Boo-tiful Legs’ photo competition. Entrants can upload photos of themselves wearing Duane Reade’s own brand of hosiery as part of their Halloween costume to the brand’s Facebook page. Early participants were also invited to a ‘Twitter Party’ on October 16, where users of the hashtag #DRLegCandy were able to engage in a conversation about how to put Halloween looks together for the chance to win a $500 prize. 
  • Swiss beauty brand St. Ives has differentiated its campaign by focusing on the clean-up after the party. Declaring the November 1 National Scrub Off Day, St. Ives fans have been invited to submit photos of past or present Halloween looks via Instagram using the hashtag #ScrubOff or via St. Ives’ Facebook page for an opportunity to win St. Ives prizes.
  • US Donut chain Dunkin Donuts is encouraging fans to tweet @DunkinDonuts or post Instagram photos of their Dunkin' Donuts cups cloaked in a Halloween costume using the special hashtag #dresseDD. Those that do are eligible for a $100 gift-card prize.