Marketing Recap: Halloween 2019

Halloween is one of the world’s most popular cultural events, and offers plenty of spooky promotions. Because we’re an integrated marketing agency in Leeds, we’ve brought together some frightfully good marketing efforts from Halloween 2019.

Stealth Marketing

PR Examples reports that Poundland are giving away free “invisibility cloaks” this Halloween. The cloaks are “displayed” on a hanger with a card telling people about the contents. If that doesn’t take your fancy, worry not; the discount retailer is offering over 270 Halloween products in stores this year. Ironically, the invisibility cloak could be the best bet for savvy shoppers; the Guardian says that this Halloween will generate 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste.

Poundland Halloween 2019 tweet


As marketing campaigns go, this is one of Poundland’s tamer efforts. The retailer found great success with its lewd Elf on the Shelf Christmas campaign, but earned an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority. They also divided opinion with their Easter campaign, which showed the Easter Bunny in a rather compromising position. It’ll be interesting to see what approach Poundland takes this Christmas.

A Proper Boo

Yorkshire Tea have released a new Halloween-inspired video online. With zombie outbreaks spreading across Yorkshire, can two intrepid Yorkshire Tea employees halt the undead with a decent cuppa? There’s only one way to find out.

The new video is a lot of fun, and it reflects the tongue-in-cheek approach in Yorkshire Tea’s marketing. Recent videos include appearances from Yorkshire celebrities, including Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean and Bradford magician Dynamo. The light-hearted content is paired with more down-to-earth videos on subjects like hard water, helping to establish Yorkshire tea as a serious brand that can poke fun at itself.

Bricking It

Argos have hosted an after-hours Halloween event at their Tottenham Court Road branch. Visitors to the after-hours event could meet ghost hunter Yvette Fielding, who shared ghost stories from across London. They could then embark on a “ghost hunt”, which allowed visitors to see LEGO’s new ghost-themed toy range.

Hidden Side—which we’ve touched upon before in our September recap—combines conventional LEGO sets with AR functions, which people access through a smartphone. By looking at specific models through a phone camera, children can see “ghosts”, which they must defeat to win the game. It joins other toys like LEGO Boost, which mix old-fashioned bricks with new technologies.

At its core this is a LEGO marketing event, but some thoughtful combination with other attractions helps to hide that. It sounds like a lot of fun for its target audience, and it’s an effective way to show off AR functions to its target audience.

Chickened Out

KFC have unveiled a new meal range inspired by Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations—an event, we should stress, that is distinct from Halloween, despite launching at a similar time. Their ‘Los Retornados’ video includes testimony from three people who had near-death experiences. Viewers can also receive a lifetime supply of the new Chickadilla product… if they’re willing to put their own obituary in a local newspaper.

The fried chicken chain is no stranger to big, bold marketing efforts. They’ve also proven they can bounce back from controversy, as proved during their chicken shortage last year. Since this seems to be a Spain-only promotion, it’s hard for us to determine if people see this as disrespectful.

If it isn’t, it’s a good event to tie into a marketing campaign. Day of the Dead celebrations are thousands of years old, and its UNESCO recognition has helped it grow in popularity. Animated films like Coco and The Book of Life have also helped propel Day of the Dead into the mainstream.

In that light, a Day of the Dead promotion could be extremely popular. Whether that will lead people to create fake obituaries is another question altogether.

Don’t Be Scared

Capitalising on events like Halloween is always a good idea. While scary content is the most obvious choice, it’s possible to do this in a way that still appeals to a wide audience. If you think you can create a Halloween promotion without it feeling contrived, have a go… and make sure to have fun with it!

Don’t be afraid to get in touch if you want help with your own marketing strategy. Our services include SEO-inclusive website design, content creation, and PPC ad campaigns. We can also manage your social media accounts, plan out messages ahead of time and help you take a proactive approach.

Visit our services page to see everything that we can do, or call us on 0113 287 9900.