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DGC Roundtable: Halloween Marketing

The DGC Roundtable is moderated by our Fall Intern, Jamie Kurke.

Seasonal marketing kicks into overdrive this time of year, including storefronts with skeletons and commercials for candy. That’s right, it’s Halloween! Since we’ve all been gearing up for the holiday over the last few days – and celebrating here at DGC, the question this week was:

What is your favorite Halloween marketing campaign/ promo and why?

Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive:

Cheetos launched Project TP a few years ago, which had Chester Cheetah putting “virtual TP” on houses using Google Earth. As an homage to my childhood, and the adolescent Mischief Night, I loved to see my present day house (and friend’s houses) covered in toilet paper. I even pranked my parents by sending them a “picture” of their house covered while they were traveling, and they were horrified. I guess you don’t really ever grow out of mischief.

Meg McMahon Stagaard, Account Director:

Denny’s “The Grand Slams” (created by our client Erwin Penland) has a great Halloween episode of the original web series: Food Fright, which takes a “stab” at Canadians, and no breakfast food is safe.

Kathleen Ruane, Vice President:

Crest and Oral-B serve up some fun Halloween humor in a kids’ focus group gone wrong. Costumed trick-or-treaters stage a mutiny when their candy is replaced with veggie flavored, vitamin-enhanced treats that look like candy. The only adult in the commercial soon has a mutiny on his hands as the kids reject his offerings. A nice closing reflects on the fact that nothing is more horrifying than a Halloween without candy.

I love this ad becuase the kids’ reactions are so real.  Not sure what they fed those kids, but it must have been pretty awful.

Christine Perez-O’Rourke, Account Director:

Without candy there would be no Halloween. Plain and simple. As a kid we get excited about dressing up in an outlandish costume, traipsing through our neighborhood and begging strangers because of candy. And as an adult, Halloween is the one and only holiday where devouring a whole bag of Reese’s is (somewhat) acceptable. So I’m going to have to give this one to a candy brand. In particular a brand that continues to take a simple idea created a few years back and make it feel fresh, not to mention funny. My favorite Halloween marketing campaign goes to Snickers. In particular, their ‘Horseless Headsman’ spot that aired back in 2012 and has been brought back each year around this time. Because you’re not you, when you’re hungry…

Gab Berman, Account Executive:

I love the Skittles Halloween ad with the giant spider – it shows him befriending a little boy who is trying to get Skittles from the spider’s cobweb. The ad then goes on to show the two doing fun activities together and becoming best friends. The kicker is at the end when the spider says he was just kidding and actually ate the kid, I love it.

Jamie Kurke, Intern:

I have to give my vote to Chipotle.  They’re bringing back their ‘Boorito’ campaign from years past, and it is awesome. Just show up (in costume) after 5 PM and any burrito, bowl, salad, or taco order is only $3.

As if I needed another excuse to dress up tonight….


Happy Halloween Everybody!

“All The World’s A Stage, And All The Men And Women Merely Players…”

When it comes to PR, one of the best ways to secure coverage is to capitalize on news as it happens. Recently, we’ve seen expert sources included in articles from such high-profile outlets as Reuters and the New York Times, discussing everything from Steve Jobs to Occupy Wall Street. Not only are these great hits, but they also show direct engagement with the real world—something that proves to existing and potential clients that these experts have their heads in the game.

But advertising and branding executives are not the only ones who use world issues, current events and “accidental” celebrities to their advantage. Last year on Halloween I saw a BP oil spill, two Chilean miners and a ton of lazy guys who donned suits and claimed to be from “Boardwalk Empire”—all things that hit headlines in 2010. On Halloween, the Average Joe becomes a pop culture icon for a night, instead of just commenting on one.

So what should you expect to encounter next weekend? Here are the DGC team’s top ten predictions for culturally relevant costumes this year:

10. NBA Lockout. Perfect excuse to resurrect your throw-back jerseys.
9. Occupy Wall Street Protestors. I wonder if they will be handing out candy down there–I hear the food is pretty good.
8. Lindsay Lohan in handcuffs.
Too easy.
7. Any of the GOP candidates. You can never go wrong with a good political parody.
6. Bridesmaids. Who said you’d never wear that bridesmaid’s dress again?
5. Prince William and Kate Middleton. But let’s not forget that Harry is still single.
4. Hurricane Irene. I am calling it right now: this is the dark horse for most creative.
3. Charlie Sheen and the Goddesses. #winning.
2. Steve Jobs/Apple products. iTrickorTreat?
1. Zombie Bin Laden.

Regardless of who or what you decide to be for Halloween, the important thing is that you have fun. And remember to drink more responsibly than our #8.

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