Halloween is so much more than corny ghost movies. It marks the official kick-off of holiday advertising. That’s right. Gone are the soft summer leagues—see ya, board shorts—and now things are getting monstrously serious. (See what we did there?)
The holidays are the fiercely competitive twin sister to Super Bowl ads. This is your chance to show customers that you know what they want, you have what they need, and have a little fun while you’re at it.
We’ve gathered our top creative tips for scaring up sales with spooky Halloween ads:
1. Have fun with your advertising.
REI got so into Halloween that they made a Zombie infographic out of it. We love them for it. Not only did they deliver it in a total deadpan tone— “Zombie outbreaks happen.
Learn five critical skills that’ll help you from becoming a snack ravenous hordes of flesh-eating ghouls,” but the infographic includes detailed visuals for how to fend off a zombie with a cast-iron skillet. An REI cast-iron skillet, of course.
The REI infographic serves as a strong example of brand and holiday relevance. They aren’t just making a weak attempt at playing along with Halloween; they completely integrated their product lines. Brilliant.
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2. Get to know your target market this holiday.
Halloween is spooky. But that doesn’t mean you need to roll out the horror red carpet for the little ones.
The candy M&Ms is a great example of a minimalist Halloween ad that is completely on point: they’re simple, it makes you happy (and hungry) to look at, and it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to tick off parents—the buyer with the wallet.
3. The sooner, the better.
It’s a good idea to start your holiday advertising far earlier than you’d imagine you may need to.
We’re not talking a full-blown effort, of course. But putting your ads in front of small test groups a few months before the holiday is a smart way to gauge reactions and give yourself time to revise your strategy and creative, as necessary.
4. Plan ahead for post-holidays.
You can easily get so wrapped up in the holiday fun that you forget to plan for post holidays.
Now is the time to be over-the-top organized. Calendar out all the nitty gritty: your dates for holiday testing, your full holiday campaign roll out, budget, ad copy/themes, keywords and bidding strategy.
As soon as the holiday is through, you need to immediately shift focus to the day-to-day and the next holiday—or risk losing relevance.
5. Keep a close eye on your budget.
Don’t expect your holiday budget to mirror an average day. Without a doubt, you’ll see spikes. View trends from previous years to get a general idea of what to expect.
6. Automize some (not all) of your campaigns.
From a marketing perspective, there’s nothing more beautiful than ad automation during the holidays. If you can strategically plan, your execution should be flawless.
Automation allows for timely, relevant ads; it also allows for you to swing right back into the day to day grind after a holiday has ended. No, it’s never just a “set it and forget it” mentality—you should still take time every week to evaluate our campaigns—but it will certainly make the holidays a lot more enjoyable.