Trick or Treat: Brands Embracing Halloween This Year

As an American, I was raised to know what autumn meant. That first crisp day after the summer heat signified an important shift in the landscape: Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING, everyone swooning over the colour of the falling leaves, and the plans for Halloween beginning anew.

Parties lasted for a week, with a different costume for each day (“I’m a mouse, duh!”)

Adult Halloween costumes were about making everything sexy. I mean everything; I’ve seen a “sexy goldfish,” “sexy baked potato,” and a “sexy Minion.” Nothing is sacred.

Trick or treating meant strategic neighbourhood maps to know where to get the full-sized candy bars and the greatest food comas.

Monster Mash, Thriller, and the Ghostbusters theme played on a loop.

Halloween OG circa 1996

Although Halloween is still seen as a predominantly US-focused celebration, recent numbers suggest the event has certainly become more popular this side of the pond as well. In 2013, the UK retail value for Halloween was estimated at £230m. However, in just four short years, this has grown exponentially – A whopping 35%. The current prediction for 2017 is a sales year reaching £320m, with brands such as John Lewis already seeing a growth in sales due to the Halloween-fever.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best efforts from brands spooking it up this festive season:

  1. Topshop meets Stranger Things: The retailer partnered with the Netflix phenomenon and transformed its flagship on Oxford Circus into a themed cinema where people could watch the first two episodes of the new series the night before it launched online. Now I can buy the #justiceforbarb crop-top of my fangirl dreams.
  1. Fanta creates elevator-crash VR experience and themed Snapchat packs: Coca Cola’s largest Halloween investment in history invites guests at Thorpe Park or Westfield Stratford to “enter the elevator” and ride to the 13th floor, with scary surprises along the way.
  1. Budweiser King of Fears: The beer brand has created a spooky fancy dress shop complete with mirror tricks and “haunted” clothing rails. The seasonal activity concludes with a “Nightmare Circus” party sponsored by the brand, which includes a set from the band Foals. 
  1. Asda partners with Shazam in a themed commercial: Not going to lie, the glowing green eyes spooked me, so job well done. The commercial runs with the line ‘Home for all things haunted,’ and benefits from its partnership with Shazam, which enables viewers to scan the ad and be redirected to a custom Halloween website.
  1. Burger King Hits McDonald’s with #ScaryClownNight: One from the US, Burger King has created a mashup of It and Stranger Things to introduce their Halloween promotion. Poking fun at the Golden Arches, the tagline reads ‘come as a clown, eat like a King.’ Literally. The first 500 customers to arrive dressed as a clown after 7pm get free Whoppers.

The collaboration of my fangirl dreams