During the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain, people would light bonfires and wear masks to ward off ghosts (no, not those masks). Pope Gregory III would soon incorporate those traditions into All Saints Day, on November 1st - as the evening before became known as All Hallows Eve - which turned into what we know today as Halloween. While there's no evidence to believe the ancient Celtics walked cave-to-cave, dressed in superhero costumes, asking for treats, one can assume they might have, if only they'd had a decent wifi connection, and seen the digital ads?
Understandably, traditions change, and Halloween is no different. What once was an ancient ceremony has become a traditional day of dressing up in the coolest costume, running around your neighborhood gathering candy, and hitting the theater for the latest scary movies. But, as with many things this fateful year, Halloween has fallen victim to 2020.
With states cautioning, and even banning many Halloween celebrations, advertisers have had to get creative to market their Halloween staples.
Ringing a doorbell or not, going to bed with a major sugar rush on Halloween is a cultural must, and brands like Reeses and Skittles promoted new spooky flavors and packaging, while KitKat went as far as releasing new creatives that turned their traditional slogan, "Give me a break," into a motto we can all relate to right now.
The Mars company, makers of Snickers, MnM's and Three Musketeers bars, even created an app for virtual trick-or-treating all month long, allowing kids (and spirited adults) to collect real candy online, releasing similar creatives with multiple brands.
We might not get a chance to show off in person this year, but advertisers are still hoping your zoom call, or stay at home Halloween parties are still in need of face paint and wigs. Tried and true advertisers like Target, Walmart and Shop Disney released creatives, just like any other year, offering buy-one-get-one deals and significant savings, with messaging promoting costumes for the whole family - even your four-legged kids.
With theaters shuttered this year, and very few big releases, the streaming services picked up the slack. Netflix released creatives for the Adam Sandler film, "Hubie Halloween" and "The Haunting of Bly Manor," while Hulu promoted its original series "Monsterland." The VOD service, Vudu, also stepped up with a movie for the youngest of your boo crew - "Happy Halloween Scooby Doo!"
So, whether you're going to venture out this Hallows Eve, or stay home and remote trick-or-treat, don't be scared! Pathmatics will hold your hand through the funhouse of digital Halloween insights.
After earning his BS in Communications, Matt cut his teeth in the entertainment industry, spending fifteen years writing everything from feature screenplays for A-List directors, to celebrity bios for some of Hollywood’s top actors. That creative drive made it an easy transition to Marketing, bringing his eye for storytelling to the digital advertising ecosystem.