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Hallowe’en marketing: 3 reasons to skip it this year

Hallowe’en is a holiday that definitely exists.


Sure, you may not get a day off or any gifts, but at least you get to go to an awkward party, pretend to be impressed by your friends’ clever costumes, get bullied for candy by children, then go to work with a horrendous hangover the next day (yes, this sham of a holiday falls on a Wednesday this year).

Worse yet, the world’s inboxes, timelines, and newsfeeds are already filling up with the ill-conceived and poorly executed Hallowe’en marketing campaigns we’ve all come to expect each and every October. At least, that’s certainly the case for the team here at Phrasee HQ. The question is; do any of us actually care?

Maybe we do. Maybe Hallowe’en really does represent a genuine “can’t miss” marketing opportunity that every brand should make the most of. Maybe the countless hours and millions of dollars brands and their marketing teams spend planning, developing, and broadcasting their Hallowe’en campaigns each year is a sound investment.

Then again, maybe not.

Here are a few good reasons your brand might want to consider letting October the 31st pass entirely unrecognized and unacknowledged this year…


1) You’ll sound like everyone else

Image credit: Warner Bros Television


Guess what; every person you manage to reach with that amazing Hallowe’en marketing campaign you’re working on right now has probably seen several dozen Hallowe’en campaigns already this week. Their email inbox is currently filled to bursting with “Deals so good it’s scary” subject lines, and their Facebook Newsfeed and Instagram Feed have probably been rich with Hallowe’en-themed advertisements for weeks.

What makes your Hallowe’en campaign so special?

Here’s the thing: No brand ever got ahead by implementing marketing strategies that were the same as everyone else’s. Standing out has always been the best way forward. In today’s digital marketplace of crowded inboxes and busy social media timelines, standing out from the crowd is more crucial than it’s ever been. Ask yourself; is ANOTHER Hallowe’en email or advertisement really the best way to do that?


2) Your brand and Hallowe’en have nothing in common

Image credit: NBC


Unless you’re selling candy, costumes, or a hangover cure what’s the connection between your brand and Hallowe’en, really? If you don’t have a good answer to that question, why run a Hallowe’en campaign at all?

It’s great that your dishwashers are being discounted 20% all week long, and everyone is super impressed that shipping on their next order is FREE, but what does that have to do with Hallowe’en, exactly? If the common ground that unites the product or service you are marketing with All Hallow’s Eve is the slightest bit tenuous, don’t bother. The awkward placement of Hallowe’en language into your marketing message is highly unlikely to improve your lot in any way. Why not try something a little more reliable to spruce up your next campaign’s marketing language?

Every brand has a wheelhouse. Maybe this particular holiday just isn’t yours.


3) Nobody cares

Image credit: Universal Pictures


Think about it. If your marketing campaigns typically generate a 15% click-through rate, what are the odds that adding the word “Hallowe’en” to your next campaign is going to improve things? Probably pretty slim.

Build better ads, offer your audience more value, and optimize your ad copy instead. Improving and optimizing the basic elements of your campaign’s structure will have a much more significant and lasting impact on your brand’s bottom line than any holiday ever could.

That’s the stuff that consumers really care about.

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