Creepy Meets Creative: The Best Halloween Marketing Campaigns We’ve Seen

halloween marketing campaigns

Halloween is here, and it’s the perfect time for businesses to get creative about dressing up their marketing campaigns. Whether through video, a challenge or even a well-orchestrated scare-prank to showcase the true quality of a product, really great marketing campaigns are interactive, engaging, and get people jumping into action — literally.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite Halloween marketing campaigns (of all time) just in time for the spookiest day of the year!

Burger King: The Nightmare King

What gives you nightmares? Is it losing your teeth? Falling into an infinite abyss? What about a burger that gives you actual nightmares? Burger King just released a burger for this year’s Halloween campaign that was scientifically proven to give their consumers nightmares. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this study. Over a period of ten days, scientists tested their “subjects” and invited them to try the specially combined ingredients and monitored their sleep. What they found was that REM cycles were definitely impacted. Nightmarish? For your own results, you’ll have to give it a try!

M&Ms: An M&Ms (Interactive) Ghost Story

In M&M’s Halloween Campaign last year, the candy giant created an interactive ghost story that was released in weekly installments. Why the weeklong delay?  The campaign, targeted at older kids, relied on a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style poll that allowed viewers to choose what happened next in the spooky tale. Whichever choice generated the most votes would be the next plot twist. Viewers shared the story all over social media in anticipation of the next week’s installment in the sweetest countdown to Halloween that we’ve ever seen.

LG: Fake Elevator Floor Prank

What better way to showcase a product than to show it in action? LG thought of a way to showcase the realistic color and sharp quality of its new IPS monitors by creating a fake floor, with picture quality so realistic it was actually terrifying to its users. As the saying goes: “So Real it’s Scary.”

Svedka: Halloween Curse

Can you think of anything more terrifying than being followed? Svedka can’t either, and it’s for this reason exactly that their creepy marketing campaign from last year works. Once you start scrolling through their site, the banner follows you everywhere you go online. Everywhere. The only way to break the curse is to pass it off to someone else by filling out their info in the creepiest lead capture imaginable. Creepy? Yes, definitely. But also scarily creative, and a tiny bit genius.

Oreo: The Oreo Laboratorium

Who says all Halloween campaigns have to be scary? In this adorable campaign from Oreo back in 2014, it relies on user-generated content (UGC) to drive its creativity. It’s as interactive as it is loveable and makes for a really great campaign!

Budweiser: The Budweiser Halloween Takeover

In one of the best campaigns we’ve seen, Budweiser is capitalizing on the fact that there is still a growing market for Halloween in countries outside of the US. In this campaign, it employs popular singer Kehlani to create a full Halloween anthem just for them, so that all 17 countries where Budweiser is sold can associate the whole holiday with their brand.

Ready to Knock ’em Dead?

If a marketing campaign isn’t getting your heart going, then it’s probably not going to inspire your clients, either. These Halloween campaigns are creepy, creative, and make the best use of the season.

Want some ideas on how to build up a marketing campaign for your business that kills it any time of the year? Don’t be afraid to get in touch with us!

Bad Stock Photos of My Job: Digital Marketing / Startup Team Edition

Bad Stock Photos of My Job

Stock photos are historically bad. As a creative medium that businesses kind of have to use, they are just really… not good. Beyond the new wave of popular, free stock photo sites that actually don’t suck, there exists a world of terrible ones.

While normally we would hate to sift through a classic stock site, the trend of looking up your job (see: #BadStockPhotosOfMyJob) to see how it’s depicted REALLY caught our attention. It’s incredible the lack of awareness, zero nuance, and painfully wrong assessments of jobs in different fields that these stock photographers have.

And WHO is writing those descriptive captions? Good god.

To join in on the fun (and distract ourselves from the burning world for a few minutes), we decided to take a peek at just exactly how digital marketers and marketing professionals are shown.

Deep breaths. Here we go.

What are these? Why is she holding a giant clicker that doesn’t actually do anything? How is this a productive use of time? We have no idea what is happening here.

Bad Stock Photos of My Job

Description: Icon Symbol Communication Internet Digital Concept

We don’t review data often, but when we do the computer is facing the wrong way and we’re in a weird greenhouse-themed cafe.

Bad Stock Photos of My Job

Description: Business Team Meeting Brainstorming Working Concept

When the point is important, we always include it under a header called “Important Point”… also in the oddly-themed greenhouse cafe!

Bad Stock Photos of My Job

Description: Businessman Determine Ideas Writing Working Concept

MANY. BANK. CRISIS. UNDERSTAND. COMPANIES.

Description: Group of people with devices in hands working together as symbol of networking and communication

For the love of god, leave your blazers, laptops, and computer chairs where they belong.

Description: Concept illustrating remote work, business woman with laptop and office chair on the beach

We honestly just can’t with all of this business wear on the beach…

Description: Businessman using laptop computer on tropical beach

I always wear a fedora to let my coworkers know that I am both cool AND relaxed in meetings.

Description: Start-up Team

WHY IS THIS GUY WEARING HEADPHONES? WHY? There is no teamwork happening here whatsoever.

Description: Group of young people employee workers with computer in startup studio – Human resource business and teamwork concept on laptop working time – Start up entrepreneurs at office – Teal and orange filter

I just love to intimately reflect on my professional field by staring at the wall.

Description: marketing strategy concept

Solid, very detail oriented plan. Thanks for the visual demonstration.

HEY EVERYONE, THIS IS THE STARTUP PLAN. First thing’s first, we wasted all of our money printing this banner…

Description: Start up Business Strategy Planning Concept

What are they doing with their hands? Why is he holding a pen like that?

Description: Start-up team with laptop celebrating their success

Follow #BadStockPhotosOfMyJob on Twitter for more, and be sure to tag us in your favorites for your job!

Oliver’s Earbuzz: 2018 Summer Must-Playlist

WHAT A SUMMER.

We’ve been heads-down busy, busy, busy this season at team O+S with intense copywriting sessions, making SEO magic, building decks on decks, mastering Adwords, and even hosting some awesome summer interns! What’s been keeping us going through it all? Yup, you know it — music.

While our beloved interns may be leaving us soon, we didn’t miss the chance to get their input on our summer playlist. Check it out right below, right here, right now to get into our favorite tracks.

Check out more of our playlists here.

What music is getting you through your work day / long commute / road trip / weekly cleaning? Drop your best songs in the comments below!

Oliver’s Earbuzz: All of Our Q1 Favorites (So Far…)

Music makes our marketing brains smarter – it’s, like, a fact.

Well…if it doesn’t make us smarter, we at least know that music helps keep us in the zone and motivated through the long remote work days. Honestly, if we had to power through each day without some sweet, sweet tunes, our lives would be much more lonely and our tedious tasks not nearly as fun or approachable. While our tastes change with the constant tide of new music being released, here’s a playlist of what we’ve had on repeat since the start of the year.

What’s your favorite song at the moment – a true banger? A jazzy number? Something a little more classic?

Drop us what tracks are keeping you going during the work day on Twitter and we’ll include it in our next playlist!

Perfect Presents for Every Person: Oliver’s Guide to Last Minute Holiday Gifts

holiday gift ideas

Feeling a little stuck during your holiday shopping? Trust us, you’re not alone. 

Whether you need a white elephant gift idea, to impress a new in-law, get something perfect for a coworker, or want to treat yourself to a little extra something, there are a ton of unique options in any price range… all you have to do is find them in time. If you’re one of the thousands of people searching for “gift ideas” this season, we’ve done half of the work for you and slapped together a fairly comprehensive list based on our own holiday gift searches.

Take a gander at our list of the best gift ideas in 2017, great for any personality type in your life.

1. For the Well-Organized

We assume that the hyper-organized people in your life already have a daily planner they’re glued to. The Happiness Day Planner is a fun way to incorporate a little more joy into their day-to-day life to help balance out the constant productivity. Mental health is important, too!

2. For the Fantastic Feminist

Know someone who thinks women and feminism rule? (I mean, we certainly hope so – if not, time to reconsider that friend group, right?) This “Cats Against Catcalls” shirt from Feminist Apparel is equal parts adorable and worthy of smashing the patriarchy.

3. For the Comfort-Seeker

Some people like to be comfortable, but this person in your life loves to take it to a new level. The Winter months are the ideal time to indulge these comfort-seeking individuals with a delightfully warm, oversized blanket scarf. They’ll love it so much they’ll want to live in it.

4. For the Animal Lover

Is there a better gift to give than one that pays it forward? Donating to an animal welfare charity, local adoption center, or wildlife conservation organization in your gift-receivers name is a great way to show them you totally get their obsession with animals and care enough to make a difference!

5. For the Fashion-Forward

In our opinion, the more sustainable, comfortable, and affordable that clothing is, the better. Everlane has a collection of incredible Cashmere sweaters for men and women that are as beautiful and warm as they are ethically-produced.

6. For the Tech-Enthused

Help the friendly technology nerds in your life get fully-automated at home with WiFi connected lights. The starter Hue Light Kit includes a few light bulbs to get started, along with all the gear needed to get set up with the automated system. They’ll never have to reach for a light switch again.

7. For the Self-Care Queen (or King)

Face masks, comfy slippers, and good tea combos? The self-care aficionado in your life is likely well stocked up with these already. What they probably DON’T have is something to treat their dome to a little relaxation time with a handy scalp massager tool.

8. For the Road-Tripper

Don’t knock a goofy-looking thing until you try it — this “sleep anywhere” travel pillow is an amazing gift for someone who’s always on-the-go. Whether they’re taking long road trips, commute on the train, or take flights regularly for work, this wraparound pillow will get a ton of use.

9. For the Nature-Wanderer

The hikers, mountain bikers, and campers out there don’t need a whole lot (and many certainly don’t want a whole lot). For when they’re trapped at home or the office and can’t get outside, however, a set of cool National Parks prints can help satisfy their wanderlust for a little while.

10. For the Fussy

We all know someone in our lives that we have NO idea what to get them as a gift. Give a friendly welcome to your new holiday lifesaver: subscription boxes! Find one for anything — coffee, alcohol, vinyl records, travel items, dog toys, etc — and pay for the first month up-front.

11. For the Caffeine Addicts

Give the coffee lover in your life what they truly want on a daily basis: easy access to high octane caffeine. A cold brew maker is one of the best gifts under $50 to help keep coffee addicts happy with delicious brew available in their comfort of their own fridge.

12. For the Hermit

We all know and love someone who prefers to stay inside and hang out in the living room — nothing wrong with that! We want everyone to experience fresh air and nature, though, so we’d recommend a nice living plant or succulent arrangement to help brighten up their space.

13. For the World Traveler

It doesn’t matter your age, nationality, or gender – sometimes scary things can happen when traveling the world. Since carrying mace or a taser with you is generally forbidden in most places, we like this small personal safety alarm for producing a nice shrill sound to scare the bad guys away.

14. For the Book Nerd

Readers, unite! This heat reactive mug features books that have been banned or challenged in some way throughout the evolution of society. The Banned Books Mug will bring every “forgotten text” back to the forefront for your wonderfully bookish friends.

15. For the Ultra-Creative

Another awesome gift that can often be overlooked is a simple museum membership. While they’re amazing for the creatives and art appreciators you know, consider a membership for others who could use a little more beauty in their lives! Just make sure they bring you with their guest pass.

Once you’re done shopping, reward yourself with a hard-earned holiday drink! Let us know what you’re sipping on this season on Twitter