Published 27 October 2022

Author
Marta Mąkolska
8 min read

Despite the current economic climate, Halloween 2022 will see a return to pre-pandemic participation (69% will celebrate in the US, up from 65% in 2021). We chart key brand engagement tactics for Halloween and Día de los Muertos, including metaverse and mixed-reality marketing, hospitality-brand-hosted celebrations, pet-centric activations, and countering the holiday’s throwaway culture.

Pet-Inclusive Festivities

Metaverse-Based Marketing

High-Tech Halloween: Interactive & Mixed Reality

Día de los Muertos: Brands’ Hispanic Flex

Hospitality’s Halloween Adventures

Eco-Ethical Celebrations

In the US alone, Halloween pet spending is forecast to exceed last year’s record high, reaching $710m (NRF, 2022). Smart brands are acknowledging the consumer desire to incorporate pets into celebrations (see Playing to the Pet Parents) with animal-centred initiatives that go beyond costumes, including Halloween grooming, trick training and dog-friendly neighbourhood treat maps.

In the US alone, Halloween pet spending is forecast to exceed last year’s record high, reaching $710m (NRF, 2022). Smart brands are acknowledging the consumer desire to incorporate pets into celebrations (see Playing to the Pet Parents) with animal-centred initiatives that go beyond costumes, including Halloween grooming, trick training and dog-friendly neighbourhood treat maps.

Summary

Pet-Inclusive Festivities

In the US alone, Halloween pet spending is forecast to exceed last year’s record high, reaching $710m (NRF, 2022). Smart brands are acknowledging the consumer desire to incorporate pets into celebrations (see Playing to the Pet Parents) with animal-centred initiatives that go beyond costumes, including Halloween grooming, trick training and dog-friendly neighbourhood treat maps.

Metaverse-Based Marketing

Harnessing virtual worlds’ boundless visual and entertainment possibilities (a key advantage during calendar moments), agile brands are using Halloween to double down on metaverse experimentation. From beauty to snack foods, brands have created branded proto-metaverse environments within Roblox (capitalising on existing, kid-centric audiences), and Meta’s Horizon Worlds (ultra-immersive, but accessible only via VR goggles).

High-Tech Halloween: Interactive & Mixed Reality

Smart brands from Heinz to Nyx are trailing social media and mixed-reality concepts. These run the gamut from out-of-home concepts (anamorphic billboards with QR codes for more follow-up engagement), to augmented reality try-ons and an early adoption of new, anti-perfectionism-centric social app BeReal. 

Día de los Muertos: Brands’ Hispanic Flex

From luxury fashion to FMCG, brands are rolling out inclusive Día de los Muertos activations aimed at Hispanic audiences in both the US and Latin America. Tommy Hilfiger is demonstrating how to add seasonality to a permanent metaverse space, while Pepsi sub-brand Manzanita Sol has embedded engagement into Día de los Muertos packaging.

Hospitality’s Halloween Adventures

Shrewd hospitality brands are going full experiential for Halloween – harnessing local mystics and cultural power players to provide zeitgeist-relevant entertainment. The Standard hotel’s London party hypes its creative, subversive image, while British boardgame Cluedo’s self-referential murder-mystery stays trade on its heritage.

Eco-Ethical Celebrations

Shrewd FMCG and fashion brands are using Halloween – renowned for its throwaway culture (see Key Stats) and non-inclusive costumes– to demonstrate their eco-ethical credentials. This aspect of seasonal celebrations will only increase in importance. Initiatives include brands collecting and recycling candy packaging, adaptive and eco-friendly costume ranges, and thrifting tutorials.

Halloween 2022: Best Brand Strategies

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