Market Track 2015 Halloween Promotion Review 11/5/2015
Retailers were more targeted in their advertising to Halloween shoppers this year than in years past, providing localized ad messages across different media. Select retailers took a solutions-based approach to promoting Halloween products, focusing on consumer activities during Halloween, rather than simply providing deals on products (see Walmart Halloween Commercial on Youtube below).
- Retailer investment in Halloween broadcast advertising turned local this year: Instead of running Halloween TV and radio ads nationally, Target and Walmart’s Halloween TV and radio spots ran locally in top markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C. This marked a shift from last Halloween, when Walmart’s TV ads exclusively ran nationally.
- Retailer-Brand advertising partnerships emerged at Target: Both Nestle and GlaxoSmithKline partnered with Target in Halloween advertising campaigns in the week leading up to the holiday. A promotion of Nestle’s 270 count big bag candy was run in Target’s Halloween radio ad campaign, while GlaxoSmithKline’s Aquafresh brand was featured in both Target online display ads and mobile ads starting October 5th. The advertisement for Aquafresh promoted dental health during Halloween with the tagline, “Give sugar a fright this Halloween.”
- Kmart and Walgreens leveraged Halloween email promotions: More than their in-channel competitors, Kmart and Walgreens delivered Halloween advertisements to shoppers via their opt-in email programs. Kmart in particular sent 60 emails (compared to 36 from Walmart and 23 from Target) to opt-in subscribers between 10/11 and 10/30, one-third of which featured a Halloween message in the subject line.
- Walmart continued its shift in circular strategy: Between 10/11 and 10/30 this year, Walmart circulated only one print ad to shoppers on 10/16. This marked an 80% decrease from the five they published during the same time frame last year, continuing their transition to a lighter annual circular schedule.
- Advertisers are finding new, innovative ways to differentiate. Look for an increase in brand-retailer partnerships in holiday advertisements as one tactic to be used during the Holiday Shopping Season.
- Opposing advertising volume strategies were seen in broadcast, digital, and print media during Halloween. Advertisers need to be conscious of how their advertising volume compares to their top competitors throughout the holiday season, particularly if their competition is hitting one of their lighter channels hard.
- Who is your target consumer this holiday? A simple but important question as advertisers turn more to segmenting their message based on the event and who they are trying to communicate with.