By Nancy Pekala
With consumers about to spend nearly $6 billion on Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation, marketersare looking to explore frighteningly creative marketing strategies to engage their customer base. In some cases, the campaigns are downright scary while in others, it’s all about cause marketing. TheScary • Chipotle is combining frightening fun with a good cause with its “Dress to Kill” promotion. In Halloween’s past, the Denver-based company gave away free food to customers who dressed in a“Boorito” costume. This year, the restaurant chain raised the bar by adding a “Food with Integrity” tagline to the campaign, alluding to its use of quality ingredients. Chipotle is asking its customers todress up as a “horrifying processed food product.” Whether their culinary tastes veer towards a Twinkie, Taco or Fish Stick, customers who visit a Chipotle location after 6 p.m. on October 31 thisyear dressed as their favorite processed food will get a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for $2. Proceeds from the promotion (up to $1 million) will be donated to British celebrity chef JamieOliver’s “Food Revolution” which seeks to steer Americans, especially children, away from processed foods. The campaign includes a promotional video featuring Oliver (see photo) in a chicken nuggetcostume and company founder Steve Ells, dressed as a container of dipping sauce. “You’re disgusting,” Ells says to Oliver in the video. “You’re disgusting,” Oliver replies.
Mike’s HardLemonade is inviting consumers and their friends to get Zombified with a simple photo transformation app, racking up Facebook “likes” in the process. Facebook visitors can add blood and gore to their photothen share it on their wall or add it to the gallery on the Mike’s page. The “Keep the Party Screaming” online campaign will be supported with in-store signage as well as online ads.