3 candy brands with unmissable Halloween PR campaigns

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December 31, 2022

Is it a trick or treat? For fun and in the spirit, let’s look at some winning Halloween campaigns. Included, a look at how one company is winning by embracing its perception as the worst of all the Halloween treats.

Butterfinger “Turn Yourself In” Sweepstakes

For two years, Butterfinger’s playful campaign asked parents to steal their kids’ candy bars and post a picture. The “Turn Yourself In” sweepstakes offered a chance to win $25,000 if your photo was selected. Tens of thousands of images poured in over their social media accounts with parents, friends, and family posing with their stolen Butterfinger. The company even made five Butterfinger-specific filters for participants to use, further boosting the sweepstake’s virality. While many companies continue to focus their marketing to children, Butterfinger’s winning strategy innovated and found a new audience by catering to the adults.

Skittles Zombie Candy

Everybody loves to taste the rainbow. But Skittles made the bold move of changing its flavor in favor of giving consumers something more ghoulish. The company turned its sweet rainbow on its head in 2019 with a “Dare the Rainbow” campaign of intentional “utterly disgusting” zombie skittles. The company released a series of six limited edition skittles. Five were frightfully fruity and delicious but customers were told to beware of what social media users called repulsive, disquieting, and foul.

While the flavor of the zombie skittle was gross –– the marketing campaign was as tasteful as they come. Users posted images, videos, and comments about their zombie skittle challenge with the company’s #DareTheRainbow hashtag attached to every post. Review after review drew more and more curiosity from consumers including some by respected foodies wanting to taste the foulness of a zombie skittle for themselves. This campaign showed us how you can gain traction through emotion and experience without being the most delicious.

Sun-Maid Embraces Its Role as Halloween Villain

The house that gives out raisins also raises eyebrows for many trick-or-treaters. Last year, Sun-Maid leaned into its reputation with a kid’s worst nightmare; they built a house that only hands out raisins. The horrifying home is in Merchantville, New Jersey — which rebrands itself as Monsterville every October and unabashedly hands out raisins. The company saw more than 2,000 visitors last year and handed out every form of raisin they make. Classic raisins. Fruity-raisin snacks. Yogurt-covered raisins. All the raisins.

Sun-maid even offered up $5,000 to one lucky fan who shared what the raisin house meant to them. This also encouraged users to “tell us you’re a raisin house without telling us you’re a raisin house” on the company’s TikTok. The company is proof that even when you’re a perceived Halloween loser you can still win.

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