All Hallows Eve, traditionally the initiation of the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the Christian calendar to remember the dead. Now, you are more likely to find people apple bobbing, scary themselves silly on spooky city tours or dressing up like a creepy (for creepy, read slutty) nurse and drinking red shots through a fake syringe.
Here at Lava, we know that Halloween is a great opportunity to create some great PR – just check out our Hallo’win pumpkin carving competition on Facebook. This tongue in cheek occasion can help all sorts of brands reach their target audiences in the run up to 31st October. You just need to log on to Twitter to see how many people have jumped on the Halloween bandwagon.
One of the most unpleasant – yet effective – Halloween stunts was undertaken last year by game publisher Capcom ahead of the release of Resident Evil 6. The pop-up Human Butchery shop, which appeared at London’s Smithfield meat market, saw shoppers horrified by the lifelike selection of human remains on offer.
Another great example of collaborative PR is the O2 teaming up with extreme abseilers Manta Ray to place a giant pumpkin atop the North Greenwich arena to promote the ‘Climb of the Cursed: Final Ascent’ Halloween events.
My personal favourite this year, however, is charity World Vision who worked with Hatch PR to create an altogether different Halloween stunt. Far from the usual scary efforts, the international children’s charity hosted a ‘Night of Hope’ in the Derbyshire village by the same name, using pumpkins carved with hearts.
Far from a failsafe, danger lurks in the depths of Halloween brand activity and can leave a sour taste in the mouths of your customers if you’re not careful. Take for example the outrage caused by Asda, Tesco and Amazon stocking mental health patient costumes. Cue crisis PR and sizeable charity donations, proving just how important it is to consider the pitfalls of your activities as well as any potential positives.