Have you ever heard the term “holiday-jacking”? I hadn’t either until I began researching marketing campaigns for this blog post. I don’t think it’s an official term, but it holds true so I’m going to use it! Basically, what it means is: the bigger the holiday, the bigger the interest among customers. By leveraging the holidays in your marketing efforts, you can capture the interest of customers already attuned to the season.

And it appears everyone has jumped on this bandwagon. Everywhere we go ghosts haunt us, pumpkins smile mischievously at us, and skeletons remind us of our impending doom. So with Halloween right around the corner, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite campaigns of the season. Let us know in the comments below if we missed any other good ones!

Taco, burrito...you know how the rest goes.

Chipotle Boorito

The goal of any marketing campaign is to get more people to your website, build brand awareness, etc. So the boorito campaign is a win for Chipotle! They succeeded by appealing to the inner child in all of us and incentivizing customers to dress up in costumes on Halloween and visit any of their locations. Those who wear their costume with pride get a ‘boorito’ (or bowl or salad), for just $3. And you can totally justify spending a few dollars because proceeds benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation!

For Chipotle, this is social media gold because it provides a ton of great photo opps that can be shared online.

Why this is effective:

1. It gives customers an excuse to dust off the pirate costume that’s been hidden in the back of their closet for years.

2. I’m willing to bet there are a bunch of costume selfies posted on social media that day. Chipotle empowered their customers to be their army of marketers!

3. It gives Chipotle customers the warm fuzzies! Combining two campaigns (one for fun, one for a cause) appeals to the masses and shows the personality and human side of their brand.

This is a photo taken at a local Chipotle last year! Creative costumes, don't you think!?

may the force (or 4g signal) be with you while trick-or-treating this year.

Verizon Wireless Star Wars Halloween Commercial

Okay, I’m an Apple lover. But, I have to give props to Verizon for their Halloween campaign.

First, the costumes are great! There is a lot for Star Wars fans to love about the creative and elaborate attire the family wears. It puts my costume idea to shame for sure!

Second, Verizon found a way to integrate their products into the commercial without it being an obvious sell. Instead, they illustrated how useful their technology is in everyday life, even if it’s as simple as staying away from the dentist handing out floss for Halloween. They tell us a story using their products and it's relatable. #WhyDidntAppleThinkofThis

zombie apocalypse: it could happen to you.

REI’s Zombie Survival Kit

You don’t often associate Halloween with an outdoors store, but REI found a way to tie their products into their “Zombie Survival Kit”. Although this was technically created in 2012, it’s still on their site so it’s worth mentioning again this year!

If you ever find yourself in the middle of a zombie outbreak, these 13 essential items will help keep you from becoming lunch. And just to make sure you’re super prepared, they share 5 tips for face-to-face combat that includes neutralizing a zombie with a cast-iron skillet.

In other news...REI must really like zombies (or they just really want their customers to be prepared for anything)! Earlier this year, they hosted a Zombie Survival Class that shared strategies for fighting off zombies and tactics to remain unseen and uneaten, as well as basics safety tips for surviving in the wild.

It’s difficult to say whether or not your brand can directly benefit from doing something similar, but you can certainly use the attention that surrounds the holiday to your advantage! Find a new way to tie it into your offerings. For example, a blog post on Celebrity Haunted Houses would be a great topic if you’re in real estate. Or ask your fans to submit their Halloween costume photos on social media for an online contest. There are so many possibilities - so great creative!