Reese's recruits Neil Patrick Harris for an immersive Halloween experience
Halloween provides plenty of treats for brands who use the right tricks.
This year Halloween spending is expected to reach $8.8 billion in the U.S, with shoppers spending an average of $86.27.
Not just reserved for costumes, candy and pumpkins, consumer spending spans multiple categories where products and services have been given a ghoulish twist. It is a unique time of year for brands to get their creative (witch) hat on and do something out of the ordinary.
One brand that fully jumps on board the Halloween ghost-train each year is Reese’s. This year the well-known candy brand has teamed up with actor and renowned prankster Neil Patrick Harris on an interactive trick-or-treat haunted house for Halloween.
In a pairing as perfect as peanut butter and chocolate, Neil Patrick Harris and Reese’s took to social media to get consumers involved in the interactive Halloween experience called ‘It’s A Live’.
It launched on 1 October, when Harris uploaded a video to his social media accounts that asked his followers to help him build a haunted house and fill it with a choice of tricks and treats.
Fully immersed from start to finish, the audience could participate via a Facebook live poll to vote on which tricks, such as scary clowns or snakes, and which treats, such as edible chocolate wallpaper or a tub of Reese's Peanut Butter, to put into the house.
Reese's will select 32 fans to visit the house for an experiential livestreamed tour but each one will be at the complete mercy of those following the events on Facebook, as they will be able to choose whether each guest has a scary or sweet experience, in real time.
Described as the first-ever crowd-sourced trick or treat house, the house promises to be filled with outrageously scary experiences contrasted against epic, totally over the top candy surprises that could put Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory to shame.
A thoroughly engaging and highly enjoyable experience, Reese’s continues to surprise and delight its fans with spooktacular campaigns year after year. And this Halloween the brand has gone bigger and better than ever before. Through partnering with Neil Patrick Harris the brand had access to the star’s huge 2.9 million Facebook fans and 8.1 million Instagram followers.
Reese’s senior manager, Eric Bowers said: “We are the undisputed leaders of Halloween. Last year we allowed people to trade their trick-or-treat candy for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This year, we had to up our game and provide the most epic Reese’s Halloween treat experience to date.”
Proving it isn’t just a load of hocus pocus, other food brands that have used the seasonal celebration to build brand love include Krispy Kreme’s pumpkin spice campaign and Burger King’s ghoulish Halloween stunt.
With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.