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There's no better time than Halloween to dust off the brain and release some fresh and creative marketing madness to the public. As with any campaign, your first goal is to get attention - and no other holiday presents a more perfect opportunity than All Hallows' Eve. Here are some off-the-wall Halloween marketing strategies you can employ to boost business this year:
This is perhaps the most obvious, yet the most difficult to successfully achieve. Coordinating a great haunted house that Halloween revelers will want to return to year after year is no easy task, but if you pull it off, you'll quickly become a household name no matter what products and services you sell. You'll need scare staff, special effects gear, a great location, and good promotion with postcards, newsletters, brochures, flyers, table tents and local media advertisements. You should be able to get some free media, especially if a portion of your haunted house proceeds go to charity; so the event packs a one-two punch in the branded exposure department. Brand your company almost everywhere-but stop short of placing your logo on your ghosts' foreheads.
Zombie walks are becoming popular forms of expression among varied age groups nationwide. For the uninitiated, a zombie walk is typically a parade of people dressed like zombies - some act the part, others simply stroll alongside the "undead." Your zombie walk can be held on a city street or in a park. Present awards to participants in different categories: Most Convincing, Best Dressed, Best Kiddie Zombie, Best Pet Zombie, Most Original/Creative, Funniest, Best Prop, etc. Just like the haunted house idea, you should be able to earn free press for the event. Zombie walks are still pretty new in many areas, and so it would be considered rather unique. Ask local businesses to pitch in and let them carry banners (in zombie spirit, of course!) in exchange for a fee. The fee will be used for charitable donations and/or to help offset the cost of marketing the zombie walk and obtaining any necessary staff or permits.
As far as publicity stunts go, zombie walks and haunted houses are relatively tame, because they're isolated events with pre-promotion. If you really want to turn heads, send staff out and about all over town dressed to the nines in Halloween costumes with your company name clearly visible on their outfits. They can simply mingle, or you can have them hand out business cards, brochures, club card flyers, stickers and other print marketing materials street-side.