Everyone loves Halloween.
Kids knock on neighbor’s doors and expect the candies. Teenagers hang out with a group of friends in the horror night at Universal Studio. Adults put on their costumes and indulge themselves in the Halloween parade after a long day’s hard work.
Holiday is not only the time for celebration, but also the perfect time to engage with the valued customers. According to Experian Marketing Services, a global information services company, 49 percentages of the marketers claimed to launch holiday marketing campaign before Halloween.
Here is the question: How do our beloved brands promote themselves during the fourth most popular holiday in the U.S.?
The brilliant Haunted Hotels Campaign, launched by one of the biggest online travel firm Booking.com, really stood out in this year’s Halloween creative idea. First, Let’s take a journey into the horror TV commercial focusing on the room 410 inside the haunted Queen Anne Hotel.
The big creative idea of the campaign is promoting staying in a room in one of American’s famous haunted hotels as an unconventional way to celebrate Halloween. This “Stay if you dare” challenge is a provocative hook that captured both the attention and curiosity of the young generation. The tagline is “with 350,000 accommodations including haunted hotels”. In this regard, the intention of the campaign is not to increase the haunted hotel sales, but to position Booking.com as a comprehensive and superior online accommodation provider.
Besides the movie-style TV commercial, the Haunted Hotels advertising campaign also design an online website featuring the seven haunted hotels(http://www.booking.com/haunted/) and tailor-made posters displayed in movie theaters across the U.S.
In my point of view, I consider it is a successful creative holiday marketing campaign. The first reason is that they capture the right emotion at the right time, which has not yet to be exploited by other travel companies. In contrast to traditional holiday marketing campaign capitalizing on happiness, Haunted Hotels campaign was trying to tap into the fear and curiosity among their target group. Unlike usual flat claims of online booking companies, Booking.com has focused on a niche and present it in an unexpected and intriguing way.
The second advantage is the wise use of storytelling technique. The campaign showcased the frightening stories of seven haunted hotels in a concrete and vivid way. Each story reveals the mysterious stories of how these locations came to be so ‘haunted’, guiding the visitor into a special travelling experience. The incorporation of horror stories will grab audiences’ attention at the first sight and also associate the brand with uniqueness and adventure. On the campaign website, travelers can easily book their next ghostly getaway and also share the scary stories with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
How do you feel about this campaign?
Will the “scared to death” technique really work on the branding for Booking.com during the Halloween?
More importantly, as both Christmas and Thanksgiving are around the corner, we have welcomed the arrival of the biggest holiday season in the year.What is your own holiday shopping experience? Share some constructive insights about how to make your holiday marketing campaign stand out.