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Don’t Be Scared Of Halloween

Halloween is the second largest holiday of the year in the United States. Americans spend an estimated $6 Billion annually on the holiday. Of that number, $2.5 Billion is attributed to the purchase of costumes. Which is hard to believe, and yet it makes total sense. The sale of candy and other treats, with those costumes for Trick-or-Treat, decorations, throwing and attending parties, attending events that are a part of seasonal tradition like Hayrides, Haunted Houses and The Pumpkin Patch, all add up. There’s always the ever-popular Halloween Parade followed by Trick or Treating.


The holiday is a great opportunity for sales teams to hit the streets with special packages that enable food vendors and restaurants to offer coupons for free meals, sandwiches, and such, as well as treats at confectioners … all to be given out during Trick-or-Treat. Beer & Liquor, Event Promoters, Insurance, and Home Improvement are targets. As well as those selling costumes. “Safe Street” has always been one of my favorite promotions for the holiday. Parents and guardians bring children of a certain age to an indoor mall or strip center where all participating merchants give candy to those in costume. It’s a great way to build traffic. It also emphasizes the need for safety.


Stations have an additional opportunity to create, sell and air Safety Tips for the holiday. You know what those are, but reinforcing them in a day and age when crime is of greater concern than in the past will attract interest from advertisers and attention from the audience. It’s possible to engage outpatient clinics and offer that the treats your children collected can be X-Rayed for safety. Safety can be further magnified by having sponsors giveaway free brightly colored bags for the trick-or-treaters to carry.


Local Haunted Houses, often created and managed by charities, are potential partners for revenue creation as well as community involvement. You can sell into Halloween a travel agent or enlist an experiential marketing company to give away a Scarecation. A journey to a real haunted house. This scary vacation can be to the Eliza Thompson House in Savannah, Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, the Queen Mary Hotel in Los Angeles or Hotel Colorado in Glendale Springs, Colorado.


Continuing on the charity front, Trick or Treat for UNICEF continues to be a fundraising approach in many regions of the country. Stations hosting a virtual Halloween costume party can also be engaging for the audience by soliciting pictures to post to the station’s website. It’s a traffic driving tactic that is magnified with significant prizes given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in various categories. You can categorize by age, gender, or genre of costume. Sponsorable.


When it comes to on-air … there are the usual Halloween “Hits” like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, “Wolves” by Selena Gomez and Marshmello, “Haunted” by Beyonce or go old school with “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and everyone plays “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Picket. If you’re a spoken word station, those titles also work as bumper music, but airing “War of the Worlds” narrated by Orson Wells is a classic. Imaging is what best captures this holiday and using these titles and others as a part of the stations “sound” can create a feeling that is as fun as what the holiday was intended to be.

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