Halloween Advertising in 2021: All the Tricks You Need to Know

Halloween is back in a big way this year, and to celebrate we are sharing some tricks to make sure that your Halloween advertising is a treat!

Here we uncover the Halloween-themed ads that earned the highest Creative Attention Score in October 2021, and we identify some of the elements in the ad that help drive engagement. 

While we review the second-by-second attention data for these advertisements and glean lessons about creative, it's important to remember that creative alone does not drive advertising engagement. Programming strength, dayparts, context, and networks all have an impact on an ad's ability to breakthrough for attention. To create the strongest and most effective campaigns, advertisers must consider all of the ways attention can be optimized.  

Whether you are planning for next year's Halloween, the holiday shopping season, or just want to incorporate some best practices into your advertising creative, these tips from successful Halloween advertisers will help. 

Celebrities, Mascots and Familiar Faces Grab Eyeballs

Famous people and yes, even famous mascots like the Red M&M, can help drive attention to ads, as you see in this Halloween ad from M&M. Viewers paid the most attention when Red M&M first appeared and started speaking. The mascot is instantly recognizable and well-branded, ensuring that the candy will be top of mind with viewers as they head to the store to stock up for Halloween.


Audio Cues Keep Viewers Alert for Surprises  - Spooky or Otherwise

Audio cues - loud noises, songs, bells, and jingles - are commonly used to draw the viewers' attention to an ad, often right before the main product message. In their Halloween ad, Progressive re-imagined the popular Addams Family theme song and captured attention from men. Meanwhile Reese's deployed spooky sound effects to keep women paying attention. 


The Trick to Brand Recall: Logo Placement

Great ads tell interesting stories, but also ensure that the brand stays top of mind with consumers when its time to make a purchase. Reeses used audio cues, a relatable story, and spooky music to ensure that attention to this ad peaked when its familiar orange packaging filled the screen.

Learn more about optimizing creative for maximum attention.

TV and CTV Attention Report
The TV and CTV Attention Report