Halloween marketing

5 ways brands can get into the spooky spirit

Halloween is an exciting time for brands to connect with customers who celebrate during October and early November (through Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos). As spending for Halloween increases across the globe in the lead-up to the holiday, brands have many opportunities to get in on the fun and frights.

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In many countries around the world, Halloween marks a time to embrace the spooky side of life with costumes, treats, pumpkins, and all things a little bit scary. All tricks aside, Halloween also is an exciting time for brands to connect with customers who celebrate during October and early November (through Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos). As spending for Halloween increases across the globe in the lead-up to the holiday, brands have many opportunities to get in on the fun and frights.

When should you start marketing for Halloween?

In 2022, about 33% of consumers in the U.S. said they planned to start shopping for Halloween about three to four weeks in advance, and 20% of consumers said they would start as soon as a month or more in advance.1 This means brands may want to start their marketing campaigns in September or even earlier. Since shopping continues up until the day of Halloween (October 31), brands should continue their marketing campaigns throughout the entire month.

Why is it important to run marketing campaigns for Halloween?

Halloween can be an important time to run marketing campaigns because it provides an opportunity for brands to have fun with their messaging across social media, email, promotions, video ads, and more. Halloween is a global holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world. In 2022, one-third of customers around the world planned to dress up for Halloween, and these customers said they intended to spend between $51 and $100 on costumes.2 In 2023, consumers in the U.S. are expected to spend an average of $108 on Halloween-related items. In the U.K. this year, the retail expenditure on Halloween products is projected to reach nearly £800 million.3

Because the festivities extend beyond treats and costumes to decorations, parties, cards, entertainment, and more, brands have a multitude of opportunities to connect with consumers through Halloween ads across a wide variety of products.

Top-selling products and categories on Halloween

From decorating and carving pumpkins to trick-or-treating and handing out candy, there are a lot of ways consumers take part in Halloween festivities. In 2023, consumers in the U.S. are expected to spend most on costumes (including those for children and pets), decorations, and candy. 4

Pumpkin carving is also a popular activity. In 2022, nearly 149 million people in the U.S. said they planned on making a jack-o’-lantern—an increase of about 2 million from the previous year. 5 Meanwhile, the top ways to celebrate Halloween, according to a Statista survey, are to hand out candy, decorate the house, dress in costume, carve a pumpkin, throw a party, or dress up a pet. Brands that sell products related to any of these categories—from costumes or candy to party-planning supplies—may want to consider Halloween ads.

4 Halloween marketing ideas

Case Study

Mars, Incorporated, the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate, chewing gum, mints, and fruity confections, wanted to use the holiday season to help promote their candy product, M&M’S, as a favorite movie-time snack. The brand turned to Amazon Ads to make that marketing goal come to life. Throughout the Halloween and holiday season, they ran the M&M’S Movie Night campaign, which combined brand building with audience communication, encouraging them to enjoy M&M’S while watching their favorite Halloween and holiday movies.

Customers who bought a certain number of Mars products received a Prime Video credit. The Mars Wrigley USA team and Amazon Ads team built interactive experiences using a mix of new and proven high-performing ad strategies across screens and devices to help maximize reach, engage new households, and help Mars drive potential sales.


Case Study

Ahead of the release of the series I Know What You Did Last Summer, a modern take on the 1973 novel that was also the basis for the cult favorite 1997 film, Cheetos teamed up with Prime Video and Amazon Ads for a full-funnel campaign inspired by the Amazon Original series. Prime Video and Cheetos produced a custom digital ad in the horror/thriller style of the series.

The video kicked off the campaign that ran through the release of I Know What You Did Last Summer in mid-October and ended after Halloween. Along with the spot, Prime Video provided exclusive content, including clips, trailers, title treatments, stills, and other material from the series, to aid Cheetos in developing the campaign’s digital, video, and creative social assets. Amazon Ads worked with Cheetos to create a full-funnel marketing strategy to help drive reach and awareness with customers during Halloween, which included Fire TV placements, video ads, Sponsored Brands, Stores, and display ads through Amazon DSP.

i know what you did last summer

Case Study

Rubie’s Costume Co. is one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of costumes and accessories. When the brand wanted to reconnect with existing consumers and reach new ones, they worked with Labelium, Labelium Play, and Amazon Ads to run a full-funnel campaign, with the goal of raising brand awareness and driving consideration of Rubie’s main costume categories, boosting traffic to their brand Store, and ultimately increasing sales.

Rubie’s used Amazon Ads audience insights and planning tools to reach high intent, in-market shoppers at the right moments in their purchase journey. Along with compelling video assets optimized for seasonal moments, the brand used Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display to drive discovery and sales in the brand Store.

people in costumes

Case Study

When KITKAT wanted to reach new adult Gen Z and millennial shoppers, the brand worked with Amazon Ads to connect with gaming fans on Twitch. Using Twitch premium video, the brand was able to connect with Twitch’s hyper-engaged community by incorporating advertisements into live broadcasts across desktop, mobile, tablet, and connected TV devices.

The resulting campaign featured a video ad about a frustrated gamer who was making mistakes in their marathon gaming session. The accompanying tagline reads: “Even the biggest champ needs a break.” The gamer pauses their game, takes a well-deserved rest to eat a KITKAT, and then presses play, energized to continue.


A general recommendation for holiday advertising is to consider advertising with Sponsored Products, since big events such as Prime Day can lead to an increase in shoppers. For example, you could create tactics for advertising products popular during a given event, such as candy and costumes in the lead-up to Halloween.


What is Halloween?

Halloween is a holiday celebrated in many countries around the world on October 31. With origins that date back to ancient seasonal Celtic harvest festivals, Halloween takes place the evening before the Western Christian feast of All Saints’ Day, which marks the beginning of Allhallowtide. In its modern form, Halloween is largely celebrated with popular activities like dressing in costume, trick-or-treating, carving jack-o’-lanterns, and sharing scary stories.

When is Halloween?

Halloween is celebrated on October 31.

Where is Halloween celebrated?

Halloween is celebrated in many countries across the globe, predominately across North America and Europe. The holiday has also more recently been embraced in Japan, where it is popular to dress up in costume.

What is Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead?

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday when families reunite with and honor the souls of their late loved ones with festivities that include food, drink, singing, and dancing.

When is Día de los Muertos?

Día de los Muertos is typically celebrated on November 1 and 2.

Where is Día de los Muertos celebrated?

With roots dating back thousands of years, Día de los Muertos is an important tradition with ties to Mexico and is celebrated across other countries across the world.

1-5Statista, 2022
2-4Statista, 2023