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How Halloween Nostalgia Can BOOst Your Brand’s Tricks and Treats 

This Halloween, marketing and advertising your brand with seasonal nostalgia may be the trick to help your brand treat new and loyal customers alike.

Meredith Cunningham Published: September 28, 2023

Halloween is a time when nostalgia runs deep, as people of all ages fondly remember their favorite childhood costumes, candy, and trips to the pumpkin patch. But did you know that Halloween nostalgia can be a magical ingredient for your brand’s marketing and advertising campaigns? 

Nostalgia is a deeply human experience characterized by a sense of comfort, community, positive memories, and a longing for ‘the good old days.’ At TEGNA, we often advise our advertising partners to develop messaging that creates an emotional connection to the audience. It’s a tried and true tactic, leading to several successful ad campaigns, regardless of the industry. 

This Halloween, marketing and advertising your brand around these sentimental moments may be the trick to help your brand treat new and loyal customers alike. Let’s look at the crystal ball to see which strategy might best incorporate into your media plan.

1. Local News Alignment

With local news, there’s no shortage of nostalgia. KPNX recently aired an hour-long special celebrating its 70th anniversary, while KTVB’s 208 Redial and KVUE’s Rewind feature old newsreels and segments of years past.  

For Halloween specifically, CBS 8 in San Diego shared a “News 8 Throwback” from 1980, which reported on popular Halloween costumes that year.  

So what? Local news often has a special place in people’s hearts because it reflects their community and shared experiences. WNEP’s unearthing of lost footage of a Halloween parade in 1982 reflects that sentiment almost perfectly. When you align with your local news station, your brand will benefit from the halo effect, which extends viewers’ positive associations with local news and its nostalgia for your brand.  


2. Creative Commercials

Halloween is all about storytelling. It’s a time when we share ghost stories, urban legends, and supernatural tales. Brands can embrace this tradition by weaving spooky narratives into their marketing campaigns. These stories can captivate your audience and create a sense of excitement and anticipation around your brand. 

Consider evoking childhood memories to create an emotional connection with the audience, from trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving to watching scary movies. You can also think about retro-style advertisements or references to classic Halloween culture or partnering with influencers – like an Elvira or Svengoolie-type – to showcase your messages in a way that resonates with the nostalgic Halloween vibe.  

Remember that Halloween is all about fun and creativity. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Embrace the playful spirit of the holiday, and your audience will appreciate your brand’s enthusiasm.

3. New Products and Offers

One way to capitalize on Halloween memorabilia is by offering nostalgic products or limited-edition releases that bring back the spirit of Halloween gone by. Think about reimagining classic candies or creating retro-style packaging for your products. For example, Coca-Cola’s limited-edition Halloween cans with nostalgic imagery have been a hit with consumers. Also, consider offering exclusive Halloween discounts or promotions as a treat to your customers. This incentivizes purchases and makes your brand a part of their Halloween traditions. 

Don’t be Scared. Join TEGNA for your Holiday Campaign 

The marketing experts at TEGNA are ready to learn about your unique needs to create a holiday marketing and advertising campaign that best fits your brand, goals, and creative ideas. From concept development to implementation and measurement, we offer the highest level of support as your marketing partner. Let’s get in touch to talk about your holiday marketing plans.

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