The Swirl: October 30, 2017

Happy Halloween Eve! This is your reminder to stock up on candy and get your costume ready. Whether you’re trick-or-treating with the kiddos or watching scary movies all night, we hope you have a spooktacular holiday. We’re celebrating with Halloween ads left and right. In this edition: vodka curses, scary Lyft rides and more BK.


M&Ms are North Carolina’s favorite Halloween candy. Check out the other states here.

For the social media stalkers...

SwirlNotes:Svedka might have the best social media stalking skills out there. For this year’s Halloween campaign, the vodka company is using the power of retargeting ads to really creep people out. With a classic bait-and-switch tactic, they are using seasonal cocktail recipe ads to entice vodka-lovers to click through to their site. What’s the catch? Once you click, you’ll be slammed with video banner ads, or what Svedka is referring to as “the curse.”


Retargeting ads work like a charm, but there’s no denying they can sometimes be creepy or Big Brother-ish. We all know what it’s like to get that tenth ad for the jacket you’ve been eyeing, especially when it hits you on a different device. Can you say stalker status? We love how Svedka played off of this notion perfectly with their “curse” ads. They took the inherently negative sides of retargeting ads and turned them into a fun and seasonally relevant experience. We now know what vodka we’ll be buying for that Halloween punch. Very tricky, Svedka.

For the unsuspecting riders...

SwirlNotes:Lyft had quite a surprise for a few. In a partnership with the on-demand cab service, Netflix took the opportunity to promote season two of ‘Stranger Things’ by hijacking seemingly innocuous rides and turning them haunted. SpooOoOoky.


We aren’t Stranger Things diehards ourselves, but for fans of the show, we can imagine this is a dream (...or nightmare?) come true. If you were in the Philly or LA markets this past weekend, you too could have experienced this scary ride - if you dared. How? The partnership between Netflix and Lyft created “Strange Mode” within the app, and leveraged the car and the Lyft portal to drop show references (apparently waffles and Christmas lights) and the logo for a gentle reminder of what inspired the experience. Hide ya kids. This is just another example of some great work we’ve seen by Stranger Things this year. Shout out to the show for truly understanding their viewer base.

For the clowns out there...

SwirlNotes:Burger King is at it again. If you liked their “It” ad we featured a few weeks ago, you’re in luck. Looks like they are continuing their clown joke with a Halloween special that looks more like a scary movie than an ad. Muhaha.


Burger King is killing it this Halloween season. In addition to their movie stunt, the McDonald’s competitor will welcome all scary clowns with a free Whopper in select locations. Very clever. We haven’t gotten tired of the clown joke yet, and we can’t wait to see the results of this. McDonald’s is probably wishing they could change their mascot right about now. Props to Burger King for taking advantage of this opportunity and making us laugh with a little friendly competition.


Forget the 6-second ad. In honor of the holiday, Mars Candy Brands, Hulu and Xfinity created long form horror films to celebrate Halloween. So when you need a break in between Hocus Pocus and Scream this year, check out the scary shorts from these brands.