How to trick-or-treat on Instagram


By Amanda Margozzi
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

What is the one thing that kids love more than Instagram? Candy. Put the two together and you’ve got one successful social media campaign.

In the spirit of Halloween — one of the fastest-growing consumer holidays — Target launched its first major Instagram campaign on October 14, featuring recipes, crafts, costume ideas and more. While all the materials needed for the treats and crafts can be purchased at Target, the holiday campaign is more focused on generating brand awareness than sales — and it’s producing some ghoulishly good results.

While I would expect such visual creativity from a holiday Pinterest campaign, I applaud Target for bringing the DIY attitude to Instagram — a social media platform not normally defined by much more than the #selfie.

By clicking on specific images from Target’s main Instagram home page, users can “knock” on the doors in the neighborhoods of the “Halloween Hills” to trick-or-treat.

If you click “trick,” you are taken to another user’s page with DIY costumes or decorating ideas, such as homemade storybook night lights and monster finger nails.

If you click “treat,” you are taken to a page with a festive recipe, ranging from ghostly hot pumpkin chocolate to sugar skull fruit pizza.

The creative campaign, called Halloween Hills, is built around the ability to tag another profile in an image on Instagram, a feature not often utilized. Despite being one of the fastest-growing social media sites, Instagram is considered a fairly static app since there are limited capabilities.

By capitalizing on visuals, which have proven to rule the digital marketing world in 2014, Target’s Instagram successfully captures the notoriously short attention span of Web users. The creative campaign is also highly likely to appeal to Pinterest lovers, since it is of the same crafty nature.

In fact, the social campaign will extend to Target’s Pinterest as well as its company blog, called “A Bullseye View.” Both outlets will also feature some of the DIY tutorials from Instagram, including step-by-step instructions. This easy-to-consume format makes it simple for parents and kids to work together to make the holiday crafts.

I know what I’ll be making Friday night …


Happy Halloween from The Hoffman Agency!

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