13 creative ideas for Halloween competitions
Are you planning to run a Halloween-themed prize draw or competition this year?
Fun giveaways themed on a certain event or occasion are great for engaging your audience, gaining new customers, and getting people talking about your brand.
The problem is, with annual events like Halloween and Christmas there can be a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to launching a new prize promotion. A pumpkin carving competition is creative and traditional, but it can also be problematic if your entrants decide to use a photo taken from Google or Pinterest and pass it off as their own creation!
But with a few tweaks, even the most predictable Halloween competition format can be given a unique twist. Here are 13 ideas for running a creative Halloween prize promotion on your blog, website or social media for free. These competitions will be a hit with your fans, and should remove the temptation for them to cheat!
Just one thing though – please don’t put creative competition entries to a public vote, as it’s unfair and controversial. Choose completely at random (check my post on 10 free ways to choose a random winner), or judge entries properly using a set criteria – funniest, weirdest, most original, etc. It’s much fairer!
Creative Halloween competition ideas
1. Perfect pumpkins
Carving pumpkins is the obvious choice for a social media (and real life!) Halloween competition, but a few cheats may enter online with photos taken from a Google or Instagram search – plus people can re-use photos that have won competitions in previous years! If you give your fans a theme – ideally related to your brand – then that means they have to come up with something unique especially for the competition. Entry numbers will be lower but you should end up with some nice content to share on your feed.
Tip: Want to keep cheats away? Specify that entries should include the carver holding their handiwork!
2. Scary movies
The dull option is to ask entrants to comment on a Facebook post, or reply to a tweet, with the name of their favourite scary movie. But why not go a step further and ask them to recreate a scene from it – it could be in costume, with full gory effects – or just get them to do it in their regular clothes!
3. Gruesome GIFs
For a super simple Halloween competition, just do a Twitter ‘Follow, RT and Reply’ format – but ask your entrants to reply with a GIF on a certain theme, eg. bad luck, vampires, scary movies, zombies, etc. Read my tips on how to run a Twitter giveaway to make sure you include all the essential T&Cs in your tweet!
Tip: Choose your random winner easily using Tweetdraw
4. Macabre masks
Along with pumpkin photos, scary costumes and make up are the most common theme for Halloween competitions, and entrants tend to recycle the same photos each year. Make your 2020 competition different by asking people to create a sinister costume or monster make up featuring their Covid-19 face mask!
5. Trick or Treat
Ask fans to share their best ideas for a trick – or a treat – with you. It could just be text comments, or they could share photos. Award two prizes – one each to the funniest trick and the most unique treat!
6. It’s a scream!
If you can handle the noise, why not ask your fans to record a scream and share on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok? Or simply ask them to share a screaming selfie – if you run it as an Instagram competition that would guarantee lots of entertainment when you click on your unique competition hashtag!
Tip: Some people have multiple social media accounts and enter comps from all of them – asking for a selfie should prevent this!
7. Scary sketches
Drawing competitions for kids are popular, and you can set them a challenge as general or as specific as you like! Ask them to invent a Halloween character, create a pumpkin carving template, write their name in a scary style or design their dream Halloween candy!
Tip: if you can afford two prizes, award one to the most creative entry and one to a random entry – then every child is in with a chance of a prize regardless of artistic skills or age
8. Spooky stories & revolting rhymes
Set your followers a creative writing challenge. Ask them to share a mini ghost story, spooky poem or Halloween themed joke – ideally, ask them to include your brand name!
Tip: choose your winners, then do a Google search to check they’re original before you announce them.
9. Devilish dinner
A classic competition question, but with a twist. Ask your followers who would be their gruesome guests for the perfect Halloween dinner party – and what would be on the menu? Tip: A perfect prize for this comp would be JustEat or Deliveroo voucher credit!
10. Halloween snacks
If your brand is food or wellbeing related, a recipe competition can be fun – or keep it simple by asking for photos of Halloween or scary movie inspired snacks or bakes. If possible, ask entrants to include your product in the recipe or photo too – it makes for great user-generated content.
Tip: Don’t forget to use Google Reverse Image search to check your winner’s photo is original, as food photos are often ‘borrowed’ to cheat in comps!
11. Witch craft
Halloween crafts are popular, especially with younger kids. Set your fans a task to create a spider, witch, mummy, bat, or a ghost. Upcycling is a common theme for 2020 too, can they create a spooky wine bottle, loo roll, or even recycle a Pringles tub?
12. Petrifying puzzles
Have you noticed the increase in fun brainteasers and puzzles on Facebook feeds this year? People are loving the challenge! Give your followers a Halloween-themed maths brainteaser to solve. Or make it trickier by posting a wordsearch without telling people how many Halloween-related words are featured – then only the people who guess the correct number of words have their names put into the witches hat!
13. Candy count
Sweets and candy is a huge part of the Halloween experience (at least, it is when you’re a 9 year old kid) so a super simple idea for a comp is to fill a jar or bucket with Halloween candy and ask people to guess how many sweets are in it. Ideally, use jelly snakes or chocolate skulls to stick with the theme. Of course, you’ll need a willing volunteer to count them out – you could even do that bit live on Instagram or Facebook.
If your brand isn’t related to Halloween, don’t worry! Grab a few carefully chosen props from Poundland to instantly transform your prize into something more spooky for a photo shoot…
Hopefully this will give you some ideas to do something different this Halloween. Be sure to tell me when you launch your prize promotion – and check out my post on where to promote a competition for tips on ensuring it’s a success!
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