Your client sponsoring a haunted house
The spooky sponsorship deals are almost endless
September 24, 2012
Fall is here and we're only a few short weeks from one of the season's most popular days, Halloween.
Now is a good time to pursue advertising or sponsorship at local haunted houses, which welcome thousands of guests in the month leading up to Halloween.
Advertisers at haunted houses will reach both young audiences and families while they enjoy themselves, and they can do so inexpensively.
To find out how to get your client at haunted houses, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Advertising at haunted houses across the country.
Haunted house organizers handle advertising and sponsorship.
How it works
Every Halloween season there are thousands of haunted attractions set up across the country, including haunted houses, haunted mines, haunted hay rides and haunted boat rides.
The advertising and sponsorship options are many, with the most visible being a title or presenting sponsorship, which assures a brand's name will be mentioned in all marketing for the event, including outdoor and radio ads.
Many haunted attractions also offer basic static advertising signage, typically at the event's entrance or gathering area. In some cases vendors can set up shop as well, selling items such as snacks and drinks.
Digital options may also be available, depending on the attraction. For example, a haunted house's entryway may have a screen that loops old campy horror movies with space for banner ads on the screen.
Businesses can also advertise on haunted house tickets, which can be handled in a variety of ways. A brand might cover the cost of printing tickets in exchange for an ad on the backside of the ticket itself. Or advertisers could have a presence on the tickets visitors print themselves at home.
Ads on tickets could be a simple logo or message, or they could be a call-to-action such as a coupon.
Finally, brands trade their goods or services for sponsorships. A local restaurant could become a sponsor by providing food to the actors who portray ghosts and monsters, or a retailer could supply bottled water for workers and guests.
Haunted houses pop up in every major market near Halloween.
There are about 2,000 paid haunted attractions each year in the U.S., according to the Haunted House Association.
The group says a typical attraction averages around 8,000 paid guests, although larger haunted houses can get anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 guests.
Eighty-nine percent of parents report their child participates in Halloween activities, according to the parents group Safe Kids Worldwide.
How it is measured
Haunted houses track paid attendance to measure impressions. Presenting sponsors can use other methods such as radio ratings to measure reach.
What product categories work well
Recent or current haunted house advertisers include fast food, retail, auto dealers, cable TV, radio stations, local businesses and soft drinks.
Demographics vary by market, but organizers say there are three main audiences: teens, young adults (18-34) and families.
Making the buy
Most haunted houses will take advertisers up until a week before they open, but advertisers and sponsors will get the most exposure by getting deals in place two to three months out.
Pricing also varies depending on the size of the haunted house. A title or presenting sponsor could spend anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000, while a smaller advertiser could get involved for less than $1,000.
Who’s already been at haunted houses
Recent brands that have advertised at haunted houses include Subway, Walmart, Microsoft, Comcast, Dairy Queen, The Home Depot and Chevrolet.
What they’re saying
"A haunt draws a fairly non-complex crowd. Males in their 20s with adventurous spirits and a touch of ego-driven bravado seem to be prevalent. They often bring their girlfriends, or arrive in mixed groups of friends. There are also young teens in attendance, often dropped off by their parents and allowed a few hours to enjoy the experience. Advertisers with products and services geared toward these consumers can potentially fare well." – Ted Robertson, owner of RCN Group, which handles sponsorships for Haunted Mines in Colorado
Web site info
Terror Nights Haunted House
Netherworld Haunted House
Terrors From Beyond
Haunted House at Reindeer Manor
Zombie army Productions
Scare For a Cure
Tags: ads, advertisers, advertising, advertising at haunted houses, deals, halloween, halloween advertising, haunted houses, Haunted Mines, out of home, out of home advertising, radio, sponsorships, Ted Robertson
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