Letting go of warm weather and flip-flops can be difficult. But thankfully, we have fall products to look forward to. Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSL), Freeform’s “13 Nights of Halloween” and Bath & Body Works’ “Sweater Weather” scented candle are some noticeable products marketed during the fall season that consumers cherish every year.
Public relations practitioners can take advantage of these crazes and engage in seasonal marketing tactics to reach their target audience. This is the time of the year when people stay inside to snuggle underneath a blanket and plug into their social media channels to search for the latest season trends.
Whether the brand sells fall-specific items or not, engaging with consumers through social media with relevant fall content establishes authenticity. This approach can be proactive in sparking a conversation with different integrated communication strategy tactics, with help from national holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Social media (fall)owers want to see transparency in their favorite brands. They want to be able to reach out to a brand’s social media outlet and engage in conversation. For example, international fast-fashion store H&M promoted its 2015 autumn line by creating a campaign along with a hashtag #HMFallInLove, and encouraged consumers to share photos of their favorite fall outfits on Instagram and Twitter. Those trendsetters were also influenced to share their favorite “love” story along with their fashion photos.
Another noticeable brand, Chipotle, clearly has nothing to do with Halloween, but campaigned itself as the fast-food restaurant without any “creepy” ingredients in its 2015 trending #Boorito during the month of October. Chipotle engaged with its consumers by having them dress up in a costume on Halloween to receive a $3 burrito. The campaign was such a success that Chipotle officially announced its relaunch of the “Boorito” for this year’s Oct. 31.
Public relations practitioners can position the brand as something that supports and employs the fall culture and creates relatability with the consumer. Campaigning around a season, particularly fall, opens up opportunity to incorporate holidays and give the consumers a sense of togetherness. Engaging with consumers doesn’t have to be scary, but it is an opportunity to dress up, or should I say brand up, as something new and exciting.
Lynn Brantley is a senior at the University of Alabama studying public relations. She is a writer and editor for Platform Magazine, a student-run online publication focusing on the the public relations industry. In her free time, Brantley loves to watch Alabama football and spend time with friends. She hopes to pursue a career in public relations in Chicago.