It also will be one of Nabisco's more unusual marketing plans, since it won't be running on a national basis but instead offered as a co-marketing program in conjunction with local retailers.
"We thought it would be a great way to execute our first event-on a customer-specific basis," said Nabisco Senior Manager-Trade Marketing Marc Simon.
For the program, Nabisco's customer-account teams, using local marketing funds, will work with specific retailers to choose which from the menu of six promotional programs best fit the chain's needs.
The overall effort was designed by Keith Kriegler & Associates, Chicago.
"The idea behind 'Ghoulish Goodies' is snacking equals parties equals Halloween," said Mr. Simon. "Since we don't have the portfolio for giveaway products [for trick-or-treating], that's the formula we are following."
The goal is to drive home the message that Nabisco crackers and cookies are party snacks while promoting a specific retailer. But the strategy varies depending on what promotion the retailer chooses.
The first choice is a customized TV spot that touts both Nabisco and the store carrying its products. The commercial features a cast of Halloween characters, including a mummy, vampire and Frankenstein monster enjoying Nabisco snacks at a party.
The same characters are featured in a color print ad touting the chain's sale price for Nabisco's snacks, to be run locally.
A second option is a cents-off coupon good at a specific retailer giving consumers money off the purchase of a Halloween pumpkin when buying Nabisco snacks.
A third is a store-by-store sweepstakes, offering prizes from a deli platter to a gift certificate for Halloween party decorations, and another is the more common display contest for store managers, offering them cash prizes for the best Halloween display using Nabisco products.
The last two choices, said Mr. Simon, are inspired by research showing 50% of Americans take pictures on Halloween.
Nabisco has proposed a $2 mail-in rebate for consumers who are buying cookies and crackers as well as film developing or a single-use camera. The other promotion is a photo contest, asking consumers for the specific retail chain to mail in Halloween photos with Nabisco products in them. Five winners per chain are chosen to receive $1,000 and a camcorder.
In addition to the menu program, Nabisco has created a "Ghoulish Goodies" floor display for retailers.
Nabisco, whose only major involvement with Halloween promotions has been its orange, cream-filled Oreo cookies, decided to make its move for the Oct. 31 holiday because "it's a huge merchandising event for retailers, and we see it as a big opportunity," said Mr. Simon.
$2.5 BIL HALLOWEEN SPENDING
According to Nabisco's research, consumer spending on Halloween exceeds that of both Thanksgiving and Easter, with $2.5 billion each year spent on Halloween items.
Halloween is the third most-popular holiday occasion for parties after New Year's Eve and the Super Bowl, the research said, and Halloween costumes for