Halloween is the biggest holiday for Reese’s, not to mention parent company Hershey Co. In years past, Reese’s has crafted interactive events, like a vending machine where people could exchange Halloween candy for its peanut butter cups, to drive holiday engagement.
This year, Reese’s opted for another interactive experience—this time a live one, which Reese's described as "the most epic Reese’s Halloween treat experience to date.”
Reese’s nabbed actor Neil Patrick Harris to host “It’s A Live,” a Facebook Live event that streamed Oct. 24. The concept was promising: Harris would guide the paths of 32 selected guests through a haunted house based on real-time viewer votes. Those guests would have to find a key to escape two fright-filled rooms—a combination of “Sleep No More” meets haunted house meets escape room.
Unfortunately, the execution—created with Matador Content, CAA and Facebook Creative Shop—produced more laughs and awkward moments than scares. Even Reese’s admits the event did not go according to plan.
Reese’s began promoting the event in early October. Harris posted 11 videos to Facebook, as well as an IGTV video, hyping the event and asking fans what elements would be scariest to confront in the haunted house.
I participated as one of three media members—appearing at approximately the 36-minute mark in the Facebook Live video. Watch the hour-long video (if you can stomach it), and decide for yourself: