Party City shows how to really freak people out in real-life Halloween prank campaign

22Squared is giving the supply store ‘a more ominous, sinister aesthetic’ to appeal to Halloween superfans this year

Published On
Sep 28, 2023
A woman with gross scabs around her face, coughing in a doctor's office

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Real-life pranks are often the best part of Halloween advertising—and horror advertising in general—and here are a few good ones from 22Squared for costume and supply store Party City.

Party City is usually a bright and bubbly brand, befitting its name. But 22Squared wanted to give it a creepier side ahead of Halloween season, which is a busy time for the retailer. For the three videos below, the agency used products available at the store in real-life pranks—leading to entertaining results that also educate viewers on how to make the products their own.

The unsuspecting victims thought they signed up for “market research,” but soon found out the truth.


“We thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with Party City to illustrate just how spine-chilling this year's Halloween can be,” said Della Mathew, executive creative director at 22Squared. “Our goal was to accentuate every product, from makeup to animatronics, in a manner that empowers viewers at home to replicate these incredible results. It was a delight to assist the brand in donning its own Halloween costume and fully embracing a more ominous, sinister aesthetic.”

Customers who try out their own elaborate scares, and post the results on Instagram (including #daretoscarecontest and tagging @partycity) will have a chance to win a $500 Party City gift card, a year’s supply of Tombstone pizza and a five-day trip for two to Savannah, Georgia.

The campaign will run across paid and organic social (Meta, Pinterest), paid search, publisher partnerships and owned channels. The effort includes two BuzzFeed articles, a custom advertorial on HGTV, a 360 Shoppable unit on Pinterest and various influencer activations.


Sep 28, 2023
Client :
Party City
Agency :
Chief Creative Officer :
Toygar Bazarkaya
Executive Creative Director :
Della Matthew
Group Creative Director :
Rocio Alvarado
Senior Art Director :
Ryan Bailey
Senior Copywriter :
Emma Murphy
Jr. Art Director :
Jeremiah Adeola
Head of Production :
Zamile Vilakazi
Director of Business Affairs :
Danielle Ivicic
Group Business Director :
Austen Tully
Account Supervisor :
Abbye Rhodes
Production Company :
Hey Wonderful
Director :
Sam Cadman
Managing Director :
Michael Di Girolamo
Executive Producer :
Sarah McMurray
Producer :
Jeff Pangman
Director of Photography :
Dylan MacLeod
Production Design :
Michael Walker
SFX Makeup Lead :
Shaun Hunter
Production Manager :
Derek Modesto
Production Coordinator :
Philmon EMbaye
Editorial :
Cosmo Street
Producer :
Jasmine Henry
Editor :
Lawrence Young
Assistant :
Alex Mihailovic
The End
Finishing Producer :
Maura Murphy
Mix :
Keith Reynaud
Color :
Colorist :
Mark Sanna
Producer :
Zach Fortin

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