Halloween. It’s back…. Again!


One year ago I wrote a post just before the start of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights 2013. It looked at how our use of social media to market the event reflected the major developments in mainstream U.S. social media since the days of MySpace.

Now another year has flown by. Tonight marks the start of the 2014 event, including the opening night Eyegore Awards ceremony.

Halloween Horror Nights is a great event to market. The nature of the content — gruesome entertainment largely created in partnership with horror-film directors and producers, TV shows (such as The Walking Dead), and musicians (like this year’s collaboration with Slash) — combined with the young-adult target audience allows for a lot of creativity.

The content and the audience are both perfectly suited to digital marketing.

As in past years, we’re creating videos to highlight the guest experience as well as our entertainment team’s creative partnerships; for example:


Social media fan engagement is a year-round activity but naturally intensifies during the event period. We have active fan bases on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This year we also started posting on Snapchat.

My team and I are responsible for the event website, a work in progress as we always continue to add videos and photos as the event progresses. Please check it out. (Note: it includes some gory images).

For commerce, this year’s ticket store is optimized for mobile check-out.

All this work keeps us busy but it really is a lot of fun.

If you’ve been to Halloween Horror Nights, please share your thoughts about the experience in a comment below.

(Disclosure and disclaimer:  As noted throughout this blog, I am an employee of NBCUniversal / Universal Studios Hollywood. All company information mentioned in this post is publicly available. All opinions are personal and do not represent the opinions of the company. See media relations website for official press contacts and press releases. To state the obvious, the achievements of Universal Studios Parks & Resorts are the result of the hard work and commitment of many people.)

4 thoughts on “Halloween. It’s back…. Again!

  1. Halloween Horror Nights is a great event! I haven’t been to the event in Hollywood, but have been going in Orlando since 1996.

    Given the teen to young adult skew of the event attendees, the event represents a great opportunity to rollout and test newer digital marketing and engagement elements. New tactics in social, mobile, ECommerce and video can all be tested and vetted during this event to see how this early adoptive audience responds.

    Social channels, beacon technology, APP developments/features, enhanced tracking and analytics, RFID, biometrics, wearables and more.

    Thanks for continuing to push the envelope Josh!

    • Thanks for sharing your comment, Frank. You need to come check out the Hollywood event — you have all of Oct. to book a trip! This year or next, hope you can make it out to L.A. to experience it on this coast.

      You’re right, the event is a great place to test new tactics. For my team and me working on digital marketing, that’s especially been true in regards to social media and video. I always think back to some video series we did in 2006 that were pretty cutting edge for that time, including short snippets that would have been perfect for Instagram and Vine. Too bad I that didn’t prompt me to start one of those. ;-)

      On a different but related note, the LA Times ran a piece last week that talked some of the technology behind the entertainment at theme park Halloween events such as HHN. You can see it here:


  2. Pingback: Halloween. It's back.... Again! | Tinseltown Times

  3. Pingback: New Halloween Horror Nights Videos | The Contrast Principle

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