Hershey creates condo-friendly Halloween

The chocolate brand looks to forge new Halloween traditions where trick-or-treating is frequently verboten.

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More and more condo boards are barring trick-or-treaters from their buildings, which means less chocolate and candy will be purchased by apartment-dwellers. It’s a problem Hershey Canada is hoping to address by creating new traditions in the urban jungle with “Treat Street,” a free public pop-up Halloween experience that’s taking place in the glass towers of one of Toronto’s largest condo complexes, Concord CityPlace, on October 31.

At Hershey’s “Treat Street,” families are invited to an evening of Halloween activities (between 5:30pm and 9:30pm). There will be complimentary candy as well as brand-specific activations, such as the Jolly Rancher Graveyard, Oh Henry! Frankenstein Laboratory, Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème Fortune Teller, Hershey’s Vampire Castle, Twizzlers Witches Woods and Reese Pumpkin Patch. The pop-up will be open to the public, as well as to CityPlace denizens. The treats being handed out at Hershey’s “Treat Street” reflect the brand’s most popular everyday items in Halloween treat-sized offerings.

According to Baden Ireland, marketing manager, seasons (Halloween & holiday) at Hershey, urbanization is a major trend in Canada and cities tend to be where tastes and trends emerge. According to census data released in 2016 by Statistics Canada, 13% of Toronto families are living in condos, a trend that is growing. Ireland tells strategy that families living within dense urban centres face different barriers to participating in the Halloween trick-or-treating tradition than what many might remember growing up, as a result of newer condo board regulations that prevent trick-or-treating inside apartment buildings.

Historically, Ireland says Hershey Canada has primarily used TV and social buys to support a specific brand. This is the first time it’s investing in experiential marketing across the entire portfolio to promote different flavours. The initiative ties into its masterbrand key message of “Life is Sweet,” a platform that aims to make the umbrella Hershey Canada a “megabrand.”

Treat Street Map
To build interest for the event, Ireland says the brand is using a highly targeted media buy (handled by UM) focused on the downtown Toronto area. The buy includes transit shelter ads, social, OLV and elevator screens in residential buildings to engage urban families at multiple points throughout the day in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

According to Ireland, Hershey’s “Treat Street” is a pilot project and the brand will evaluate to see if it will reactivate the initiative next Halloween. Hershey Canada worked with its creative agency partner, Mint, to secure Concord CityPlace as a location to launch the pop-up. It chose the location due to the density of families living there. “Should we look to expand the program, we’ll investigate a variety of high density neighbourhoods across the income spectrum,” according to Ireland.

At “Treat Street,” Hershey is supporting UNICEF Canada’s “Halloween Hero” campaign, the digital updating of the charity’s beloved orange box that costumed kids use to collect donations (a program that was also halted due to growing safety concerns).