A Halloween Marketing Story

By: Richard Michie

Our Halloween Marketing Story is set on a cloudy Sunday just outside Pontefract, a sleepy Yorkshire town once known for being the world centre for liquorice production, a very scary setting, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Don’t be scared it’s marketing not witchcraft

But we’re not here to be scared by our Halloween Marketing Story, no it’s more a miracle than a scare fest. This is the story of how at Halloween the sale price of the lowly pumpkin can rise from around £3 to an astonishing £45 or more through the miracle of marketing strategy!

You see, each year on the spookiest holiday of the year, Farmer Copleys near Pontefract performs a marketing miracle. And today in the pumpkin patch we discovered the secret of how to increase the value of the humble pumpkin massively.

How to pull off a Halloween miracle, here’s the recipe

  1. Take a well established holiday which suits your product perfectly.
    Farmer Copleys have loads of land for pumpkins, spot on for Halloween.
  2. Find your niche.
    They could easily grow their crop for the supermarkets, who will buy them low and retail high. In this scenario the farmer will be lucky to make a few pence per pumpkin, not much for all their hard labour. Instead looking for a way to make buying a pumpkin at Halloween part of the whole experience is the way to go. That way you can get much more per carveable squash.
  3. Create a demand and a spectacle.
    In this case the demand is already there, but if the experience is no better than going to Tesco, who’s going to remember that and make a special trip?
  4. Make your product scarce, so they’re hard to get.
    This year, due to previous years causing traffic jams and the covid considerations, the farm made visits to the pumpkin patch ticket only – £4 per person. No ticket, no carved lanterns gathering experience.
  5. Build a festival feel.
    Yes you could just walk into a field and grab a pumpkin, but why not come and have a burger, Chinese food, hot chocolate or candy floss too? While you’re here let the kids go on the bouncy castle.
  6. Once in the pumpkin patch make sure it’s MASSIVE!
    The drama of seeing a field of pumpkins isn’t something most people see these days, so make it special. Dotting skeletons and gravestones around won’t hurt either.
  7. Let your customers make their own selection.
    That was the main reason for coming after all. To help them get their huge orange squash back to their car hire them a wheelbarrow too, pumpkins are heavier than you think. And, perhaps, with a little encouragement customers will purchase more than one pumpkin for Halloween.
  8. Give them the option to carve their find before they leave.
    Get customers to stay longer by offering all the tools their kids need to make their pumpkin really scary. At the same time offer to take away the pumpkin flesh they scoop out saving them throwing it away themselves (most people don’t make soup or pies with it sadly).

Halloween Marketing

Magically increasing profits

If you go to Tesco you’ll pay as little as £1 for a pumpkin this year. But you won’t get a day out or any lasting memories from visiting their store. At this price lord knows how much farmers are making per pumpkin I reckon about 10 pence if they are lucky.

Our Halloween visit cost approximately £45, we stopped in the on site cafe for hot chocolate and buns afterwards too. As we only purchased one pumpkin, from just our family the farmer made at least £41.90 profit on our pumpkin against £0.10 selling it to Tesco. Needless to say the farm was packed when we visited and will be most days running up to Halloween.

Of course running this operation take a lot of work, investment in time, money, staffing, marketing and of course the foresight to see this opportunity.

The trick of adding value to a shopping experience is big news in retail at the moment as the pandemic has closed lots of big high street names and footfall is down massively. When you can easily shop online and have your shopping delivered to your door you need a good reason to leave the house?

We could, of course, have done the same with our pumpkin, but would we have these memories, would I be writing this blog? Don’t think so.

How could you make your product or service be more of an experience to purchase? If you could how much more could you charge for your pumpkins?

If you’d like help with creative marketing ideas to help you make more profits for your business call us on 0113 477 1210 or fill in the form.


Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

Case Studies


Marketing for Local Government

Moresby Hall Hotel

Hotel Rebranding

Sharp Consultancy

B2B Social Media for recruitment

The Edit LDN

Managing advanced eCommerce SEO

Better Connect

Digital PR and video production for events

Tango Networks

Marketing support for a global telecoms business

You may also like…

Here comes another Google Core Update

Here comes another Google Core Update

Google Core Updates come in waves. Each time one is announced, the SEO internet goes crazy. Rumours swirl around about how the changes will affect how websites rank. SEO’s on Twitter (sorry X), LinkedIn and now TikTok will begin sharing charts and graphs showing how...

Get to the Point 4th Edition

Get to the Point 4th Edition

While most people are slowing down, The Marketing Optimist are gearing up for 2024. So we are really pleased to announce the 4th Edition of Get to the Point will be held on 19th March Santander Work Cafe, Leeds! If you’ve not come across Get to the Point before, there...

Get to the Point Leeds Digital Festival 2023

Get to the Point Leeds Digital Festival 2023

In our second year of running Get to the Point at Leeds Digital Festival, we decided to step up our game a little and move to the offices of Glean at Leeds Dock. With improved tech and lovely surroundings, we brought nine great speakers to this year's Get to the...

The biggest trend in SEO

The biggest trend in SEO

The future of SEO is always a mystery, and those who try and predict how it’ll change are certain to be proved wrong. Regardless, I’m going to stick my neck out, and hope I’m wrong in my predictions. AI Generated content is going to be the biggest trend in SEO...

When did you last check your website?

When did you last check your website?

When did you last check your website? I bet you haven’t done that in a long time. Don’t look now, you need to read this first. You probably looked at it a lot when it was new and still on your mind. But a few months later you probably stopped checking. It’s normal....

Social Media Marketing Executive Job

Social Media Marketing Executive Job

We’re looking for a Social Media Executive to join The Marketing Optimist. We’re growing fast and we’re looking to add a social media marketer who wants to expand their existing strategic marketing skills on some really interesting and diverse clients. You’ll need to...