For its fourth annual Ghostober campaign, Discovery’s Travel Channel went bigger than ever, collaborating with new siblings Food Network and HGTV to create a campaign that could run across all three networks’ linear and digital platforms as well as on Discovery Plus.
“We’ve built on Ghostober year after year,” said Doug Seybert, group senior vice president, marketing, Travel Channel. “Just like Shark Week has become a signature event for Discovery, that’s what we want for Ghostober.”
The goal of the campaign is to establish Discovery Plus as the streaming home for all things paranormal during the scary season. In the past few years, Travel Channel’s programming has largely transitioned to series that emphasize the paranormal and Ghostober was created to take advantage of that.
Throughout October, the three channels are offering 14 Halloween-themed series and specials—including Food Network’s Halloween Wars, HGTV’s House Haunters and Travel’s Ghost Adventures: Goldfield Hotel —totaling more than 50 hours of programming. To promote those shows and Ghostober in general, the three networks’ marketing teams created more than 600 assets to be used on all platforms both domestically and internationally.
The teams, who started working on this year’s event back in February, went with a throwback theme, collaborating with Los Angeles-based creative agency Mocean to conjure a campy look in a contrasting palette of purple, green, orange and black.
“We went with a pulp look inspired by classic 50s campy movies, that was the genesis of creative inspiration for this whole campaign,” said Seybertl. “This look really achieved the strategy we were looking for. It’s not too scary, not too kitschy and it is visually striking so people can easily connect the dots. It’s instantly recognizable as something fun for Halloween. Everyone likes to get a little scared at this time of year.”
The campaign’s look centers on four pieces of key art that will rotate through the different programming hubs:
It also includes customized logos for the overall event, each network and the Ghostober button in the Discovery Plus app.
And each of the trailers for the themed shows got a customized title treatment:
The campaign also is intended to be shareable, with custom Ghostober zombie, demon and scary clown filters available on Instagram and Snapchat.
Discovery also partnered with 13 Six Flags amusement parks across the country to showcase the holiday programming event, taking over Magic Mountain’s “Willoughby’s Resurrected” ride.
Each park is displaying custom Ghostober posters with QR codes directing people to the Discovery Plus Ghostober hub, while trailers for the Halloween-themed originals are airing on the Six Flags TV Network across the country. Six Flags also is offering visitors a limited-edition Food Network-concocted treat of Halloween Churro Fries.
Discovery also returned to some outdoor and experiential marketing for the event, promoting Ghostober on billboards in Los Angeles and New York.
Teams are also hitting the street in New York to hand out 25,000 customized Ghostober bags during New York Comic-Con Oct. 7 - 10.
With Food Network and HGTV having already claimed Thanksgiving through Christmas with tons of holiday-themed cooking, decorating and other lifestyle shows, Ghostober allows the Discovery-owned networks to extend that season throughout fall, starting in September and running all the way through New Year’s.
Client: Travel Channel
Group Senior Vice President, Marketing: Doug Seybert
Group VP, Marketing Strategy: Eliza Booth
Supervising Producer: Ki Yi
Creative Director, Design: Greg Stein
Director, Marketing Production: Jaycen Armstrong
Project Manager: Chris Leavy
Marketing Manager: Allison Frank
Senior Writer/Producer: Javier Rodriguez
Writer/Producer: Katie Jane Trosan
Senior Art Director: Jennifer Green
Motion Designer: Rachel Pearlman
Graphics Designer: Andrea Granados
Motion Designer: Alicia Kwait-Blank
Designer: Fernando Velez Panduro
Senior Photo Manager: Michele Martuscello
Project Coordinator: Abigail Gelinne
Production Coordinator: Elise Russo, Sarah Nguyen
Client: Food Network
Group SVP, Marketing and Strategy, HGTV & Food: Karen Bronzo
VP, Brand Creative: Chrissy Shropshire
VP, Marketing Strategy and Partnerships: Lauren Burack
Manager, Marketing Strategy & Partnerships: Sydney Amster
Group SVP, Marketing and Strategy HGTV & Food: Karen Bronzo
VP, Marketing Strategy: Cory Chapman
VP, Brand Creative: Tommy Kim
Creative Director, Lead Designer: Burke Miles
Producer: Eric Goldrich
Illustrator: Johnny Dombrowski
Director/Cinematographer: Michael Smiy
Line Producer: Austin Sepulveda
Supervising Live-Action Producer: Valerie Lopez
Designer/Animator: Angie Yu, Jaehi Jung
Animator: Josh Galindo
Associate Producer, Editorial: Sarah Glassberg
Editor: Hunter Abbey
Senior Music Supervisor: Marina Polites
Music Assistant: Delaney Watters
SVP, Post Production: Doug Salkin
VP, Post Production: Ken Peltan
Senior Post-Production Supervisor: Brandon Halverson
Associate Post Production Supervisor: Scott Angel, Drew Nudi
Online Editor: Joseph Whiting
Mixer: Brian McGill
ECD Print/Digital: Kishan Muthucumaru
VP Account Services Print/Digital: Ashley Conlon
Creative Director Print/Digital: Nathaniel Wheeler
Associate Creative Director Print/Digital: Charli Wu
Designer, Print: Greg Soto, Jon Cua
Production Print: Kae Singhaseni
Executive Creative Director, Design and Branding: Elaine Cantwell
VP, Design and Branding: Jennifer Holstein