Like all major cultural events in 2020, Halloween will look a little different this year, but 80% of Americans say their favorite traditions are irreplaceable.
Trick-or-treating is the most popular social ritual, but also the one forcing two-thirds of Americans to think differently about how they'll participate, latest research suggests.
"The virtual Mars Wrigley Treat Town Halloween experience demonstrates how we're reinventing our business to bring better moments and more smiles to consumers" says Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America. "Our Mars Wrigley team pivoted quickly to save the traditions and celebrations of Halloween."
A member of the team who had to ‘pivot quickly’ is Tim LeBel, who has the enviable job title of chief Halloween officer for Mars Wrigley.
“I think this year consumers are going to look for what is the best way to celebrate Halloween in a safe way for friends and family in their unique situation … that is very different across the entire United States.
“So one way we wanted to help bring Halloween to life was to create Treat Town, which is a virtual way to trick-or-treat with family and friends where you actually can receive Mars Wrigley product -and the clock is officially counting down and it will obviously run through October 31st.”
LeBel feels that this year’s celebrations have a much more balanced approach, but said the company is 100% committed to Halloween and “it is far from canceled”.
He confirms that Mars Wrigley is partnering this year with the National Safety Council to develop guidelines for safe, fun ways to celebrate Halloween and enjoy seasonal festivities and traditions responsibly during the pandemic.
It is our largest season, Halloween is critically important not only to Mars Wrigley but to the category. -- Tim LeBel, chief Halloween officer Mars Wrigley
People are spending more time at home, whether that's snacking while watching their favorite Halloween movie during the month of October or celebrating with confectionery through baking occasions.
LeBel says that he has seen the online part of the Mars business significantly grow. Internet shoppers have gone up by 54% since the restrictions and Treat Town is very much a digital innovation that also compliments Mars Wrigley’s omni-channel experiences during the season.
Mars Wrigley will launch its Halloween portal at the stroke of midnight on October 1, 2020 and will offer Halloween fans of all ages the ability to create personalized spooky avatars, customized Halloween decorations for your in-app door, and most importantly, the ability to ‘knock’ on the doors of friends and family across the country.
LeBel also thinks that Halloween plays a critical role in the collective conscience and his job is to bring more smiles and more normalcy to this season’s event.
“It is our largest season, Halloween is critically important not only to Mars Wrigley but to the category and as I’m sure the NCA and John Downs would agree it is critical to the health of confectionery and it helps bring our products to consumers for perhaps the first time, through baking occasions or through trunk-or-treat or trick-or-treat.
“They might try their very first peanut M&Ms during this time - and that's a really important part of how we bring our moments to life with our consumers.”
Users can visit https://www.treat-town.com/ to sign up and download the Treat Town app now. Participants will earn candy credits in the app which can be redeemed for real Mars Wrigley products such as M&M'S, SNICKERS, TWIX and SKITTLES through national retail partners, online and/or in-store.