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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

#SeasonofMischief: Hobgoblin Halloween Horror Shorts

Entered in Wine, Beer & Spirits


How do we get 1 million consumers to engage with Hobgoblin beer during Halloween?

And how do you reach younger consumers? This is much more challenging when you consider that most of the brand's engagement via social channels is with 45+ males.

We utilised paid media extensively over the last 2 years, bringing a huge number of new fans to Hobgoblin's owned social channels. We also recruited a massively engaged audience on Facebook & Twitter.

Despite this we felt that we were reaching our limit in terms of recruiting UK fans. There was science behind this. On a typical week, 2 - 2.5 million consumers buy a bottle of ale from a supermarket. So with almost 200,000 likes, we felt we'd hit the hardcore audience most likely to follow a brand.

So the brief became clearer. How do we reach the younger segment of that 2.5 million, UK adults who regularly buy beer? We agreed two campaign KPIs with the client:

1. The videos were to be viewed at least a million times

2. The campaign was to reach 3 million UK consumers, of whom 1.5 million should be aged 18 - 34.

Strategy and Execution

Our strategy was defined by two key insights.

Firstly, we wanted to reach drinkers across the social space, which meant a much bigger focus away from the brand's owned channels. However, we didn't want to ignore Hobgoblin's most ardent fans.

We then also had to be smart with the media budget, to make sure that we could promote the video posts to our existing audience.

Secondly, we looked at how to reach the elusive 18 - 34 millennial. Clever video content is always going to hit the mark with everyone, and we also knew that this age group wants to feel part of a brand, and if possible, feel some ownership of it or direct involvement with it.

Instagram was added into the mix due to its popularity with this audience, as it has a hugely engaged audience of beer lovers. If you look at some of the beer related tags: #beerporn or #craftbeer, it's very clear that Instagrammers do enjoy their beer.

The idea? Video content was a given. It was Halloween.

A series of creative brainstorm sessions lead us to the core creative idea - Hobgoblin's take on the horror movie genre. And we wanted a bit of mischief in there. So rather than end with a product shot we took a different route. Why not make Hobgoblin the star?

The result was 'Hobgoblin Halloween Horror Shorts,' a series of videos based on classic Halloween, ghost or horror movies starring Hobgoblin.

Four movies were commissioned, and we let our social audiences choose the fifth, which would air on October 31st. From a shortlist of classic movie moments, the client chose Frankenstein, The Fly, The Exorcist and Psycho. Our social audience picked Ghostbusters as their choice.


We worked closely with the client's digital agency to create the content, with the films created using 3D rendering software.

Each video would be released via the brand's owned social channels, with advertising following 24 hours later.

To get maximum engagement from our loyal fans, we ran a series of mini competitions with each video release, giving away beer: name the film, tag your 'Frankenbuddy', show you're dedicated to our beer and nominate a mate that you think needs to discover our beer.

Ads were run across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using a shorter 15 second version of each clip. As well as being a requirement for Instagram, we advised the client that the shorter clips would be more effective for people who hadn't engaged with the brand before.

Ads were monitored daily to ensure that the budget was optimised to deliver maximum views & reach. We also ran two test cells (Hobgoblin drinker v horror movie lovers) to determine the best targeting criteria. We ended up targeting based on beer and movies.


The Hobgoblin Halloween Horror Shorts smashed the objectives and is our best performing Halloween campaign.

1.18 million people watched the videos (18% above target of 1 million views)

These views were split between advertising-led views of 935,413 and post-led views of 249,545

3.9 million consumers reached via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (30% above target of 3 million consumers)

30% of those reached watched one of the movies

65% of those reached were 18 - 34 ensuring that the brand reached and engaged with a much younger audience

A massive year-on-year increase in brand reach of 242% (total reach across all channels v October 2014)

A staggering 1,912% uplift in brand engagements (video views, likes, comments and shares v 2014)

All of which helped the brand achieve growth of 11.8% (2014 v 2015).

We have a very happy client. Here's his view:

Clarity Comms provided a platform to amplify the brand activity to new audiences whilst engaging with our existing fans. Brilliantly executed plans, awesome content, the ability to get under the skin of the brand, and a proactive attitude resulted in a phenomenal growth in consumer reach.

Chris Keating, Head of Brands Marketing, Marston's Beer Company


Video for #SeasonofMischief: Hobgoblin Halloween Horror Shorts

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Clarity Comms, Hobgoblin Beer


Entry Credits