Competition is fierce around the holidays, as marketers across industries aim to take advantage of consumer excitement with new seasonal content. This Halloween is no exception, with brands from Crest to Ford vying for the spotlight. Or take Gap, who chose to bypass costumes and candy and jump right to turkey and mistletoe instead. Here are Pixability’s latest picks for Video of the Week.
1. Hands of Time | Sprout by HP

Why it works: This inspiring film celebrating the power of everything handmade introduces HP’s Sprout – a device that blurs the line of tangible reality.
Areas for improvement: The YouTube masthead ad purchased on Halloween has not led to many views on the video so far. Spending more on TrueView ads that target the right audience would be a much better investment.
Key Takeaways: Great video alone is not enough to truly stand out on YouTube. Many of the most effective videos start with highly-targeted TrueView campaigns.
2. Ford: Spooky Halloween Car Wash Prank

Why it works: This prank video by Ford scares the heck out of the people in the car wash to the amusement of everyone watching the video. Ford’s logo is present at different points for brand recognition.
Areas for improvement: The lead-up to the prank is a bit vague, and there is no call to action anywhere in the video or the description. Prank videos are an old strategy that most viewers on YouTube are already used to.
Key Takeaways: Prank videos might generate buzz initially, but don’t often help with brand awareness. A solid YouTube strategy based on data would be more effective.
3. Metro Dumb Ways to Die: Halloween

Why it works: This video uses annotations to tell two different stories: trick or treat. The Dumb Ways to Die characters are back to tell viewers to stay safe on Halloween (and around trains).
Areas for improvement: Though the video is seasonal, it’s very similar to the original video from 2012. This video only works on desktop, and mobile viewers probably aren’t clicking the links in the description very often.
Key takeaways: Fresh content and ideas work best on YouTube, and all videos should work across devices to accommodate all users.
4. CREST- The Effects of Halloween Candy

Why it works: Everyone knows that if you eat too much candy you’ll rot your teeth. Crest proves the opposite and helps parents feel better about letting their kids eat candy on Halloween. The description includes links for various Crest coupons.
Areas for improvement: The viewer is only made aware of the brand at the very end of the video. Although the video is funny, users who don’t enjoy screaming children might be inclined to stop watching early on.
Key takeaways: Strategies that incorporate seasonality are usually quite effective, and funny kids are almost always a home run.
5. Mistletoe- Gap Dress Normal- Holiday 2014

Why it works: Gap uses a well-known director (Sofia Coppola) to create four videos for the holiday season. Without any dialog, the video creatively explains the tagline: “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap.”
Areas for improvement: This ad seems to be made for television and might not resonate as well with a YouTube audience. The tagline is also a bit ambiguous in this particular video in the series.
Key takeaways: Well-known brands have a bit more room for experimentation in their creative messages, but YouTube is not the best place for repurposed TV commercials.