The spookiest day of the year approaches, and with it the opportunity to delight customers ... or scare the living daylights out of them. Here are a few brands that have figured out how to get creative with ghoulishly grand results:

1. Tesco

Two years ago, British grocery chain Tesco basically won Halloween. The video commemorating their Spookermarket generated 2.4 million views, which is no surprise given that it's 90 seconds of pure, hilarious bliss. Between a "ghost" shopping cart and a prank that literally causes one customer to scream at the top of her lungs, it's no wonder that it went viral.

Pranks, when done well, are an easy (and inexpensive) way to engage customers and get into the spirit of the thing. (And seriously, watch the video. You'll be glad you did.)

2. Roto-Rooter

At first the connection between a plumbing company and Halloween seems tenuous. But then there's this quote by Jason Hawes, a former plumber who now hosts the show Ghost Hunters:

"Most of the time, these unexplained, strange noises are actually a sign of plumbing problems that can, in most instances, be fixed."

In other words, Roto-Rooter would like you to know that mysterious "crashes, clanks and bumps" are likely to be your pipes, not ghosts. Using their services was presented as being as much of a no-brainer as a zombie.

Roto-Rooter has actually used Halloween as a marketing opportunity as far back as 1979, when they did an Edgar Allan Poe-themed commercial. This year, the brand has already spoofed Stranger Things on Facebook (the caption in particular is on point). Who knows what they've got planned for the day of?

3. Spirit Halloween

As far as a profit-generator, Halloween is no joke. Americans spend between $7-8 billion on the holiday, between costumes, decorations, candy, and more.

With over 1,000 stores in all 50 states, Spirit Halloween is the leading retailer in the U.S. for costumes and accessories. But did you know that all their stores are pop-ups? Every year they find and rent temporary locations; hire, train, and manage over 15,000 temporary workers; and close all the stores before Thanksgiving.

This means the innovative creators of the chain get to rebuild their whole business each year, and bring that spirit of creativity with them as they create the new stores. They're known for planning and executing things like in-store haunted houses complete with animatronics. Last year, YouTube personality StewarTV covered a kid going through them, a video that racked up 6.8M views.

---

There's no getting around the fact that Halloween is a weird holiday. There's also no getting around the fact that social media makes it scary easy to turn it into a massive opportunity. Branding is about more than just recognition--it's about using creativity to connect with people.

In other words, when it comes to Halloween, don't be afraid to get weird. You never know what will come of it. 

---

"Where there is no imagination, there is no horror." - Arthur Conan Doyle