The pandemic might make people stay at home or avoid crowds this Halloween, but that doesn’t mean children will be left without candy, of course. In fact, Mars Wrigley has created an app-based virtual event designed to satisfy the craving for Halloween sweets — and create demand for the retail candy purchases.
The program, called Treat Town, timed to launch at the stroke of midnight on Oct. 1, will offer Halloween fans of all ages the ability to create personalized spooky avatars, customized Halloween decorations for their in-app door, and most importantly, the ability to "knock" on the doors of friends and family across the country.
Here’s how it works, according to Mars Wrigley: Families can sign up for Treat Town via the app or Treat-Town.com, creating spooky monster avatars for children, and digitally inviting neighbors to opt in. The adults using Treat Town can buy candy credits to send to trick-or-treaters, which they can redeem for real candy from retailers both inside physical stores or online. That's what amounts to trick-or-treating through the Treat Town program, with children receiving candy — that is, candy credits — through the people who have signed up for the program. That might not sound like the fun experience of yesteryear — also known as 2019 — but, to be fair, trick-or-treaters can receive those candy credits from anyone on the digital platform, including relatives and friends from across the country.
"The virtual Mars Wrigley Treat Town Halloween experience demonstrates how we're reinventing our business to bring better moments and more smiles to consumers," said Anton Vincent, president of Hackettstown, New Jersey-based Mars Wrigley North America. "Our Mars Wrigley team pivoted quickly to save the traditions and celebrations of Halloween."
People might be staying home during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean they're opposed to spending money, a trend that might help boost the retail fortunes of Halloween. Take the recent Q2 financial reports from The Home Depot and Lowe’s, for instance. Both reported double-digit pandemic revenue gains — and jumps in e-commerce — thanks in large part to stuck-at-home consumers spending money on home improvement products.