Airheads conjures scares with AI-powered film festival

Airheads conjures scares with AI-powered film festival


Dive Brief:

  • Airheads is throwing a film festival powered by artificial intelligence (AI) in honor of Halloween, according to a press release.
  • Consumers will have the chance to win a $2,000 prize and a year’s supply of Airheads if they submit a short film featuring the Perfetti Van Melle brand’s balloon mascot to a dedicated website. Winning submissions will balance horror and humor.
  • The A.I.rheads Scarefest will run through Nov. 30, and fans will be able to view submissions on the website. Submissions will close on Nov. 6. Consumers are encouraged to use available AI tools to create three-minute videos within contest parameters.

Dive Insight:

Like candy, horror movies are a mainstay of Halloween. By linking the two, the Airheads brand is trying to give consumers a reason to purchase the candy in the week leading up to the holiday. Halloween candy spending has been steadily increasing in the past few years, totaling $3.1 billion in 2022, up from $3 billion the year before and $2.41 billion in 2020.  

The film festival encourages consumers to interact with the brand in a unique and creative way. In order to protect the brand, consumers are encouraged to use humor and avoid producing content that features the image of any person, children or minors, or obscene content. The fan film with the most votes will win.

“AI is such a hot topic and everyone loves a good scary flick on Halloween, so we thought why not try our luck in Hollywood this year,” said Craig Cuchra, vice president of marketing at Perfetti Van Melle, in the press release. “We’re excited to see what our fans think of the films we’re screening and it will be fun to see how Airheads fans play with AI and create their own spooky film with a little candy inspiration.”

Halloween has caused marketers to go into high gear recently. M&M’s partnered with Gopuff to deliver emergency candy refills while Jack in the Box released its first-ever horror short, “Feeding Time,” to mark the return of the brand’s Monster Tacos. This year, Halloween spending is expected to hit $12.2 billion as holiday participation exceeds prepandemic levels, according to the National Retail Foundation.


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