Spooky season is quite a busy time for Hulu. The streaming service reported members viewed more than 6 billion minutes of horror content on the platform in 2019.
To engage horror fans around Hulu’s Halloween-centric new releases and library titles this year, the brand is hosting a Huluween drive-in experience in Los Angeles.
The brand will take over the Equestrian Center at Griffith Park on Oct. 22-25 for four nights of spooky (and pandemic-friendly) photo activations, live entertainment and screenings.
Hulu vp of marketing Ryan Crosby said the brand chose to produce a drive-in experience as a safe, socially distant method to reach horror fans during what will be an unusual 2020 Halloween season. “It’s no surprise that October ranks as the No. 1 month for engagement around horror genre content on Hulu,” Crosby said. “It made a lot of sense for us to create this experience where people could engage in it with us.”
The brand is offering free tickets for as many as 150 cars each night, which can be requested at Huluween.com. Each night, staff will direct attendees to drive through a haunted path where they’ll be able to have their photos taken at a drive-and-repeat, watch Halloween-themed performances and receive “scare packages” consisting of popcorn, water and hand sanitizer.
They’ll then be directed to a designated parking spot at the outdoor venue to view that night’s feature. Hulu plans to screen classics like Hocus Pocus and I Know What You Did Last Summer, as well as its new, original horror-comedy Bad Hair, directed by Justin Simien.
The brand is working with its in-house creative studio GreenHouse and external event agency Agenc to produce the experience, which is required to comply with CDC safety guidelines as well as state and county regulations. Crosby said along with thorough safety precautions for staff, attendee measures include contactless check-in, requiring masks and requiring guests to stay inside their vehicles for the duration of their visit unless they have to use the restroom.
For those unable to attend the in-person event, Hulu will offer a virtual counterpart called Screamlands. The digital experience will feature interactive content accessible through multiple haunted rooms. Hulu’s last major virtual event celebrated Pride in June, inviting fans at home to create avatars and attend an animated festival.
“Obviously the physical activation is important, but we also wanted to make sure you don’t have to be there in person to experience Huluween,” Crosby said.
Hulu isn’t the first brand to leverage a drive-in model to bring back in-person experiential this year. Plant-based brand Impossible Foods hosted a pop-up car wash in L.A., while Uber in London is renting out cars to English National Opera fans to watch drive-in performances.