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Marketers Should Know: Halloween Has Become Millennials’ Favorite Holiday

Matt Hay

October 2018

Marketers Should Know: Halloween Has Become Millennials’ Favorite Holiday

Trends happen across a wide spectrum, from the culturally important to the frivolous. Our survey this month of 2,000 Millennials is about Halloween—which counts as frivolous, yet still important to marketers. The National Retail Federation is predicting an increase in spending for Halloween this year reaching a record-breaking $9.1 billion. Millennials are leading the way, having made Halloween their favorite holiday.

Successful Halloween Campaigns Aren’t Always from Halloween Retailers

Beyond what brands expect consumers to purchase at Halloween (i.e. candy, costumes, decorations), aligning creative content around the holiday can also lead to an uptick in brand interest and an increase in sales. From seasonal products to Halloween giveaways, smart Halloween strategies are immensely popular with Millennials. Seasonal campaigns with engaging, shareable content can see an uptick in social media engagement because users are scanning their feeds for entertainment and inspiration.

The big winner this Halloween is Starbucks—with 48% of consumers we surveyed saying the coffee giant’s seasonal Pumpkin Spice Lattes are the best promotion this Fall. Nearly 30% of consumers think Burger King’s free Whopper creepy clown campaign is Halloween advertising at its best, while Chipotle’s Boorito Halloween discount was the favorite of 13%.

The Modern Halloween is for Millennials as Much as Kids

Halloween is not just for young trick-or-treaters. According to Alliance Data’s recent #MillennialHalloween Survey, 59% of Millennials plan to either attend or throw a party. 65% say they get their creative inspiration through relevant brand and peer content on social media to help them plan for the perfect Halloween. Retailers can capitalize on this social media-influenced holiday by listening and engaging with their customers and sharing relevant brand-centric content that inspires creativity.

How important is Halloween to Millennials? A whopping 65% of our survey respondents said they’ll never be too old for Halloween and intend to celebrate “forever.”

Preparation Begins for Many Long Before October

According to The Shelf, about 60% of those who celebrate Halloween do not start shopping until October, but nearly 40% of celebrants start shopping in September or before Fall starts. And even those who don’t shop until October are already seeking Halloween inspiration—scouring social media for costume and party ideas.

As you might expect, a large percentage (48%) get their costumes and other inspiration from social media. But in good news for retailers and brands, nearly 30% of consumers we surveyed said they got their ideas from advertisers.

Halloween’s Sub-Genres

Halloween decorations are predicted to hit $2.7 billion in 2018, but it’s not all plastic skeletons or faux tombstones. There are sub-genres in Halloween that include Elegant Halloween and Elevated Halloween, and there’s a trend in purchasing décor that could be reused in different situations, as seen in People Magazine and My Domaine. Etsy reported that their Elevated Halloween style is more modern and industrial than previous years, with concrete, copper, and steel décor being common searches on the website.

Over 20% of Fuse’s survey respondents said they planned to celebrate Halloween in these non-traditional ways.

Contact us to learn more about Gen Z and Millennial behavior.