Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. I know this is a controversial statement, especially in New York, where the parade runs rampant and otherwise sensible adults cast their inhibitions to the wind to don fairy wings and bathing suites on a chilly October afternoon. However, it’s even more controversial when you consider that this holiday is second only to Christmas in terms of its marketing potential and consumer spend.
Of all the candy sold annually, ¼ of it is sold during the Halloween season (sidebar…I wonder what that means for oral care and tooth whitening sales!?), and costume sales account for $1.5 billion in sales.
People are catching on to Halloween’s marketing potential and it’s becoming an increasingly lucrative business opportunity. Roughly 2/3 of all Americans celebrate Halloween, adults included. Think about it? Who doesn’t love dressing up? Who doesn’t love existing in a world outside of their own for a day?
We are a growing population of self-loving, social media promoting, virtual reality stars. We spend our days not living in the real world, but rather we constantly create personas and exist in virtual ones. And Halloween is an extension of that. You dress up as a hero, archetype, or stereotype and get to live out a fantasy and bring some of that virtual excitement to the real world. Halloween is a real life venue for our personas and alter egos.
Much of its success is largely due to the fact that Halloween is an experiential Holiday. It’s a holiday that speaks to us on a sensorial level, the same way really good virtual engagement does. It keeps us interested, its about ME, and it’s emotional. It’s brilliant marketing. And I need to get on board with it!