Once reserved for the single last day in October, Halloween was a time when younger children donned costumes and set out throughout the neighborhoods of America, knocking on suspecting home dwellers and recounting the term “trick or treat,” the seemingly timeless plea for candy instead of a trick; the latter usually manifested in a soaped window, a tissue adorned tree or burning bag of poo on the front porch. Celebrated for hundreds of years in communities across North America, Halloween is becoming a more popular holiday and an increasingly bigtime marketing opportunity for commerce.
The Great Pumpkin, of Jack-o-lantern fame, and his compatriots the ghosts, goblins, witches and ghouls are arising from the patches, cemeteries and the darkness of night to claim a stake in the list of universal celebrations. It is estimated that consumers will spend $6.9 billion on Halloween this year, an average of $75 per person, an increase of nearly $30 since 2005. Children’s trick or treating is still Halloween’s leading characteristic, but adults are the main funders of the increased holiday spending.
Research conducted by The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that while the majority of Halloween celebrations were among 18-24 year olds, more than 60 percent of those above the age of 34 were now expected to join in the revelry by conducting larger “event” parties attended by elaborately adorned party goers. This year, spending on house decorations for Halloween is expected to rival that of the Christmas holiday season and candy buying at Halloween will outpace that spent on Easter for the first time. It is clear that the Great Pumpkin has arrived and is throwing down a respectable challenge to the Easter bunny and Santa Claus.
Marketers, take note! Positioned perfectly between the lucrative back to school selling events and the profitable Christmas holiday sales season, Halloween is an opportunity to build on your year-end strategy for closing the gap on profitability. Whether digital, mobile or traditional, the trick is to engage in effective Halloween marketing activities to capture your share of the holiday’s treats.