The Great Pumpkin of Jack-o-lantern fame and his compatriots the ghosts, goblins, witches, and ghouls are arising from the pumpkin patches, cemeteries, and the darkness of night to participate in a long list of Halloween celebrations. For generations, the last day in October has been a time when children dressed up in favorite costumes and went door to door collecting candy. It is the most enduring example of legalized extortion. Pity the poor homeowner who failed to provide a ransom of something sweet to fend off an impending trick for failure to comply. For marketers, Halloween is an opportunity to build on a year-end strategy for closing the gap on profitability. Alas, the time has come to let the goblins loose.
Consumer spending for Halloween 2022 is expected to reach a record $10.6 billion, as each consumer plans to spend an average of $100 this year on candy, decorations, cards, and costumes. “Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one.” Halloween is becoming a popular warm-up performance before the headliner takes the stage this Christmas Holiday season.
For brick-and-mortar retailers, success is all about creating a consumer experience that is entertaining, colorful, and engages consumers’ spooky, holiday emotions. A decorated storefront and themed displays will create an atmosphere that can put potential customers in a mood to celebrate and purchase. Dress up the staff in Halloween costumes and plan in-store party events for all comers. Themed products, mystery specials, in-store costumes, an apple bobbing contest, pumpkin carving, and a free Trick or Treat Bag will help draw a potentially ghoulish but festive crowd.
Coordinate the themed physical campaign with digital and social media platforms by creating Fall season messages, ghostly posts, Halloween-focused #hashtags, and spooky seasonal music. Add some scream to your content and howl to your videos; dress up the logo and put some boo in your attitude and some pumpkin spice in your diet. But beware the Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow:
“When the spooks have a midnight jamboree.
They break it up with fiendish glee.
The ghosts are bad but the one that’s cursed,
Is the headless horseman; he’s the worst.
That’s right, he’s a fright on Halloween night! When he goes a joggin’ ‘cross the land,
Holding his noggin in his hand.
Demons take one look and groan,
And they hit the road to parts unknown,
Beware, take care he rides alone!”