Halloween: Not Just Child’s Play

Blog Post By: Anna Shircel, BPM Marketing Intern
Do you recall those wonderful days from your youth? The leaves began to change, the weather cooled, and the costume shopping (or sewing) began. Halloween was, and still is, one of the most exciting holidays for children. What other day of the year can you live out your fantasy of being a princess, a tiger, or a super hero?
While children’s trick-or-treating is still the highlight of Halloween, adults are also taking part in the festivities, embracing the opportunity to let their inner kid out. This year, adults are expected to take over the Halloween costume market. According to 2013 data, predictions from the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $1 billion on children’s costumes this year, but $1.2 billion on adult costumes. While adult costumes are more expensive, the numbers still demonstrate that Halloween has become an event for all ages.
Data shows that 70% of 18 to 24-year-olds plan on dressing up, as well as 65% of adults in their late 20s and 30s. Traditional Halloween favorites will likely prove to be the most popular for both adults and children. More than 5 million adults plan to dress as a witch, with another 2.9 million disguising themselves as Batman. The top kids costumes look to be a princess, an animal, and Batman, as well.
Adults certainly have the freedom to exhibit more creativity in their Halloween costumes than children. This year particularly, costumes with clear pop-culture references are expected to be common. Google Shopping data has shown a rise in the popularity of costumes related to memes and cult shows. For example, with the recent finale of “Breaking Bad,” devoted fans are looking to express their love of the show by dressing in the yellow hazmat suits worn by the main characters. Some of the other top costume searches for this Halloween include:
-Minion costume (from the hit movie, “Despicable Me”)
-Fox costume, from Ylvis’ viral video, “What Does the Fox Say?”
-Miley Cyrus (with Robin Thicke, for couples)
-Gatsby costume
-“Duck Dynasty” costume (from the popular A&E reality show)
Besides human costumes, the Halloween market is also targeting man’s best friend. This year, approximately 22 million Americans will dress up their pets, spending nearly $330 million. These statistics exemplify the retail bonanza that Halloween has become, with consumers continuing to spend billions of dollars on the holiday “essentials” of clever costumes, candy, and spooky decorations.