The marketing behind Halloween – why you can’t afford to miss out
30 October 2015 by Marketing Team
It’s that ‘spooktacular’ time of year again, Halloween is hiding round the corner to jump out (boo!) and scare us, and not only because that means its only 55 days till Christmas, frightening!
With Halloween now being hooked as the largest retail season after Christmas and Easter, the all American tradition is becoming ever more popular in the UK. After our recent blog post looking at the phenomenon of Oktoberfest, this is yet another imported tradition that has made giant waves in the UK.
This is largely put down to the growing fondness of American films and sitcoms in Britain over the last 40 years or so, which often incorporate a Halloween scene or special. Films such as E.T. or sitcoms such as Modern Family and Friends (with an episode, suitably titled ‘The One with the Halloween Party’) see all manner of cast and characters dressing up and enjoying the party for this bewitching ‘holiday’.
Furthermore, another reason for its huge commercial success is something that’s present in all those popular sitcoms – good timing! Halloween falls, perfectly between Easter and Christmas and also cash’s in on the October half term spending which all adds up to make this a popular event among UK consumers and businesses alike.
In the UK, it is now said that Halloween is becoming even more popular than the English tradition of Bonfire night, with the average spend per person being £19 (in 2013) for Halloween, the highest spend being within supermarkets. This trend continued in 2014, with retailers foreseeing a £330m boost in sales from this ghostly holiday and in 2015 it is set to grow even further. It is thought that “the biggest spend comes from confectionery, the second biggest from pumpkins and then from party food and costumes” for the Halloween season. So why wouldn’t you try and attract the Halloween market?
Halloween is a prime time to reach out to customers with something a little bit ‘spooky’ to capture their attention and most brands are beginning to jump on-board the ‘ghost’ train with Halloween themed tricks and treats, to entice consumers. Just look at Mr Kipling with their ‘trick or treat’ campaign – who knew a Cherry Bakewell, could look so terrifying?!
A more recent development in effective Halloween marketing is linking it to popular culture rather than marketing Halloween in isolation. Notably in 2014, brands such as Asda jumped on the success of the Twilight series with their vampire themed Halloween advertisement encompassing all elements of their Halloween ‘offerings’.
Halloween Marketing is clearly becoming increasingly important for brands, noted not only from the increase in popularity but also the increase in hard numbers of sales and revenue. After all, when we were trick or treating as children we all preferred the house that gave away the best sweets and returned there, year after year – so remember to treat your business in the same way. Customers, just like you as the humble ‘trick or treater’, will return for more, year after year – but only if you, as a business, have put the effort into your Halloween promotion.
Moreover, we all secretly enjoy the most enthusiastic people, the ones who’ve turned up to the Halloween party in the best costumes and the ones whose house you walk by on ‘All Hallows Eve’ which looks like a real- life haunted mansion. It is important to remember to show that same sense of enthusiasm in your businesses; Halloween antics to ensure that you get the returns and aren’t left outside in the cold…. On October 31st this year you certainly don’t want to join the England rugby team in watching the party going on in full flow in your back garden without being invited!
From the rising popularity, rising sales and rising success of Halloween, it seems the phenomena of Halloween will only continue to grow and thus become ever more important for brands to engage with this ‘spooktacular’ season.
Let the ‘hocus pocus’ begin! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!