Finding your brand's role in Hallowe'en

26 October 2018 / Brían Taylor

Hallowe’en continues to be the calendar event that grows year on year. Retail spend pops it firmly in 3rd place behind Christmas and Easter, with an estimated spend of £419million. This year it’s one that all brands are wondering how best to get involved, as consumers continue to get behind the occasion!

  • 2017 saw it become only the second most shared event of the year, following New Year for both millennials and generation Z.
  • Search volumes for the occasion in 2017 were 55% higher than Christmas!

With Hallowe’en being the event of experience the appeal for Gen Z is clear. Around 60% of 4-9 year olds trick or treat, 50% of teenagers join in with Halloween celebrations, (and are most likely to throw a party), the opportunity is there for brands to be part of an event designed for Gen Z appeal.

Why does Hallowe'en appeal to Gen Z so much? Well, it's a social occasion, and an excuse to meet up with friends. One of the most important personality aspects to this audience is “creativity” with 80% of generation Z saying that ‘finding their creative selves’ is important to them – there are few better opportunities to create content, express creativity and engage with peers (and get a record breaking insta-hit!) than this annual occasional where the usual rules don’t apply.

Judging from Google Trends data (2018) the costume continues to be the main event, with frantic searching for inspiration continuing to the be the top search trend as parents, Gen Z and kids alike pour over the web for ideas to get ready for the gram! Expect this year to see feeds flooded with Fortnite, Spiderman and Unicorn costumes as modern twists and trends currently make up the Top 3, whilst more traditional costumes such as ghost (35), Werewolf (100) and Dracula (331) fail to make the grade this year.

So what can your brand offer this Halloween?

Be inspired by the Top 3: Trick or treating, Pumpkin carving and costumes all rank consistently as the most popular components of Halloween. Consider how your brand can add your own take on it in social content to ride the waves of topics that consumers themselves are creating, curating and sharing.


Consider if you have a role within the party (see above, 'Eye love Doritos'!). At Christmas the majority of products can carve out their own role in the occasion be it food, present or experience. Define whether you have a product or brand role in the occasion and use consistency year on year to aid cut through of marketing efforts.

As the saying goes - if you can’t beat them, join them. Not every brand will have a role to play without running the risk of content feeling “bandwagon” so consider if you can be part of, rather than driving, conversation. Brand banter, user commentary or simply adding a little bit of horror to your tone can be enough to be part of the yearly celebrations!    

Happy haunting!