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When I was a kid, and Halloween rolled around, everyone was always more than excited for the day to come. It was a time for mischief (silly-string and TP-ing trees and houses) and eating candy all day (all week for a good haul, beyond a month for a GREAT haul). I mean, there’s no other day where it’s perfectly acceptable to act like this, and that’s what makes it so appealing.
Candy and misbehaving was all great, but to be honest, Halloween came down to ONE thing in my mind- COSTUMES! Once October hit, people would start talking about what they were going to be at the end of the month. It was always the same- boys would want to be one of the dozens of superheroes from their favorite movies or Saturday morning cartoons and girls would be one of the Disney princesses. Of course old classics there were exceptions with the old classics (ghosts, zombies, vampires, etc.), but if you fast forward to today, you can see that pop culture still has an impact on what costumes people choose.
Although Halloween is usually associated with kids, adults often get in on the celebration as well. However, pop culture seems to impact us less when selecting the perfect costume. For adults, the most popular disguises in 2011 were witches (13.4%), pirates (3.9%) and vampires (3.7%). More than 46 million children planned to be princesses (11%), superheros such as Batman, Spiderman or Superman (6.8%), fairies (2.6%), or vampires (2.4%).
I always found it interesting that candy brands would market themselves more around Halloween, but was it really even necessary? I think the candy sells itself. It’s the reward for a great costume and people won’t skimp on the good name brands. Or word will spread fast amongst the kids that your house is giving away Candy Corn, and Good & Plenty (the red-headed stepchild of the candy world). Still, you see marketing for candy all the time. Halloween commercials for Reeses, M&Ms, the list goes on. And of course there was that creepy Snickers commercial from 2011..
“The neighborhood kids LOVE Snickers on Halloween ..let me help you.”
Most of the time, shoppers are just looking for a good deal on bags of Halloween candy. Three-quarters (73.5%) of Americans said they planned to buy and hand out candy in 2011, spending an average of $21.05 each.
As adults we’ve traded in trick-or-treating for awesome Halloween costume parties, and other industries that see an increase in sales are wine and spirits (surprise surprise!) and pumpkin-flavored foods and drinks. Over the years Halloween has grown from just a night for kids to have fun and eat candy to a full-blown holiday that everyone can participate in, pretending to be anyone they want for just one night.