It’s Halloween season, one of my favorite times of the year. Brings back all kinds of memories as a kid, teen, college student, partying 20-something, father of young kids and now teens.
As a No BS Marketer, I notice when companies tie marketing campaigns to Halloween. One example worked with my youngest son, Carter, who loves Chipotle. A few years ago Carter told me about the $3 “Booritos” we could enjoy by putting a mask on as we entered the restaurant. A simple, brilliant concept: walk into Chipotle wearing your Halloween costume. Walk out having scored a $3 burrito.
That’s the magic of Halloween. It’s fun. And from burritos to costumes to candy, it drives sales through marketing activities that often begin in early September.
Roughly 180 million people celebrate the holiday according to the National Retail Federation. Just over 70% of Americans hand out candy while the other 30% hide in the dark in their houses for 2 hours. But Halloween’s economic impact goes beyond that and is projected to be $9.1 billion this year when you include the many businesses that benefit from it:
- Haunted Attractions—Haunted Houses date back to the 1930s but the Haunted House as an American cultural icon is tied to the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland in 1969. Cities and small towns across the country have Haunted Houses to entertain, scare and generate cash. The marketing of these attractions feature in-your-face promotions that begin in September and carry on through Halloween night.
- Costumes—An estimated 70 million Americans will buy a costume. And costumes aren’t just for Mom, Dad, and the kids. They’re for our furry friends, too. Last year, CNBC reported an estimated 27.7 million Americans put their pets in a costume. Didn’t think your dog could drive costume sales? Think again: he can, and does!
- Decorations—Nearly 45% say they will decorate their home or yard. And retailers are providing the goods. The wildly popular home improvement store At Home advertises over 400 Halloween décor items for the choosing. More spooky décor options mean one thing: more sales.
- Candy—It’s not just for the kids. 72% of parents admit they share their kids’ candy stash. What happens when the stash runs thin? Parents run out to buy more and everyone benefits, from grocery stores to pharmacies. Even the neighborhood mom and pop corner store can serve as a “Quick! Refill her plastic pumpkin before she notices that her Gummy Worms are missing!” station. Whew.
- Alcohol—While Halloween house parties and bar promotions generate increased alcohol sales, this year the holiday falls on a Tuesday which will result in a 30% decrease from when Halloween is on a Friday or Saturday.
4 Ways to Hit the Bullseye with Your No BS Halloween Marketing:
- Positioning by Segment: Those Halloween related businesses know to do the real drill down and segment by young kids, parents, teens, and adults and then position for each segment with a unique marketing mix and message.
- Memorable Messaging: Whether it’s a unique costume, creative promotions for an event, outlandish decorations or specific Halloween themed candy, these companies know to make it memorable with messaging that moves.
- Creating a Sense of Urgency: The Halloween Season begins in September and ends Halloween night. The messaging focuses on the here and now. The goal is to create a sense of urgency in the mind of potential customers.
- Multichannel Marketing: Each of those target markets needs its own marketing mix which includes using different marketing channels and repetition of message. We all consume content differently so multichannel campaigns are a must.
Enjoy the Halloween Season and the No BS Marketing around it.