For the first time in a long time I don’t have a Halloween party to dress up for this year. While half of me is relieved that I don’t have to stand in a costume shop and decide if I want to be a sexy witch or a bumble-bee, paint my face green (cause I went for the sexy witch option obviously) only to find half of it on my pillow the next morning and leftover chocolate in strange places. The other half of me is sad that I won’t be waking up and having a Twix for breakfast on Sunday.
I’ve lived in London for almost 10 years and over time, Halloween has become more of an institution in this city – a trend that’s not gone unnoticed. Brands are jumping on the bandwagon to capitalise on this trend and the selection of orange, black and white coloured confectionery, chocolate and sweets has exploded. You can now buy everything from Halloween themed Mr Kipling French Fancies to Haribo. Even Cadbury has come out with a screme egg, a variation on their famous crème egg, that has a green gooey center.
This year Coca-Cola also launched its biggest-ever Halloween themed campaign for Fanta, including exclusively designed packaging, an advertising and experiential marketing campaign and on-pack codes to unlock special Halloween Snapchat filters.
Retailers are also following suit. Topshop has partnered with Netflix UK to create an immersive ‘Stranger Things’ pop-up specifically for Halloween. Marks and Spencer’s beloved Percy Pigs are being transformed into Percy Pumpkins, alongside new pals Freaky Frogs, Vampire Fangs and Zombie Owls. Meanwhile, the famous Colin the Caterpillar (which is the brand’s long-term bestseller) has been dressed up as Dracula.
It’s no wonder – according to a Mintel report, Halloween spending in the UK set to reach £320 million this year alone. According to the report, seasonal product launches continue to fuel demand among Millennial shoppers. The report goes on to state that consumers are craving retail experiences more than ever as they look for positive alternatives to price promotions. This is why we are seeing so many brands bringing their spooky experiences to life and is a concept recently echoed by Mindshare in a report looking at the Future of Retail. The report states that brands need to create an atmosphere in-store that provides a richer, deeper, more immersive and exciting experience for the shopper.
It will be interesting to see how this trend evolves especially if we consider technology such as VR becoming more accessible. Perhaps next year I’ll be able to walk into a retail store with my VR headset and I’ll see ghosts flying up to me trying to promote Halloween themed products.
Till then, I think I’m going to re-think my plans for this weekend and go look for my sexy witch outfit and maybe some green bedsheets…
Happy Halloween all!
By Anushia Nair, Account Director, MWWPR