The Spooky Branding Reality of Halloween

What is the most important thing about Halloween?  Your costume!  When we were younger, we thought running around the neighborhood for a few hours trick or treating was the essence of Halloween.  But as college students, we start pondering our costumes weeks or even months in advance, while candy and parties are afterthoughts.  A Halloween costume allows you to express yourself more freely than you can in everyday clothes, and for many college students it is the most important outfit of the year.  Some people spend hundreds of dollars putting together the perfect costume, complete with make-up, wigs and props.  Last year, the costume most searched on Google was Lady Gaga.  This year, the two top searches appear to be Nicki Minaj and Charlie Sheen.  Among other popular searches are Pan Am, Amy Winehouse, Rihanna and Katy Perry.

When we were children, we dressed up as witches, robots, zombies and the occasional super hero.  Today, we dress up like celebrities.  Maybe this indicates that during college, our behaviors are influenced by ethos more than when we were younger.  The fact that many college students transform themselves into their favorite stars for Halloween may correlate with the general spending habits of people ages 18-24.  If many people are buying things to look like celebrities for Halloween, it is safe to assume that they are buying things related to celebrities for everyday items as well.

Being in the headlines helps celebrities promote their brand whether it’s intentional or not.  Halloween gives celebrities the greatest opportunity for celebrities to increase their brand awareness.  Those featured in the news and by other media outlets are getting their brand out there.  The people dressing up as these celebrities for Halloween are ultimately walking advertisements for the celebrity they are trying to imitate.

-Stephanie Bakolia, Claire Outlaw, David Glaubach