Halloween 2015 - Spooky Surprises

Tricks & Trends

Halloween has become big business: This year, over 157 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween according to the NRF. With $6.9 billion expected to be spent on costumes, candy, decorations and more, advertisers are trying to find their way into consumers trick or treat baskets.Comparing spend from September 1-October 31 2014 vs. September 1-October 23 2015, we have seen some surprising changes for advertising with Halloween themes. While the top categories have remained the same from last year, there have been some major shifts in spend among the top advertisers.

Top Hallween Categories

In 2014, Walmart was by far the highest spending advertiser for the holiday, with $13.8 million being used to promote all of the Halloween essentials. This year the retailer has seen a significant drop, spending only $197k from September 1-October 23 on Halloween themed messaging. This amount is insignificant compared to the $68 million the retailer spent on advertising overall during the same time period.

Leading the way this year in the Retail category is a very atypical Halloween advertiser – PetSmart. PetSmart has spent $2.5 million on Halloween advertising, promoting costumes and treats for man’s best friend telling consumers to “Celebrate Your Way.”

Creeping its way up to the Retail category is the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) category. Although QSR may not be what comes to mind for this holiday, one advertiser is surprisingly outpacing all the rest – Burger King.

In 2014, Burger King did not take part in the Halloween festivities, however this year it decided to join the party. The introduction of the Halloween Whopper has earned Burger King the title of highest spending advertiser overall for the holiday. Commercials for this special, which features a black hamburger bun, began airing on September 27th.

By October 23rd ad spend for this burger with a dark side had reached $7.5 million. This is more than any individual QSR advertiser spent total on Halloween in 2014, and has already pushed QSR category spend for the holiday past the $10.1 million mark it hit last year.

Top Halloween Spenders

Need to Know More?

Our analysis of Halloween ad trends is based on our AdScope monitoring of the multimedia marketplace. With AdScope, you can view fast multimedia ad spend and creative all in one place and search for an entire category or drill down to the advertiser, product or specific attribute level. For this analysis, we looked at the Holiday: Halloween attribute. Our scope extends beyond holidays, so if you would like to know more about how a particular category, brand, or messaging is faring across the entire media mix, we can provide actionable insights based on our broad range of solutions.

Contact us today or click here for more information!

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