The Most and Least Popular Halloween Costumes of 2019 by Paid Search Clicks, Plus Amazon Tops Costume Advertisers
It’s Halloween and that means it’s time for Kantar’s annual ranking of the most and least popular costumes of the year by paid search clicks. Accordingly, we analyzed U.S. Google desktop clicks on product listing ads and text ads displaying for 2,988 costume keywords from September 1 through October 16.
The Most Clicked Costumes
2019’s most popular costumes, ranked 1-20 by paid search clicks:
- Black Panther
- Wonder Woman
- Mad Hatter
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Flash
- Wednesday Addams/Addams Family
- Harry Potter
- Eleven/Stranger Things
Wakanda For This Year
Superheroes have consistently been among the most popular Halloween costumes since we began ranking them by paid search clicks back in 2014. The trend continued this year as well but we saw a changing of the guard of sorts, propelled by recent cinematic hits.
Notably, we found Marvel’s African superhero Black Panther is the most popular/most clicked costume this year, not only making the Top 20 ranking for the first time but debuting at #1. We also saw significant click activity on ads displaying for keywords related to Shuri, the Wakandan warrior princess, as well as general ‘Wakanda costume’ keywords.
Marvel’s outer space heroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy, including Star Lord and Rocket Raccoon, also made the ranking for the first time this year, landing at #4.
DC’s Wonder Woman, ranked #2 in 2019, has been the most consistently popular costume out of the nearly 3,000 costume keywords we examine each year, making the Top 10 ranking for the 6th year in a row. Batman (#6), The Flash (#8) and Spider-Man (#19) all returned to the Top 20 for the second year in a row.
What’s Old is New
Like Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy, three characters from popular culture that have been around for decades are new to the Top 20 costumes list this year.
Ranking #9 is Yoshi, the flying dinosaur that debuted in Mario Brothers video games in 1990. A new generation has been introduced to the character via the Nintendo Switch Mario Kart game.
At #11 is Chewbacca, the lovable Wookie from Star Wars, who entered popular culture in 1977 and has appeared in the franchise’s recent films as well.
And finally, the Addams Family and woeful daughter Wednesday ranked #12, thanks to the 2019 animated film, which has resurrected the sinister clan’s popularity for at least the third time since they first appeared in The New Yorker cartoons in 1938.
Returning to the Top 20 ranking this year are the Mad Hatter (#3), as popularized by Johnny Depp in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland franchise, Pennywise (#5), the murderous clown from the It films, Moana (#10) from the animated musical hit, Star Wars Stormtrooper (#13), Harry Potter (#16), Eleven/Stranger Things characters (#17) from the Netflix show and Maleficent (#20), Disney’s evil fairy queen whose latest adventures were chronicled again by Angelina Jolie in a film from this October.
Pop Goes the Culture
Sixteen out of the Top 20 Halloween costumes in 2019 are characters from popular culture (and half of those are Disney properties). So it’s refreshing to see plain old Unicorn (#7), Witch (#14), Pirate (#15) and Dinosaur (#18) among the most popular costumes again this year.
A Selection of Least Clicked Costumes
And now, let’s review some of the costumes you will not likely be seeing this Halloween, judging by their dearth of paid search clicks:
Handmaid’s Tale – Nothing says party like a grim dystopia where women are subjugated to the state.
Spartacus – "I am Spartacus!" cried no one this year.
Robin – Not even Robin wants to be Robin—he changed his name to Nightwing in the 80s.
Headless Horseman – No thank you, and the horse you rode in on.
Halloween Bride – Ladies, if you’re looking to scare men this Halloween, showing up in a wedding gown is the perfect way to do it.
Gollum – Gentlemen, you will be spending ‘precious’ time alone if you wear this costume.
Star Trek Costume for Dogs – Live long and prosper. And stay off the couch.
Toddler Grim Reaper – This one must subliminally remind parents of the demise of their love life.
Teletubbies – On a more reflective note, there doesn’t seem to be much nostalgia for the 1990s these days; Austin Powers, Wayne and Garth, Tonya Harding and MC Hammer costumes were not popular either.
Scary Costume for Babies – There’s no such thing as monsters, nor costumes that make babies look anything but adorable. So whether it’s spider, vampire, werewolf or Frankenstein, these costumes really should be more popular!
Finally, we rank the top 10 paid search advertisers by U.S. Google desktop product listing ad and text ad click share percentage for the 2,988 costume keywords, September 1-October 16.
The story this Halloween season is the dominance of Amazon, which topped both product listing ads and traditional text ads during the period with a respective 22.8% and 17.8% click share on the costume keywords. Last year, Amazon led in text ads but did not make the top 10 costume advertisers for PLAs. The online giant had been a long-standing holdout on Google’s product listing ads but has been expanding its presence into different categories, including costumes, since it first began testing the search format at the end of 2016.
Spencer Gifts’ Spirit Halloween ranked second in PLAs with a 9.5% click share, while also ranking fourth in text ads with a 6.4% click share.
Party City ranked third in PLAs with an 8.3% click share followed closely by Wholesale Halloween Costumes, which ranked fourth in PLAs with an 8% click share, as well as third in texts ads (10.2% click share).
HalloweenCostumes.com led in product listing ad clicks last year but dropped to fifth in 2019 with a 7.6% PLA click share. The online retailer also ranked second in text ads with a very strong 16.9% click share.