Halloween Provides A Glimpse Into The Top Millennial Trends

Halloween isn’t just a chance to dress up, eat lots of candy, and watch scary movies. It’s a major time for marketers to understand consumers who are expected to spend $8 billion on the holiday this year. Besides tricks and treats, Halloween provides perspective on some of the biggest trends...just take a look at what people are dressing up as and how they get their costume ideas. So in the spirit of Halloween, we spoke to more than 700 Millennials about their Halloween outfits and inspiration, and many of our findings offer insights to further understand this generation.

WaldoThe ‘90s Are All That

It’s no secret that Millennials are nostalgic for the ‘90s, but Halloween highlights just how much they miss this decade and the simpler times that it represents. Many Millennials mentioned that they dressed up/are dressing up as iconic characters from ‘90s TV shows, books, video games, and even board games because these characters and objects are meaningful to them. For example, one Millennial told us that she dressed as Ms. Frizzle from the books and show “The Magic School Bus” because she loved the series growing up and still thinks it’s awesome. Another said he dressed as Chuckie from “Rugrats” because he too enjoyed it as a kid and still does thanks to reruns. Another Millennial said she's being a character from Candy Land, which is particularly relevant with the resurgence of board games. Numerous other young people mentioned that they're dressing as Pokeman, Mario (from Super Mario Bros.), Waldo, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the always popular Disney princesses. As many of these characters are coming back through reboots or the wave of ‘90s nostalgia taking culture by storm, Millennials are very much excited and want to show their enthusiasm for this period.

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “One of my top concerns as a parent will be maintaining cultural traditions and language in the face of a new generation and stifling white media/social space.” –Female, 18, CA

Amazon is buying live video gaming platform Twitch for $970 million. Twitch has become amazingly popular with young consumers. Though many members of older generations might not understand the appeal of watching other players game live, more than 55 million unique visitors watched more than 15billion minutes of content on Twitch in July alone. The deal gives Twitch even more potential for growth, and shows that becoming a streaming content leader is a major goal for Amazon. (Streamdaily)

What has contributed to the massive drop in teen birth rates? Teen pregnancy has decreased much more quickly between 2007 and 2013 than it did 20 years ago, but the decline “has proved difficult to explain.” Theories include expected hypotheses like teens using contraceptives more, to more offbeat concepts like TV series Teen Mom acting as a deterrent. The availability of Plan B, better access to information on the internet, and even a theory that links changes in gasoline to reductions in teen pregnancy are also being discussed. (Vox)

The amount of time that young consumers spend on their phones and computers has led to plenty of concern that they won’t be able to interact face-to-face, and one study has found support for the fear. Tweens who spent five days at an unplugged outdoor camp with no tech time were able to understand emotions better than peers who stayed on their “usual media diet,” which indicates that screen time may be hampering kids’ ability to recognize nonverbal cues and facial emotions. (Newsweek)

McDonald’s Millennial challenge is no secret. Consumers in their 20s and 30s are flocking to fast-casual eateries like Chipotle and Five Guys, and their preferences are dictating the future of fast food. In the U.S., McDonald’s sales have been “flat or falling” for the majority of the last year, and consumers ages 19 to 21 who visit the chain monthly have fallen 12.9% since 2011. Young consumers’ desire for fresh ingredients and higher quality, customized meals is hurting the brand, and their attempts to lure Millennials with new menu items and social and mobile marketing is not yet changing their minds. (WSJ)

The Burning Man festival might be delayed thanks to major rain, but once it gets rolling it will provide a peek into the Millennial mindset. Fun, discovery, and community are the core principles of the event, and three themes that majorly resonate with the generation. Marketing and content that tap into one or more of these values, and allow young consumers to feel connected, creative, and surprised are likely to be successful with them. (Fast Company)

Wish you could ask Millennials what they think, right now? Ypulse's Instant Poll tool allows you to submit a question to our mobile social community of 2 million 13-34-year-old Millennials and get a quick, gut-check quantified response back in minutes. Our Bronze, Silver, and Gold subscribers use Instant Polls for brainstorming, quick-checks on brand perception, and more. Simply type in your question and click “Ask.” You’ll have directional, informative results without the overhead and wait time of a traditional study. (Ypulse)

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