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: "It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without cinnamon roll breakfast and watching The Twilight Zone marathon.” –Male, 13, CA

Millennials are first generation digital, and have broadcast countless moments of their lives online—but for the most part, they were in charge of their own digital images. For the next generation, this is not the case. Parents today post (often embarrassing, see above) photos of their offspring from the womb on, which destroys any hope of anonymity they might later have. One writer argues that parents should be vigilant about keeping their children’s images off the internet until they are mature enough to decide what they want their digital identity to be. (Slate)

“Me Me Me” and selfie-obsessed. In article after article, Millennials are accused of being the most narcissistic generation to date. But the data often cited to prove this claim might be flawed, and other research has “directly contradicted the idea that Millennials are the most narcissistic of previous generations.” In a study of high-school seniors across decades, little change in ideas about self-esteem and life satisfaction was found, and another found narcissistic behavior is linked to life-stage, not generation. (The Atlantic)

The next generation might be growing up with tech-galore, but they’re also reading some of the same classics the previous generation enjoyed. Book-reading data from 9.8 million students shows that Green Eggs and Ham is the number one book read by first and second graders, and made the top five book list for third graders. The data also shows that girls are reading more than boys, outpacing them after grade four. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Young consumers have made binge watching a media consumption norm, but the full impact of streaming services hasn’t been fully measured—until now. Nielsen will begin to track viewership data on Amazon and Netflix next month, providing content owners with information on the impact of licensing shows to these sites and whether streaming is “meaningfully eating into traditional television viewing.” Previously, Nielsen found that after signing up for streaming services, 18-34-year-olds watch TV less than they used to. (StreamdailyWall Street Journal)

Eek—2014 seems to be the year of bad Barbie press. This week a Barbie picture book titled I Can Be a Computer Engineer is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons—it turns out it teaches girls they can’t code without a boys’ help. Those protesting the book assert that it is perpetrates a cultural message that “computers are a boys thing,” when brands should be supporting girls who really do like to code. (Recode)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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