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: “The issue I am most passionate about is LGBTQ, because in the words of Dr. Seuss ‘A person is a person, no matter how small.’” –Female, 18, KY

Being able to mix up a good cocktail is an attractive quality to Millennials. A recent study commissioned by Southern Comfort found that 70% of single 21-34-year-olds who drink alcohol at least once a month would date a mixologist, and almost all (94%) say that they’re impressed by someone who can make a good drink. The survey on singles also found that 10% are intimated by whiskey (though we know that more of the generation is embracing it) and 44% are planning to stay home and cook for Valentine’s Day (which makes sense seeing as “home-cooked meal” is on their top 15 Valentine’s gift list this year). (Los Angeles Times)

Brands looking to get Millennials on their side need to speak to them—not like them. A survey on brand communication reveals that young consumers aren’t responsive to companies that use slang, emojis, and celebrity quotes. Two-thirds don’t find words like “bae” and “yasss” effective on social media platforms, 70% don’t like it when you say “on fleek,” and 83% think using abbreviations like LOL and FOMO are “a poor attempt by brands to relate to them.” Another word you should steer clear of is “Millennial”—42% loathe when advertisers say it. What’s important is communicating effectively without trying so hard to be “hip” (another word you shouldn’t use). (Adweek

Toyota’s Scion brand launched to build cars for the non-conformist Millennial, but the quirky line is being shut down. The unique-looking vehicle was originally a hit for younger consumers and Toyota reports that 50% of buyers were under 35-years-old. But sales peaked in 2006, and have been falling—not because those younger consumers stopped buying cars, but because they’re more interested in “performance and safety” than colorful design. For brands, the lesson may be that focusing on quality is “a better strategy than pursuing the ever-changing perception of cool.” (Forbes

As Millennials deal with the repercussions of student debt and low income, they may be turning to risky financial solutions to help them get by. The number of consumers taking out personal loans increased by 18% between 2013 and 2015, and a Bankrate survey found that 18% of 18-29-year-olds say they are very or somewhat likely to use a personal loan this year—more than any other age group. With 63% of U.S. adults lacking emergency funds, personal loans have become an easy option to get money quickly without negatively affecting their credit scores. (MarketWatchBankrate)

Time Inc. is continuing their pursuit of Millennial women with Motto, a new website targeting young female consumers with articles on “work, life, and play.” Time Digital’s managing editor reports that, “an enormous amount of [Time, Inc.’s] traffic, especially in social media, is about self-improvement and living a better life.” Motto will feature such “inspirational and motivational” daily stories and video content, which will be posted to Facebook and YouTube, written by Time magazine staffers, celebrities, and politicians. They expect more than 50% of readers to access the site through mobile and tablet. (The Wall Street Journal

Quote of the Day: “I learned to cook through ship to home meals like Blue Apron.” –Male, 24, IL

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