The spookiest day of the year is here! Halloween is more popular in the UK than ever before, making it a profitable time of year for retailers. According to Mintel, the UK is estimated to spend approximately £419m this year, an increase of 5% from 2018. Halloween is especially popular with millennials, with many declaring it their favourite holiday. Because Halloween parties are on the rise in the UK, one of the most exciting things to do is to find an awesome costume!
With an increase in online searches for costumes up 40%, this offers great potential for analysing current market trends. By looking at keyword research we can spot the best Halloween costume trends which can inform us of potential marketing opportunities in the future.
Adult Halloween Costumes of the Criminal Kind
Adult Halloween costumes remain ever popular, but one type seeing a big increase. Couples costumes Google searches have seen have seen a 35% increase this year, with the most popular being Bonnie and Clyde. This interest in dressing up as criminals has seen a spine-tingling increase of 124%, much in part to popular Netflix crime documentaries and films such as Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile bringing real-life horrors to a wider audience.
Fortnite: Halloween Battle Royale
Our research also found that one video game has captured the costume-buying public. Fortnite has been a huge success for Epic Games with the title gaining notoriety for its addictive gameplay, with children playing it for many hours. With millions of players around the world, it comes as no surprise that adults and children want to dress up like their favourite in-game avatars.
Searches for Fortnite costumes rose 104% in 2018 and increased a further 20% this year. Expect this increase to continue every year the game remains popular.
Marvel vs DC
With the explosion of nerd culture since the mid noughties, superhero costumes have become a regular staple of Halloween. Each year Marvel and DC release blockbuster movies which make a huge amount of money. Alongside films, there is a raft of merchandise available including costumes for adults and children. Who wouldn’t want to dress-up as their favourite superhero? Then there’s big debate: Marvel or DC.
Marvel’s leap into the general consciousness can be attributed to their successful movie franchise. This can be seen in our research. 2019 has seen a 151% increase in Thanos Costumes with the generic Avengers Costumes coming in at 141% uplift. Popular characters such as Spiderman (93%) and Captain America (94%) also made gains. With the release of Avengers: Endgame back in April, it seems Marvel has reached its peak.
With DC releasing Joker at the end of September, which our data range also ends at, we didn’t see an increase for the character. Common sense tells us that the success of the film will translate to Halloween costume searches during October. We expect a 70% increase in searches to take its search volume up to 180k.
The Decline of Traditional Horror Costumes
Surprisingly, our research found a decline in the searches for classic horror characters such as Dracula and Pennywise. Searches for IT related costumes declined by 10% in 2019, after being one of the most popular searches since 2015. The poor reception and the muted anticipation of its sequel, may have something to do with it.
Dracula meanwhile saw a decrease of 20%, with Bram Stoker’s character not given another revival in the past few years. With the BBC producing a new television series, the vampire may return to its former glory in the near future.
The clear message from our research, however, is that most costumes bought for Halloween aren’t traditional horror themed. Nowadays, people like to dress up as a character from their favourite film, book or TV series. The popularity of IT a few years ago shows that with the right film and character, the horror genre can return to dominate costume purchases.
Halloween Costume Trends Prediction for 2020
2020 sees the release of films featuring characters that are sure to engage the costume buying public:
The popular DC character finally came to the big screen in 2016’s Suicide Squad. The release saw a big increase in cosplayers dressing up as The Joker’s partner in crime. This year has seen a decrease of 8% in search volume for the character. However, Birds of Prey is set to release during 2020 which will revitalise interest in the character. Expect her to come back swinging next Halloween with a 110% increases in searches.
Another DC mainstay that only made it to the big screen in the last few years, Wonder Woman captured the public’s imagination with an empowering character in a film genre dominated by male heroes. However, the long release window between films has seen interest in the character decline. A decrease of 17% is unsurprising but with Wonder Woman ’84 set to release in 2020, expect Diana Prince to rule again next Halloween.
Ghostbusters has always been a great idea for a group costume, but since 2016 interest has waned. 2016 saw its worst year with a decline in searches of 15% that could be linked to the release of the poorly received all-female revival. With Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Ackroyd et al all set to appear in Ghostbusters 2020, interest we expect the release to increase searches by marshmallow proportions of 70%.
What do you think will be the Halloween costume trend of 2020?