Halloween has been growing in popularity in the UK in recent years with Hitwise data revealing that online searches in 2015 for “costume,” “fancy dress” and “Halloween” surpassed 2014 levels by 11%. In fact, during the week ending 31st October, 2015, Halloween-related searches accounted for 1 in every 106 online searches in the UK. Meanwhile, in the US, Halloween searches accounted for 1 in every 72 online searches making Halloween about 26% smaller in the UK than it is across The Pond.
It’s still relatively early days, but our AudienceView platform reveals that over half a million Brits have already started researching costumes online this year. Among those, nearly half (48%) are under the age of 35 with those ages 18-24 being 90% more likely than average to search for costumes. Women account for 54% of costume searchers, but data from past years shows that men are notorious last minute when it comes to Halloween, so expect the share of men actively seeking costume information online to increase as Halloween draws near.
Naturally, households with children, especially those that fall into the Mosaic groups known as “Family Basics” and “Aspiring Homemakers” are among the most likely to be looking for costumes. This is also reflected in the fact that stay-at-home moms and dads are 24% more likely than average to be looking for costumes. Though those identifying as either students or interns, however, are 2.2 times more likely and account for nearly 10% of costume searchers at this point in time making them the prime audience for businesses seeking to take advantage of Halloween to boost sales.
Like last year, Harley Quinn is the top specific costume that Brits are searching for followed by 80s fancy dress and Disney Moana. Comic book-inspired costumes that might be more suited for adults than children are heavily represented among the top 10 costumes—which is understandable given that young students make up the greatest share of those searching for costumes. Though it’s worth pointing out that the popularity of these costumes is influencing younger generations as well as evidenced by the fact that “Harley Quinn costume for kids” is among the top trending costume searches this year.
The Hitwise data also reveals a rise in searches for “Pablo Escobar”, “Donald Trump”, “Kim Kardashian” and “Paw Patrol” costumes this year versus 2015. At the same time, there are fewer searches for “Descendants”, “Frozen”, “Minion” and “Mario” and “Luigi” costumes. More generally speaking, Brits are more likely to be searching for “handmade” and “clever” costumes in 2016 and less likely to be searching for “naughty” and “cheap” costumes.
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