Horizon Media Survey Finds Superheroes Rule this Halloween

Oct 30, 2015, 18:25 ET from Horizon Media, Inc.

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Horizon Media's most recent Finger on the Pulse SM  Survey has uncovered that this Halloween, consumers are more eager than ever to dress as superheroes or movie characters rather than traditional Halloween-themed costumes.

When it comes to costume choice, U.S respondents surveyed are more likely to go the movie-character route at the expense of traditional Halloween-themed costumes. 23% of respondents reported that they plan to dress like a superhero, which is up from 8% last year. 16% plan be another character from a movie, which is up from 9% in 2014. Only 20% of respondents plan to be something Halloween-themed, like a ghost or zombie, which is down from 30% in 2014. 4% plan to be something mythical, such a unicorn or fairy, which is down 15% from last year. And while we're far off from the election, 5% of respondents plan to be something political-themed or a presidential candidate.

"Dressing as a superhero or movie character is nothing new, but this year it's a big theme for Halloween," said Kirk Olson, vice president of Trendsights at Horizon Media. "The dominance of superheroes in current pop culture is undeniable with the rise of television programming and movies featuring superheroes. The shows attract audiences because of their franchise value, but perhaps also because we live in uncertain times. There's nothing more universal than the hero versus villain rivalry. Dressing up as the hero who saves the day is more than fun. Whether people are consciously thinking about it or not, it's cathartic."

Consumers are less likely to say they'll spend less than they did the previous year and more likely to say they'll keep their Halloween spending consistent. 15% of respondents plan to spend less than the previous year, which is down from 27% in 2014. 79% say they'll spend the same amount, which is up from 67% in 2014. Only 6% of those surveyed say they'll spend more, consistent with last year's figure.

"People's appetite for Halloween has held steady over the three years we've done this survey," says Sheri Roder, Chief of WHY at Horizon Media. "The fact that most people hold their spending consistent from year to year shows it's a ritual of sorts. A holiday they engage with in similar ways each year as a comfortable marker of the season. For marketers and retailers, that means consumers have carved out a Halloween-shaped hole in hearts, minds, and annual budgets. While seasonal products and communications may not drive tremendous growth, they are a sure way to support customer continuity as well as a level of emotional engagement with brands."

Halloween shopping is still primarily done in mass retail stores such as Walmart, Target (32%), and costumes are less likely to be composed of items people find around the house in 2015 (15%) than they were in 2014. Consumers are more likely to consider specialty stores (22%) than they were previously. Almost one fifth of those surveyed (18%) plan to buy their costume online.

Finger on the Pulse SM is Horizon's proprietary online research community, comprised of 3,000 people reflective of the general U.S. population. The community empowers the agency to connect directly with consumers, diving beneath the surface of beliefs and behaviors to uncover critical insights.

About Horizon Media
Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world's ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry's leading trade association.

The company's mission is "To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere." By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $6.3 billion and over 1,200 employees.

The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

Horizon Media
Kaya Lobaczewski
(212) 220-2102

SOURCE Horizon Media, Inc.