Thursday, October 31, 2013

When Did Marketers First See Opportunity In Halloween Costumes? (Infographic)

I came across this infographic today detailing the history of Halloween costumes over the years (hundreds of them, actually). It's interesting to see when Halloween become a marketable holiday, and costumes a money-maker for businesses.

It seems the 1930's were the starting point, where advertising campaigns bled into pop culture, and children dressed as the ubiquitous spokespeople and characters of the day. Funny that the first was a Phillip Morris creation. Somehow I doubt that a Joe Camel costume would be welcome in the school competition these days (though that reference is admittedly a dated one).

The 30's also saw the first mass-produced costumes of all kinds. These were mostly generic - a witch, a ghost, a princess, a skeleton. Licensed costumes referencing book and movie characters soon followed though, and in 2013, the Halloween costume is but one piece of the merchandise planning for any new Marvel or Disney movie hitting the big screen.

I like the idea of a kid being able to go trick-or-treating as their favorite movie hero or literary protagonist for a night. The same is true for us adults cutting loose at a costume party once a year. Though there's nothing like a clever homemade costume that does the same thing. How many Walter Whites do you think you'll see this year?

A History of Halloween Costumes
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