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Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Sexy Pizza Is The Last Straw! Have We Reached The End of the Skimpy Halloween Costume Trend?

Take Back Halloween's version of a pirate -- Anne Bonny

Take Back Halloween’s version of a pirate — Anne Bonny

For some people, it’s Halloween. But for some women, it’s Sexy Costume Day, the one day each year when they can wear as little as possible as say they’ve “dressed up” for the holiday.

We hear a lot about ghosts and goblins at Halloween, but what’s really scary is this trend in women’s costumes that has made everything under the sun “sexy”: pirates, devils, bears, strawberries, children’s characters, superheroes and, yes, pizza.

Feminist Suzanne Scoggins is tired of this nonsense, so she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign — Take Back Halloween — to fund a website that offers DIY costume suggestions for women and girls focused on goddesses and historical figures. No garter belts, high heels or short skirts necessary. The campaign has raised the goal three times, and now as more than $12,000 of a $13,500 goal with the campaign ending tomorrow.

Scoggins told The Daily Beast that she blames cheap manufacturing, advertising and the sexualization of women in society for this naughty costume trend. The one group she doesn’t blame is women and girls themselves. Scoggins says her friends started telling her that they didn’t have anything to wear to take their kids trick-or-treating and she started this site. “Everything was like something you wear for a film shoot with Charlie Sheen!” she said.

Is this what Halloween has come to?

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The Pimping of All the Holidays is Right On ‘Target’

Let's just go from September to December on the calendar.

Let’s just go from September to December on the calendar.

Ah, yes. The sounds of the radio are changing. The people are beginning to wear more festive clothing. The decor in the stores are getting blinged out. Sales are showing.

And it’s not even Halloween yet, you nimrods! 

Brands in retail just can’t wait for the jolly fat man to get here, so they ostensibly ignore the Great Pumpkin and forget the Plump Turkey to make way.

Yes, it’s all for profit but these giant profiteers of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are becoming Ebenezers for their foreshadowing ways. Personally, my children enjoy both Halloween and Thanksgiving before the stockings go up.

And why? Because I don’t want to end up like Target did last year. (That, and I have a skosh of class.)

According to Jeff Jones, CMO at Target, the retailer “went too soon last year” when its Christmas shopping campaign began in mid-October, he told AdAge. This season, Mr. Jones said Target won’t launch its anthem holiday ad until the first week of November. To wit, I say, “It’s about time and thank you!

Early ads [featuring #MyKindOfHoliday] will also focus on Thanksgiving to a degree the retailer has not in the past. One TV spot shows a group of friends gathering around a turkey dinner, while another will promote the price per pound of turkey — a first for the retailer. Hell, it’s a first for any money-grubbing, bah-humbug, turkeys-are-only-good-for-stuffing-my-pockets retailer.

“We have never said Thanksgiving has a place at Target. It’s a big event, and we think we have a great value proposition when you think about being a one-stop shop [for] food, home and decorating,” Mr. Jones explained.

Makes sense to me. And by highlighting that pesky holiday in-between All Hallows Eve and Show Us the Money, it will make “cents” to Target. Mazel Tov, you know, as a certain Jewish carpenter might say.

Study: Nearly Half of Marketers Will Launch Holiday Campaigns Before Halloween. Ugh.

cnn_stuff_081As a true New England girl, I love all things Autumn with an almost maniacal passion — the leaves, the hot cider, the apple picking, the pumpkin carving, and, most especially, Halloween. But over the course of my lifetime, I’ve noticed (as we all have) the ever-encroaching holiday shopping season infiltrating my sacred season of costumes and pumpkin pie — it happens earlier every year. Once upon a time, people complained about Christmas trees in the malls before Thanksgiving, but now we run the risk of bumping into Santa Clause while shopping for Trick-or-Treat candy. Creepy (in more than one sense).

If you, too, are frustrated by the creep of the holiday shopping season, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that this is a trend that shows no sign of retreating. A new study done by Experian Marketing Services, which surveyed more than 200 marketers about their cross-channel marketing plans for the holiday season, found that 50 percent of all marketers plan to launch their holiday campaigns before Halloween.

“Retailers have been extending the shopping seasons with promotions, post-recession, so it’s not surprising to see that nearly half of all marketers stated they would launch a holiday campaign before Halloween,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research of Experian Marketing Services, in a news release. Read more

PR Win: Governor Christie Officially Postpones Halloween

In case you didn’t notice, this has been a tough week for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he of the quick wit, sharp temper and big ambitions.

His state was hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, and we’d say it’s safe to assume he hasn’t gotten much sleep over the past three or four days: You may have watched him berate the mayor of Atlantic City for encouraging residents to stay at city shelters despite an earlier evacuation order; you may have heard him uncharacteristically praise President Obama’s storm response as “outstanding”; you may have seen footage of him together with the President this afternoon as the two surveyed the storm’s damage by helicopter.

This was all well and good, but today marks a far greater achievement for the Governor: he was won the week’s “best PR stunt posing as a government order” contest by officially postponing Halloween.

What does this mean, exactly? Let’s read the end of the official release, complete with charmingly arcane language:

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What Do Commercial-Inspired Halloween Costumes Mean for Brands?

As the weekend approaches, you’re likely planning your costume for an upcoming Halloween party (or if you’re like us, you started planning in July). This PRNewser writer went to her first Halloween-themed extravaganza of the season as Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads (picture below).

I initially chose the costume simply because I think Flo is adorable (in a creepy, Stepford Wives sort of way), and because a recent donation to Locks of Love left my hair just short enough to pull it off. But then my costume choice got my PR-oriented brain thinking — superheroes, storybook characters, and familiar faces from TV and movies are always popular costume choices, but what does it mean from a PR and branding standpoint when a character created solely for an ad campaign becomes enough of a pop culture symbol to warrant Halloween costumes?

Insurance companies seem to have the market cornered on popular mascots (probably because insurance is duller than dirt without them). GEICO‘s Gecko, Progressive‘s Flo, and Allstate‘s Mayhem bring personality and humor to an otherwise much-maligned product, and however people might feel about insurance itself, they adore these characters. Case in point: while wandering around a costume shop, I saw a pre-made, pre-bagged “Insurance Lizard” costume hanging between the ever-popular Jack Sparrow and Spiderman.

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Nicki Minaj Among Top Halloween Costume Searches

Halloween cometh and the mad dash for the perfect costume has begun. Among the top searches on Google this year is Nicki Minaj, the Queens-born rapper known for her wacky and colorful styles.

Video tutorials have popped up on YouTube, teaching ladies (and men, which would be a really great costume) how to get the Nicki look. We’ve got a recent one after the jump, but there’s one with over 300,000 views. That’s a lot of Minaj running around. A quick search will also show a number of websites dedicated to dressing like the rapper for Halloween.

Other popular Google costume searches include “Angry Birds” and “Black Swan,” which had been our pick months ago for what would most likely be the year’s most popular ladies costume.

And what will Ms. Minaj be for Halloween? Lil Wayne.

[via New York Daily News]

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PRNewser Poll: Will You Use Foursquare or Facebook?

Last week, in anticipation of Halloween, we asked whether Halloween was an important holiday for the PR industry. More than two-thirds of respondents said “Somewhat,” despite the fact that the holiday is a $6 billion business. Those respondents agreed with the statement “Only certain brands can take advantage of the holiday’s PR opportunities.” Those who did execute Halloween campaigns, feel free to offer suggestions and anecdotes in the comments.

In Facebook news, the social network introduced a new deals platform that offers incentives for checking in on its Places application. According to our friends at AllFacebook, “just about every other check-in platform has been heavily criticized for lacking a significant incentive to get users to check-in.” Already, the Gap has signed on to give away 10,000 pairs of jeans. American Eagle Outfitters, Chipotle, and the San Francisco 49ers have also signed on.

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PRNewser Poll: Is Halloween Important to the PR Industry?

Last week, the PRNewser Poll took out its crystal ball to ask whether it’s too soon to look forward to Web 4.0. Forty-two percent of respondents said no, that we’ll be on to Web 5.0 soon enough, while nearly 37 percent said that we still need to fully explore Web 3.0.

Given the ongoing discussion about how to measure efforts on digital media, the next step, may simply be analyzing the information we’ve gathered in order to decide how best to move forward into the next phase of the Web.

On to a topic much less taxing on the brain, this Sunday is Halloween and it looks like the Jersey Shore cast is fiendishly spreading its tackiness nationwide.

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Nobody Lays a Finger on Butterfinger During Halloween

Butterfinger enjoys the most brand passion over Snickers, Kit-Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Candy Corn during the Halloween season, according to research firm NetBase.

While Snickers generates the highest volume of online chatter, people merely “like” the lumpy, peanutty bar, while fans “love” the classic, crispy Finger (Butterfinger was renamed “The Finger” as an April Fool’s publicity stunt in 2008).

The more shocking–shocking!–result is that Candy Corn elicits the most “passionately negative sound bites.”  The 80-year-old faux corn product is the marshmellow peep of the fall holiday–people buy it out of nostalgia and sometimes ironry, promptly regretting the purchasing deciscion upon first taste.