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The Marketing Unleashed Podcast – How has Halloween become such a large industry topping 9 billion in annual sales?

Joel: All right. And welcome to another episode of the Marketing Unleashed podcast. So, today I’m with Jamie and Jill and we’re actually going to be talking about Halloween. Now, Halloween is next week and Halloween’s become a pretty major deal in the business and marketing world over the last, what? Two, three, four decades it seems like. And I just kind of want to talk about why. I mean, what’s kind of turned it from, you know, what really kind of served as a religious type of holiday, although we don’t have to get into the history of it, but that’s kind of where it went, or where it was. And it’s kind of morphed into this non-secular, just business money grab in a lot of ways.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: You know, just to give you a quick background. So, last year, the U.S., and this is just the U.S. alone. Because apparently, the U.S. is the biggest Halloween country. If you go over in a lot of parts of the world, they’re just like “Hallowhat? We don’t even know what that is.” But 9 billion dollars spent in 2018.

Jamie: Oh wow. That’s more than I thought.

Joel: Yeah. 9 billion now I’m sure-

Jill: On what particularly?

Joel: Well I can give you a breakdown.

Jamie: So, that’s not just candy that’s-

Jill: Costumes and-

Joel: No, that’s everything. So, $2.6 billion on candy, $2.7 billion on Halloween decorations, $3.2 billion on costumes, $300 million, million with an M, on haunted houses and Halloween attractions. And then $575 million on pumpkin’s alone. I’m assuming that that’s like fresh pumpkin’s and not like the plastic ones that you buy at Michael’s or whatever.

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joel: So yeah, it’s kind of crazy that we went from… Well I shouldn’t say we went from, because in our lifetime we’re all in our mid-30s or so. In our lifetime Halloween’s always been somewhat of a big deal.

Jamie: Yes.

Joel: But our parents probably wasn’t, when they were growing up, it was probably more just general trick or treat.

Jill: Wear a sheet and you’re a ghost.

Joel: Right, exactly.

Jamie: Right.

Joel: Which, so here’s actually something that’s odd. So, Halloween became big in the mid 1800’s in the U.S., because all of the Irish immigrants came over here and they really celebrated it.

Jamie: Well it was different than, it wasn’t even what we are thinking today. It was like a harvest festival.

Joel: Right. Yeah. Where it had more of that religious undertone to it before it kind of became everybody celebrates. And just to give you an idea, so around 90% of all Americans of, I guess the buying age, purchase at least Halloween candy. Not necessarily to pass out, but they buy Halloween candy and 68% in 2019 plan on handing it out to trick or treaters.

Jamie: That’s a lot.

Joel: There’s a lot of Americans.

Jill: That’s also a lot of people keeping it for themselves.

Jamie: Oh yeah.

Jill: If only 68% are handing it out.

Joel: That’s true. Well so, it’s weird because it’s… So, it’s around 90% of Americans bought Halloween candy in 2018. So, it’s kind of two stats that maybe aren’t exact, that don’t exactly correlate. And then at 68% of households. So, in a household you have so many people. So, if husband and wife or whatever or adult children, if you have 10 adults living in the house, nine out of 10 of them are buying Halloween candy and 68% of those households are going to give it away. You know? Do you guys have trick or treaters?

Jamie: We don’t.

Jill: We get very few. Even though, we live in a very kid populated area.

Jamie: Really?

Jill: Yeah. I think our street doesn’t have lights and the first couple of houses are not participating.

Jamie: We live at the very bottom of a Hill and so nobody wants to go down there.

Jill: We live in the thick of it, but I think our neighbors don’t participate at the beginning of the street and that sets the tone for our street.

Joel: Pretty much screws up the rest of the neighborhood.

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah. And I think in St. Louis, it’s like everybody knows the good neighborhoods to go-

Jill: The good streets.

Jamie: To go to. Yeah.

Joel: Where you get the full size candy bars.

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: Right.

Joel: That’s basically what it comes down to.

Jamie: Yeah. It’s kind of like everybody goes to, I don’t know the neighborhood that they call it, but it’s around Jameson and you know, Hampton.

Jill: Yeah, by where candy cane lane is in the winter?

Jamie: Oh, I don’t know.

Jill: Is it over there?

Jamie: I actually don’t know where that is, but it’s, my husband’s parents live in that, you know?

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: Over by the Hill and all that, that is good trick or treating area to go to.

Joel: Right. Now okay, so $9 billion. That’s, I mean, that’s big. It’s not as big as Christmas, I don’t believe.

Jamie: But it’s number two after Christmas.

Joel: Do you think it, is it?

Jamie: That’s what I read.

Joel: Okay, so it’s number two after Christmas. I’m not even sure if it’s the biggest candy, say, holiday. I think mother’s day may even beat it.

Jamie: Oh, I don’t know about that.

Joel: Maybe Easter. I’m not sure. I don’t know, there was kind of some, a debate over that. Although, I figured they would be able to track that with sales.

Jamie: You think mother’s day out weighs Halloween in candy sales?

Joel: Or no, I’m sorry. No, no, no, Valentine’s day.

Jamie: No, no, no.

Jill: Nah.

Joel: Mother’s day was cards.

Jamie: I would think Halloween over mother’s day or no, over Valentine’s day. Hands down, because there’s more variety.

Joel: I would think so too.

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jamie: I mean, yeah, there is more variety.

Joel: I mean, I would think that. I mean, and just the fact that, I mean, you buy Halloween or well-

Jamie: Because think about it, nowadays you’ve got the candy manufacturers and brands that can market all of their candy for Halloween-

Joel: Specifically.

Jamie: Yes. Specifically they can-

Joel: Different shape, different packages, and all kinds of stuff.

Jamie: Yeah, they can do the monster candies with the blood and guts oozing out of the chocolate. I mean, they can do all this fun stuff. They can do the make your own candy. They could go bonkers and they do. And they started doing that in the 90’s. So, you can’t do much with Valentine’s day besides put things in the shape of heart. I mean, you can do a lot, but Halloween big time.

Jill: That’s cool.

Joel: I don’t know. So, here’s why I do kind of wonder if Val… So Valentine’s, they may actually be able to compete. Because, if you think about it, Halloween candy is sold in big bags because you’re buying a lot for to hand out. Theoretically.

Jamie: Right.

Joel: Valentine’s day, they sell a lot of smaller individual packaging.

Jamie: Yeah, but so what they’ve started doing to further the season is they start doing just fall themed candy.

Jill: Yeah, like pumpkin spice.

Joel: Harvest.

Jamie: Yes.

Joel: Yeah. Harvest themed.

Jamie: They started doing that.

Jill: And goes into November.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jill: And starts in September.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: Right. Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. But it is interesting though, that, and especially think back to like, I don’t know the 40’s and 50’s and 60’s probably up until the 80’s. About the 80’s and 90’s, most people gave out homemade stuff.

Jamie: Yes. That’s really when they started doing it, is in the 40’s right after World War II. Yeah. It was all homemade stuff. They were doing parties and trick or treating really is just first started happening. And they would invite the kids in, and they would hang out and do stuff like that. They would give them popcorn balls and homemade treats and they would drink cider and all this stuff. It was kind of different.

Joel: And then somebody said, “Oh, there might be razorblades in that stuff.” And people started freaking out.

Jamie: That kind of happened in the 70’s was that whole thing, which was all urban legend.

Joel: Yeah. Yeah. I was going to say like nobody’s ever proven that there’s ever been any type of drugs or razorblades or anything.

Jamie: Right.

Joel: So, what’s funny is that I’ve been seeing online now that they’re warning parents that there might be edibles, like marijuana edibles, given out to kids and all of these people are like replying to the posts are like, “If people are handing out edibles, tell me where their house is because that’s too expensive.”

Jamie: Yes, exactly!

Joel: It’s like, people aren’t going to waste money.

Jamie: No, handing out their edibles, dude, you keep that for yourself.

Joel: Yeah. I mean it’s just funny how people kind of latch onto what’s supposed to be a very fun thing. Like Halloween and Christmas and all that.

Jamie: I remember reading one account of a woman, she said she accidentally got something laced with LSD. I think it was back in the, I forgot when it was. I think it was back in the 70’s.

Joel: It had to have been a mistake though. Why would anybody give out that?

Jamie: Right.

Joel: I mean, it’s just worth too much money I would assume.

Jamie: Yeah. I think it was an accident, but that was like one confirmed case of candy with LSD.

Joel: Yeah.

Jamie: With drugs.

Joel: And I don’t know, it just sounds very, I mean, when you think logically about people lacing candy with razor blades or whatever, it’s so stupid because it’s like, who really, I mean. I know there’s some messed up people out there, but come on.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah.

Joel: You know, but regardless, so like you said, the candy manufacturers have really… They’ve turned the quote unquote holiday of Halloween into their own marketing engine and now, well not now, but over so many decades, costumes, decorations. I mean we decorate as much for Halloween as we do for Christmas. You know?

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: I mean people have been buying, I feel like Halloween decorations really in the last 20 years… Because whenever we were kids, I don’t think it was really that much. It was simple things.

Jamie: Yes. Because I always remember, there was like one house that always did it up really big for Halloween and we would always ask, can we go see that one crazy house there? Yeah, there was just one. But now you’re right, it’s big time. It’s over the top. It is just as big as going to see Christmas lights.

Joel: Right.

Jamie: They do it up just as big.

Joel: Yeah.

Jamie: And it’s every house. It’s not just that one crazy house that does it up crazy for Halloween. It’s everywhere, it’s every neighborhood.

Joel: Yeah. Well now, I mean if you go through a neighborhood and you see a house without some type of decoration for Halloween or Christmas or you know, probably just those two holidays. You kind of were like, Hmm, what’s going on there?

Jamie: Well and you got to think about neighborhood associations. It’s almost like they have to coordinate. It’s like, so if one street decided to do it every house on the street has to do it too. You know, you can’t just have the one odd man out otherwise they get pissed.

Joel: Yeah. I think that’s only like in Christmas movies though, like where that actually happens, or at least, I don’t know.

Jamie: I don’t know.

Joel: I mean, maybe there’s some psycho HOA’s out there.

Jamie: Well, isn’t it like that in your neighborhood?

Joel: No. Uh-uh (negative).

Jamie: It’s not?

Joel: No, you can do whatever you want.

Jamie: Oh, Okay.

Joel: You just can’t leave it up forever, or else people complain on Facebook.

Jamie: Well, that makes sense.

Joel: Or maybe set it up too early. I don’t know. We test that every year. Nobody complains.

Jamie: I mean, I live out in Jefferson County, so yeah, nobody cares. And luckily we’re on an offshoot street that’s a dead end, and so all of our neighbors are nice old people, so nobody cares.

Joel: Yeah. Now, when you were growing up, did you guys have a homemade costumes or did you buy them?

Jamie: My mom made them.

Joel: Yeah.

Jill: Yeah, homemade.

Joel: Right.

Jill: Grandma made them.

Jamie: That’s cool. Yeah.

Joel: And what were you usually, growing up?

Jill: Different stuff. I don’t think I repeated anything.

Joel: Well like-

Jamie: Disney princess, my mom did Snow White one year. She made my genie costume. I remember I was-

Joel: Genie, you mean like, Aladdin?

Jamie: No, Aladdin hadn’t come out yet. It was like a traditional genie from like I Dream of Genie. It was that style.

Joel: Oh, okay.

Jamie: It had tassels on it. It was great. It came from like a furniture store. I had a weird hat. I had the little thing that covered my mouth and I was a wizard one year. I was a clown one year. Oh, Shee-ra and princess of power. My mom made that whole get up. Yeah. We would go to Walmart and they would always… Do you remember Walmart back in the day had a whole section of fabric where you could get patterns?

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: And they don’t really have that anymore, but they had a whole section when Halloween came around, there was costume section and you could get a pattern and make your own costumes and that’s where I would pick out the costumes was from that section. She made like a Tigger costume one time from like, all the Winnie the Pooh characters were there. Yeah. That was back in the day.

Joel: Yeah. And they sold the pattern books and all that. Yeah. Which, they still do that. I think you got to go to like Joanne’s.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: You know, maybe Michael’s, yeah.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: I don’t think Walmart does that. They don’t get down like that anymore.

Jamie: No.

Joel: But, so-

Jamie: They got a nice little craft section, but that’s about it.

Joel: Yeah. But now kids, they want the Avengers, they want the superheroes, they want all that stuff that it’s harder to make and make it look realistic. You know? Like it used to be like you dressed as like a vampire. Well that’s pretty generic. You dress as a witch, that’s generic. You know, you can make that stuff pretty easily. But now you want to be Iron Man. Well, how do you come up with that?

Jamie: Yeah. Well, and they’re pretty good. You can get them right off the rack.

Joel: Right.

Jamie: At Target and at Walmart and you’re good.

Joel: Well, and they’re relatively cheap.

Jamie: Yeah. And they’re cheap.

Joel: What are your kids dressing up as Jill?

Jill: A garbage truck driver for the second year in a row.

Joel: Okay.

Jill: And a princess.

Joel: Any specified princess?

Jill: No. Just general princess and a baby giraffe.

Joel: Yeah.

Jill: He didn’t choose it himself.

Joel: Yeah, he didn’t get a choice because he’s what, six?.

Jill: He’s five months.

Joel: Five months old. Yeah.

Jill: Yeah. But the trash one, his truck part was homemade last year. I don’t know if you remember that.

Joel: I think I do.

Jill: Add Kraft actually.

Joel: That’s right.

Jamie: Oh yeah?

Jill: Yeah. So, we have to kind of resurrect it this year, it got a little damaged. We’re going to try and use it again. But other than that, I’ve never made any of their costumes. I’m not good at that kind of thing.

Jamie: When did Johnny Brock’s come around?

Jill: I mean, it’s been around as long as I can remember. I don’t know about before that.

Joel: Well-

Jamie: You know, the popup Halloween shops?

Jill: Yeah. Like-

Joel: Those started when we were in high school I want to say.

Jill: Halloween express or some-

Joel: Early 2000’s. I don’t remember seeing them before. Probably.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: Late 90’s, early 2000’s.

Jamie: Yeah. That sounds about right.

Joel: And yeah, that so you remember-

Jill: I will say, sorry to interrupt.

Joel: No, go ahead.

Jill: When it’s myself and I haven’t dressed up in like 10 years. I’ve always done my own costumes, created stuff out of, never sewing involved because I don’t do that, but just finding random stuff. [crosstalk 00:14:48].

Joel: But just going and finding, yeah.

Jill: Yeah and going to Goodwill a lot. And Walmart for example, I have a Sophia from golden girls costume from stuff I gathered up at Goodwill that I’ve never worn. It’s just waiting for me to wear it. Joe and I were Jim and Pam from the office one year.

Joel: Which, that’s pretty easy to do.

Jill: That was a good one. I was Tonya Harding and my friend was Nancy Kerrigan. We both happened to have ice skating outfits for some reason. Cotton candy one year, took like pillow stuffing and spray glued it onto a like a sweatshirt and then spray painted it different colors.

Jamie: Oh yeah so that’s clever.

Jill: We were all four different colors. College and beyond was creating.

Joel: Well and we all go through like two phases of dress up, maybe three. But whenever you’re a little kid, obviously you dress up because that’s the fun thing to do. You know, we used to have school parties and stuff. I don’t think they do that anymore. But-

Jill: They do.

Joel: Do they?

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: Oh.

Jamie: My school always had like a parade. You parade around all classrooms and everybody could see your costume.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: Yeah. We did the same thing.

Jill: Still happens.

Joel: Oh, okay.

Jamie: That’s cool.

Joel: All right, well that’s good. At least some things aren’t going away completely.

Jill: You just can’t bring your own candy.

Joel: Oh, you’ve got to bring store bought?

Jill: I don’t remember, did you trade candy? No, that’s Valentine’s day.

Joel: Yep.

Jill: I don’t think they’re allowed to bring any food in for it. I think they get some stuff.

Jamie: It has to be store bought candy?

Joel: I think it, well, I think it was always like the parents would provide it but-

Jill: Yeah. Yeah. I think they get candy at their party, but just brought in by the volunteers.

Joel: Yeah, but so whenever you’re a kid up until teens, I don’t know. I think my last time out was probably like 13 or maybe 14 at the latest. I don’t remember.

Jamie: Yeah, that sounds about right.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: And then I think you kind of like say, “No, I’m not going to dress up. I’m too old for that.”

Jill: “Stupid!”

Joel: Until you get to college.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jill: [crosstalk 00:16:40] And then everyone wants to do it again.

Joel: And then once you get to college-

Jill: Everyone wants to trick or treat. I knew people that trick or treated in college.

Joel: Yeah. That’s weird.

Jill: Got the doors slammed on them.

Joel: Yeah. I mean there are some, I think high school kids that come around our neighborhood and usually they’re like the last ones so they just get the whatever’s left. Like, I just dumped the rest of the bowl in their stuff because I don’t want it. So, yeah. So, I think they probably just use the same costume year after year. Because they know, yeah you hit the house at like 8:00, 8:30 you’re just going to get whatever’s left.

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: Pretty good haul actually. But, and then the second phase is college, you know 17, 18, 19 you start dressing up again because you go to all the Halloween parties and everything in school. And then, I don’t know, maybe the third, I mean maybe it just doesn’t quit after adulthood starts.

Jill: I would say we kind of quit for a while. Before kids, we were dressing up and then it kind of quit because our kids were little, but now that they’re getting older. We were just talking about this the other night. Maybe we should dress up because they’re into it now.

Joel: Yeah, start dressing up.

Jamie: Yeah. Because, I think it helps get your kids into it more.

Jill: Yeah. They’re in the thick of Halloween fun-

Jamie: To be more festive.

Jill: And they’re more aware of some, well, we haven’t picked out anything. So, maybe next year, but-

Joel: Yeah, you only got a week.

Jill: We think we should get into it again.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: Well, and now, so there’s all these like, all right, so obviously manufacturers, candy manufacturers. They’re creating their things. Costume manufacturers, they’re ramping everything up and they’re making it so cheap now that it’s actually more expensive to make your own costume usually.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: Oh, what about, what else is on the list here? We talked about the decorations. I mean it just gets it more, I don’t know, it’s weird because I don’t feel like extra scared because the Halloween decorations, but like- [crosstalk 00:18:28].

Jamie: It’s just fun to look at.

Jill: What you were saying about the spirit.

Joel: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s like Christmas, whenever you see all the houses all decorated, it’s like, “Oh, it’s the Christmas spirit.” Everybody’s a little bit nicer to each other.

Jill: It’s the Halloween spirit.

Joel: Yeah. There is no Halloween spirit like that.

Jamie: I don’t know. It’s just kind of, it’s fun to see because I love this time of year and it’s just, it’s kind of like, the movie Hocus Pocus. It just brings me back to this fun time when you’re a kid is just like, “Ugh, I just love this time of year.” And you know, when you see the decorations is just like, “I love this time of year.”

Jill: It’s like the beginning of fall or whatever. The midst of fall.

Joel: Right, so these are the kind of the social cues. Is kind of where I’m getting at.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jill: Yeah. It’s not about feeling scared, I guess.

Joel: You know, the movies, yeah. And the decorations and everything and it kind of makes you wonder, like, this is a big scheme in a way.

Jill: Yeah. Well, it’s kind of kicking off the whole holiday season.

Joel: Right, so-

Jill: It’s the kickoff of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, whatever.

Joel: Right. So, black Friday used to be the first of the retail mania. Now, it’s Halloween because people, they’re cued to start. Okay. As soon as Halloween comes around, Christmas is right behind it, or Thanksgiving’s right behind it, then Christmas. They actually start buying Christmas presents, [crosstalk 00:19:50] and Christmas decorations.

Jamie: Oh yeah. I started doing that. As soon as I started seeing Halloween stuff come out, I start thinking Christmas presents.

Joel: Right. So, it’s in the retail industry. I think it’s creating those social cues. And eventually they’re going to have us so primed up that as soon as 4th of July rolls around, we’re going to be like, “Okay, time to shop for Christmas decorations. You know?”

Jill: That’s right. Well it’s kind of like they have their buying cycles and you know, back to school pretty much begins after 4th of July.

Jamie: Oh yeah.

Jill: And that’s a whole lot of buying. And then it’s kind of a lull I guess for a little bit. And then bam, Halloween, bam Christmas, then all the sales getting rid of the stuff when it’s January and then it’s kind of nothing for awhile. I guess-

Joel: [crosstalk 00:20:39] You run into Valentines day.

Jamie: Valentine’s day.

Jill: Yeah, but it’s not like a huge-

Joel: And Mardi Gras. Like Valentine’s day, Mardi Gras, and then you get into Easter.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: Those three kind of merged together sometimes. Cause Mardi Gras it’s always dependent on when Easter is.

Jill: But I guess it’s just been kind of a whole lot of, or it hasn’t been a lot of spending from the months of like what? September, I mean, you usually buy all your stuff for school before September? So, it’s kind of been a lull for marketing.

Joel: Well yeah, because you start before September.

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joel: I mean I usually bought all my school supplies the day before school. I was always the last second person. Like, “Why do I need it before then?”

Jamie: Great.

Joel: Yeah. I’m not going to use those notebooks.

Jill: But everything now is gone if you don’t get going. As I found out, as a new parent to a kindergartner?

Joel: Oh really?

Jill: I went the week before school to Target and it was wiped out because I didn’t want to buy it before that. I was still in summer mode.

Joel: Wait, we ran out of pencils?

Jill: Yes. Everything was gone.

Joel: Huh?

Jill: They had a few strays here and there. So, I had to go to four different stores to find all this stuff on her list.

Joel: That’s crazy.

Jill: Now I know. Start in June.

Joel: Yeah, the day school let’s out, go buy all your supplies.

Jill: Yeah, I’m ready to buy.

Joel: Yeah. Yeah. Labor day or-

Jill: Memorial day weekend sales. Back to school.

Joel: Yeah, Memorial day weekend, back to school sales. Yeah. Just start it up. Just let it sit in the basement for a couple of months.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: So, movies, do we think that horror movies… Now, you mentioned Hocus Pocus. That’s not really a horror movie. Although it is for me when I have to watch it.

Jamie: What!? You don’t like Hocus Pocus?

Joel: It’s kind of dumb. It’s okay.

Jill: I don’t like it either.

Jamie: What!? What? You guys suck! You guys suck.

Joel: One time a year I can sit through it, but whenever it’s on Freeform every night.

Jill: Yeah. It is on every night.

Joel: You know-

Jill: Is it the 13 nights of Halloween right now?

Joel: It’s 31 nights.

Jill: How many days till Halloween, right now?

Jamie: A couple.

Joel: Well, right now, a week.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: So, yeah. Right now it’s been on, I don’t know, 20 something nights already.

Jamie: It’s a classic. I mean, I think it was a box office flop when it first came out, but now it’s like a cult Halloween classic.

Joel: Well, yeah. That’s how a lot of those movies are. I don’t think there’s any horror movie that did gangbusters at the box office.

Jamie: I don’t know, did the original Halloween do great?

Joel: Probably not. I doubt it.

Jill: I’m just not a fan of scary movies at all.

Joel: Well, Hocus Pocus isn’t scary.

Jill: I liked Casper. That’s about it.

Jamie: Oh, I remember that. That was so cheesy.

Jill: They used to come out with-

Joel: Kristy, Kristy Richie?

Jill: Actual Halloween movies.

Joel: Right.

Jill: I mean like for kids, stuff like that. Oh, Casper and Hocus Pocus. I mean, what is it, Adams Family this year?

Joel: Yeah.

Jamie: It used to be, they used to do all these Halloween specials, like on Nickelodeon-

Jill: Yes.

Joel: Right.

Jamie: And I mean that was our childhood. They just don’t do that anymore.

Jill: Yeah, but not it’s super scary, which it kind of is around year-round. Scary movies.

Joel: So, the horror movies, they come out either like now in the fall time, or they come out like in January, February.

Jamie: Yeah, January, February.

Joel: Which I don’t know why.

Jamie: Well, it’s because that’s when they release all the crappy, like-

Joel: Throwaway movies.

Jamie: Throwaway movies are January, February. And that’s really, horror movies, most of them tend to be pretty bad.

Joel: Yeah.

Jamie: So, they dump them in January, February.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: Hmm. Oh yeah. I guess. But some of them are okay.

Jamie: Yeah. Oh yeah. There’s tons of great ones, but there’s more bad than good, I think.

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: I mean-

Joel: But do scary movies. I mean, it’s like a lot of channels will run like marathons of- [crosstalk 00:24:27].

Jamie: I mean, I enjoy scary movies around Halloween. I mean, that gets me in the spirit.

Joel: You see. And again, it’s the social cues. It’s the mental, like, “Hey, it’s Halloween time, go spend money. It’s time to go spend money.”

Jamie: I know some people don’t really, I mean, are not into it. And that’s fine. I mean, whatever. I love it.

Joel: Yeah. Halloween.

Jamie: Yeah.

Joel: In general.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jill: I do too.

Jamie: And the same thing with Christmas and Thanksgiving, all holidays. I mean, I love it.

Joel: You a big Arbor day?

Jill: Flag day is my number one.

Jamie: You know what, if there was more marketing around Arbor Day-

Joel: Then you’d get into it?

Jamie: They would probably sucker me in to all of it.

Joel: Yeah?

Jamie: You know what, yes. Earth day, if there was more marketing around Earth day to get me into it, which you know what will probably happen in the next couple of years with all of this climate change stuff?

Joel: Earth day will become big?

Jamie: Yeah. I would not be surprised if Earth day got bigger and bigger over the next couple of years.

Joel: It’s April something, right?

Jamie: Yeah, it’s like April 14th, I think.

Joel: Really? I don’t know. Well, April 15th is tax day, so-

Jamie: I don’t know why I think it’s April 14th but I think it might be.

Joel: No, I feel like it’s the 20th.

Jamie: Oh, you know what? That sounds right.

Jill: I don’t think it’s the same day every year.

Joel: It may not be.

Jill: It’s like some certain Tuesday or something.

Jamie: I think it’s April 20th I think you’re right. Yeah.

Joel: It might be. I don’t remember. But yeah, I mean, well we just had Columbus day or-

Jamie: Indigenous people’s day.

Joel: Indigenous people’s day, yeah whatever.

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: I mean you think about people were realizing how shady, what’s his face was, so-

Joel: Christopher Columbus? Yeah. Well, unfortunately, if you go back in history, you’re going to find a lot of shitty people that did great things.

Jamie: I know.

Joel: I mean, it’s.

Jamie: Which, I don’t really know how I feel about that and having to look back in the past and then decide to just take down their statues and try and erase it. I mean, I just think that’s silly.

Joel: Revisionist History.

Jamie: Yes. I don’t really like that. I’m not a big fan of revisionist history.

Joel: Yeah. Well, I don’t know. Anyway. Has nothing to do with Halloween.

Jamie: Yeah. So that’s a different topic.

Joel: All right, well and haunted attractions. We have haunted houses. I haven’t been to a haunted house in probably well over a decade.

Jamie: I haven’t either.

Joel: Sorry, there’s about to be a collision back here. Oh. And you know, Six Flags, they have their Fright Fest and all that stuff. I mean, again, I think this all goes back to just general social cues. It’s like, “Okay, it’s time for…” you know? But is it just to milk more money out of people for holidays?

Jamie: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. These haunted attractions- [crosstalk 00:27:05]

Jill: Well I think people enjoy it. I mean, there wouldn’t be, what billion was it spent 90 billion total or 9 billion.

Joel: 9 billion.

Jill: Sorry.

Jamie: 90 billion, not quite.

Jill: I mean, people wouldn’t be spending that much if they weren’t into it.

Joel: That’s true. Well, and I think why Halloween can get to that number is because there’s, at least today, there’s no religious affiliation, there’s no racial affiliation, no gender, nothing.

Jill: It’s for everybody.

Joel: It’s for everybody.

Jill: You can get holiday burnout pretty badly with the stress and just being over it, the family gatherings and all that stuff.
But, Halloween is just fun.

Jamie: Yeah, you’re right. It’s for everybody.

Jill: Yes.

Joel: And there’s really very little prep.

Jill: You don’t get stressed out about it. Unless you’re having like a big party or making a costume.

Jamie: Yeah, you don’t have to make it about families.

Jill: Yeah.

Jamie: I mean you, it can just be about fun. You can make it whatever you want.

Jill: You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jill: And you don’t have to be looked at as a Grinch if you’re not participating.

Joel: That’s true. You’re right. Yeah. If you don’t dress up for Halloween, nobody really cares.

Jamie: Yeah, nobody really cares.

Joel: Yeah.

Jill: Halloween number one, I say.

Joel: Number one in Jill’s book.

Jamie: These Halloween attractions, like they’ve gotten bigger and badder and scarier. I mean the things that they are doing with animatronics now, it’s crazy.

Joel: Yeah.

Jamie: And these creatures that they’re coming up with, I mean, it’s pretty cool.

Joel: And just the fact that they’re willing to, I mean they’ll, actually make you sign waivers now so they can-

Jamie: Right!

Joel: You know, actually, touch you and stuff.

Jamie: I mean, it is a great opportunity for artists and these experiences that, I mean, people like us in the marketing world and the creative world, I mean to think when you’re thinking about virtual reality and augmented reality, I mean, these people are coming up with some crazy shit.
Like that one where all it is, is you go in a room and you’re, I don’t know, quote unquote tortured and you have to sign a waiver.

Joel: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Jill: Yikes.

Jamie: yeah.

Jill: That doesn’t sound fun.

Jamie: I know, right. But they got people out the door signing up for this thing.

Joel: You know what we should do? We should create a marketing themed haunted house. Like, “Oh no, your website’s down.”

Jill: I’m so scared.

Jamie: Marketing nightmares.

Joel: You just printed 10,000 copies and there’s a misprint. Ah!

Jill: You hit reply all on the email cursing at your boss.

Joel: There’s a misspelling. Ahh!

Jill: I like this.

Joel: It’d be very, just calm and you know, like, no smoke machines. No weird music. No yelling.

Jill: The setting would be like The Office.

Joel: Yeah. Yeah. Basically.

Jill: The show.

Joel: Yeah.

Jill: Dwight and Rose come out.

Jamie: [crosstalk 00:30:06] A ghost story. A marketing ghost story.

Joel: Yeah.

Jill: A marketing ghost story.

Joel: Well, we have a couple of ghost stories here, in the office. Yeah.

Jamie: Nothing’s really happened in a long time though.

Joel: Yeah. A long time. Yeah. So, all right. Well, hey, anything else about Halloween? Any other reason why it’s become this conglomerate of a money grab?

Jamie: I mean, I’m sure we could keep going, but-

Jill: I think we’ve covered it.

Jamie: We covered a lot.

Joel: Just wait until we get to Thanksgiving and that damn pumpkin pie.

Jill: Yeah. We’ll be back to talk about pumpkin pie next month.

Joel: That’s right. All right. Well, Hey, I guess we’ll be right back with, can’t let it go.