Halloween for Gen Z: 7 Top Tips for Brands

What does Halloween look like for Gen Z? Here we're diving into our top tips for brands to win over younger audiences while celebrating spooky season!
Fanbytes | Gen Z Marketing | Halloween for Gen Z - Top Tips for Brands

In 30 seconds:

  • It’s that time of year again: like zombies towards the Winchester Tavern, Halloween is creeping up. What does that mean for brands marketing to Gen Z?
  • You don’t have to be a Halloween brand to boost sales right now. In fact, the more inventive you can be, the better!
  • Winning Halloween for Gen Z? Brands should make the most of the spooky features that social media platforms offer.


The end of October is approaching, and that means…Halloween!  

But what about Halloween for Gen Z? On Tiktok, this time of year delivers a dramatic rise in video views on Halloween-related hashtags as the excitement around the event grows. That’s because 97% of Gen Z search for inspiration on social media – and Halloween is no exception. It’s no surprise, then, that both brands and content creators are gearing up for and celebrating Halloween.  

All these Halloween ideas and inspirations can mean big bucks for your brand. In 2020, Halloween spending hit an all-time high at $92.12 per person. That’s set to increase to $102.74 in 2021. In fact, consumer spending on Halloween-related items is projected to exceed $10 billion this year.  

As many countries were still in lockdown last October, it’s no surprise that people are going all out with their 2021 Halloween costumes, ready for trick-or-treating or a Halloween party

So, if you’re the owner or marketer of a brand, now’s the time to start creating Halloween content for Gen Z. Below, we’ve outlined our top tips to get started. 

Halloween Gen Z content ideas for brands

Marketing to Gen Z should be a top priority for brands this Halloween. Gen Z express their love of Halloween through immense consumption of Halloween content, from makeup tutorials and Halloween costumes, to Halloween party ideas, DIY Halloween decorations and Halloween recipe inspiration – all from social media campaigns.  

In 2020, FanBytes helped H&M create an effective social and influencer marketing strategy for Gen Z , including promoting their Halloween-themed collection featuring Billie Eilish merchandise. We achieved a massive 1.8million views as well as 151K likes and a 17.3% engagement rate. So, we know what works! 

If you’re stuck for ideas on your Halloween content this year, read on for Halloween ideas that every brand can take on board, no matter what industry you’re in. 

1. Post Halloween-themed visuals for each platform

Gen Z are searching for Halloween inspiration right now, and they’re predominantly doing this on social media platforms including TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. It’s therefore a good idea to post on multiple social media platforms to maximise your reach. Make sure to focus on producing high-quality content that feels ‘right’ for each of these. 

Gen Z respond more to visual content than any generation before them, so the best Halloween marketing ideas and marketing campaigns are those that leverage Halloween visuals for the best promo. Can you tie in jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating or pumpkin-carving? If your content looks instantly recognisable as Halloween-inspired and provides great value, you’ll be sure to get the clicks.

If you need to prioritise one platform though, we recommend TikTok. Last year, TikTok influenced 59% of users’ Halloween costume purchases and 42% of their sweets and chocolate purchases, so if you want Halloween to drive sales for your brand, TikTok is  your answer! 

2. Follow Generation Z trends

How can you see if your content is ‘right’? Get inspired by searching for Halloween ideas yourself! For example, on TikTok, check which of the Halloween-related hashtags are trending and make sure to use relevant hashtags in every piece of Halloween content you post. 

With the billions of views, likes, and shares that trending content receives, it’s the perfect way to gain new followers – and sales. Don’t forget memes either: Gen Z loves it if brands can make them laugh and show that they understand them.

Even if your product is not directly Halloween related, it doesn’t mean you can’t promote it. If you’re not a Halloween makeup brand or Halloween clothing brand, you can find fun and creative ways to incorporate your offerings into Halloween content to reach millions of consumers searching for inspiration. 

@zainabhassan410 Trick or treat yo' self! Full face @nyxcosmetics_uk #dollhousechallenge #ad ♬ Dollhouse - Melanie Martinez

@annemarie #AD Halloween season is officially here with @nyxcosmetics_uk #dollhousechallenge @monaleannemakeup ♬ Dollhouse - Melanie Martinez

3. Create your own spooky challenge

Creating your own Halloween-themed challenge is a great way to get your audience more involved in your campaign while gaining their trust. In fact, 70% of Gen Z find user-generated content useful in helping them make purchasing decisions, so the more you can encourage social media users to post content about you, the better!   

Make sure to add a Halloween-related hashtag to your challenge so you can browse the content that your Gen Z audience is producing. Engage with their posts and leave encouraging comments to show your love. It’s the perfect opportunity to spark conversations with your target audience and start building long-lasting relationships with them. 

Take a look at NYX Professional Makeup who smashed it with their 2020 Halloween content. They created a Halloween campaign named ‘NYX Professional Makeup Haunted Dollhouse’ and encouraged users to join the #DOLLHOUSECHALLENGE where users transformed themselves into creepy dolls using NYX products. The result? NYX became the most viewed makeup brand in the UK over Halloween with over 1.5bn global views.

4. Promote inclusivity

It’s important to emphasise diversity and inclusivity in your Halloween content to inspire audiences from every walk of life. Videos that promote an inclusive and ethical attitude are much more likely to be well-received by Gen Z on social media and offline.  

When you show that your brand truly cares about encouraging an accepting society, you can build a positive brand reputation that will, in turn, boost your customer engagement – especially amongst Gen Z

A great example of Halloween clothing brands promoting inclusivity is Target. They have made adaptive 2021 Halloween costumes that are perfect for all ages, genders and abilities. You can take inspiration from this by promoting halloween content in a way that includes and is accessible for everyone.

Remember that inclusivity is important all year round, not just at Halloween

5. Create spooky makeup looks

This one’s not just for the Halloween makeup brands! If you’re a beauty brand, you can use your products to create great Halloween makeup tutorials and encourage your followers to create their own. 

You can also pair up with beauty influencers. Send them a new product in return for some great, authentic content. They can use your items to produce fun and inspiring Halloween makeup looks that their followers can try for themselves. You’ll find our tips for finding the best influencers for your brand here. 

Gen Z are extremely creative and they take lots of inspiration from the things they see online. Halloween is the perfect time for your Gen Z audience to practice self-expression with their own makeup styles! 

6. Craft your 2021 Halloween costumes

Even if you’re not a Halloween clothing brand, there are many costumes out there that your products could be perfect for. Get creative! Make try-on videos showing how you would style your 2021 Halloween costumes to provide some inspiration to Gen Z.  

In fact, DIY Halloween costume ideas are hugely popular on TikTok. #DIYHalloweenCostume has over 9.3M views, and #DIYHalloweenCostumes has 21.1M views on the platform. Don’t be afraid to push the boat out and create something wacky: if it’s funny or surprising, it’ll capture Gen Z’s attention – and their hearts. 

If you’re stuck for Halloween costume ideas, you can pair up with influential content creators to promote your products and raise brand awareness in an original and stand-out way. 

7. Turn the music up

Around Halloween you’ll find lots of ‘spooky remixes’ of various songs trending – and they make the perfect background audio for your Halloween content

Show off your inventive Halloween makeup looks or your how to put together your Halloween costume while dancing to a trending song. Doing so will maximise the number of people that your video reaches, as some of the most popular songs reach billions of views- and everyone loves having a go at copying trending Tiktok dances! 

If you’re a food brand, take note too: if you share your Halloween recipe ideas with a trending halloween song, you’ll supercharge their potential. You’ll find more tips for Halloween in our Food & Drink playbook.  

Your team might feel silly dancing in front of millions of people, but Gen Z loves it when you show your personality and have a laugh! You can show the human side behind your brand. 


Final spooky thoughts

Halloween 2021 for brands is a time for fun ideas. Any brand is capable of using the Halloween hype to their advantage if they’re inventive enough. Sometimes, it takes a little creativity to come up with unique Halloween content, but call upon your inner spooky self and have fun with it! 

Gen Z absolutely loves when their favourite brands reveal their goofy side. Create lighthearted Halloween content that communicates your brand’s values and inspires your audience, while promoting your products in an exciting and authentic way.

 With Halloween 2021 creeping just around the corner, now’s the time to get your freaky on!!


Want to learn more? Check out these articles to help you win the hearts of Gen Z:


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