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Search spells out trending Halloween costumes

Take a break from your daily grind and see how your favorite characters rank in Halloween costume searches on the Bing Network. According to the National Retail Federation, 35 percent of adults will search online for Halloween costume inspiration in 2016. Online search is the top channel — beating Facebook, Pinterest, pop culture and even Instagram.1
We crunched the numbers on daily U.S. searches from September to mid-October 2016 to give you the most up-to-date data. 72 percent of Halloween costume searches happened on PCs, while 14 percent were equally distributed on tablet and mobile. Bing’s search audience was 56 percent male and 44 percent female.2

Age is nothin’ but a number
Who says Halloween is only for kids? Our data shows costume searchers skewed more toward adults. It is projected that $1.54 billion will be spent on adult costumes, while only $1.17 billion will be spent on children’s costumes. Gen X searched for the most costume inspiration, comprising 32 percent of all Halloween costume searchers. They were followed by Baby Boomers who made up more than 28 percent of all Halloween costume searchers. Older Millennials accounted for 21 percent of searchers, while younger Millennials made up 6 percent.2

2016 Halloween costume trends by age
  • Teens love Pokémon: 13-17-year-olds are 473 percent more likely to search for Pokémon compared to 18-24-year-olds.
  • Younger Millennials are mermaid-obsessed: 18-24-year-olds are 8 percent more likely to search for Little Mermaid than Deadpool.
  • Older Millennials would rather be a hero: 25-34-year-olds are 10 percent more likely to search for Deadpool over Little Mermaid.
  • Generation Xers are Potter Heads: 35-49-year-olds are 242 percent more likely to search for Harry Potter compared to 25-34-year-olds.
  • Baby Boomers and older Generation Xers prefer classics over fads: 50-64-year-olds are 8 percent more likely to search for Alice in Wonderland than Pokémon.
  • Older Baby Boomers are pretty cool: 65+ year-olds are equally likely to search for Five Nights at Freddy’s as Deadpool.2
State-by-state Halloween costume trends and fun facts
The following movie characters won the top three spots in every U.S. state:
  • The top search in every state is Suicide Squad.
  • The second most popular search is Star Wars for all states, except for:
    • Hawaii, which is 37 percent more likely to search for Pokémon over Star Wars.
    • Wisconsin, which is 6 percent more likely to search for Pokémon over Star Wars.
  • Alaska is 433 percent more likely to search for Maleficent than Frozen.
  • Illinois is 97 percent more likely to search for Wonder Woman than Catwoman.
  • Arkansas is 135 percent more likely to search for Angry Birds than Pokémon.
  • New Jersey is 189 percent more likely to search for Little Red Riding Hood than Snow White. 2
TV and movie costume trends
Game of Thrones is all the rage on TV, but didn’t beat Star Wars for the most online searches. Star Wars searches were 93 percent greater than all searches for Game of Thrones on the Bing Network. This was true of all states, except South Dakota and Vermont, which prefer Game of Thrones.2

Comics and superhero searches
This year is all about Suicide Squad — it was the top comics/superhero search in all states. Deadpool and Wonder Woman follow, which are equally popular. Sadly, there’s little love for Spidey this year; Spiderman is the least-searched superhero costume.2

Disney costume searches
Classic Disney characters searches ruled, while Frozen experienced a chill in searches this year. Alice in Wonderland, the Little Mermaid and Mickey Mouse were the top three Disney costume searches. The majority of Disney costume searchers are female (81 percent).2

For more digital insights and strategies for Halloween search advertising, go to the complete Halloween insights presentation, and treat yourself to Halloween sales. To access our entire library of seasonal and vertical insights, visit the Bing Ads Insights portal.
  1. National Retail Federation, Monthly Consumer Survey, September 2016
  2. Microsoft internal data, Daily searches (all devices), September 1st, 2016 – October 7th 2016, U.S. only