The World Series and Halloween have been longtime cultural icons of October, and that was reflected in the month's most dominant online conversations.
After the massive devastation Hurricane Harvey wreaked on Houston in September, many were clearly rooting for the Astros to nab a World Series victory and bring some positivity back to the Houston community. Similar to the buzz surrounding the World Series, the internet was ablaze with conversations about costumes, candy, and movies as adults and children prepared for one of the most anticipated nights of the year, Halloween.
We dove into these two trending topics to uncover some key drivers of consumer attention.
Dodgers excite, Astros delight
In order to understand which teams MLB fans are rooting for, we first have to understand this audience.
Unsurprisingly, baseball fans are predominantly men between 25-54. However, baseball fans consistently talked about the Dodgers much more throughout the playoffs than the Astros, with fans mentioning the Dodgers 91% more often than their opponents.
Unlike the Dodgers’ dominant series against the Chicago Cubs leading up to the World Series, the Astros had a seven-game battle against the New York Yankees to eventually win the ALCS. The Houston Astros have been playing inspired baseball since Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston a few weeks ago. From the “Houston Strong” patch on their jersey’s to the crowds excitement, it’s safe to say baseball fans were rooting for Houston to have this much-needed victory. Our data supports this theory with 61% of baseball fans discussing the Houston Astros positively versus only 55% for the Dodgers.
2017 Halloween buzz
According to our data, Halloween enthusiasts are a very different demographic than baseball fans – with 70% of all Halloween conversations being driven by women aged 13-34.
This audience is most interested in three coveted features of Halloween: movies, costumes, and candy. Across these categories we can see the influence of hot new releases and marketing campaigns in driving conversations to these topics.
Top five Halloween Movies
Halloween movie fans are more likely to watch and talk about these five movies than any other movies:
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise actually generates the highest affinity among people who talk about Halloween, with 7.2x more likely to discuss this movie compared to the general population. The remake of Stephen King’s IT was one of the most popular horror movies, tied with Nightmare on Elm Street, which typically sees a resurgence thanks to its status as a cult classic.
Top five Halloween Costumes
In terms of costumes, this year’s fan favorites range from scary clowns, to vampires, to comic book characters.
Unsurprisingly, Winona Ryder’s character from Stranger Things, Joyce Byers reigns as Halloween fans’ favorite costume. Again, the influence of the new IT movie can also be seen here as Pennywise, and likely scary clown costumes overall were popular again this year.
Top five Halloween candy
Last but not least, the undisputed most coveted Halloween candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups thanks, at least in part, to the brand’s focused marketing campaign around the holiday. People talking about Halloween are 4x more likely to talk about this candy than the general population.
Other notable fan favorite candies include M&M’s, Nerds, Snickers, and Twix. In most cases these brands have intentionally focused on packaging themselves as trick-or-treat friendly options.
Despite the promise of the World Series clash, interestingly, the top conversation driver surrounding online Halloween buzz was about which movies to stream on Netflix or Hulu for Halloween.
As a result, Halloween might be about candy and trick-or-treating for kids, but it seems to be about movies for adults, with 56% of this audience’s share of voice in favor of movies.
Amit Avner is chief executive and founder of Taykey