The Cycle

The Halloween hype is here

There’s still more than a month to go before we celebrate the orange-and-black-festooned holiday. Yet marketers, retailers, and media companies are already covering their stores, advertisements, and magazine covers with pictures of pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons, and other Halloween-friendly characters (can’t forget the scary black cat and cackling witch).

Since Labor Day, national discount chains have been rolling out decorations for eager consumers who want to get a head start on carving those little pumpkins and hanging cob webs all over their front porch.

The New York Times reports that the Halloween celebration has grown significantly over the last ten years, becoming a very popular, cultural, and also lucrative part of the retail and editorial calendars alike.

Magazine editors and Web site executives attribute the preparation of Halloween in September to reader demand.

“We noticed about five years ago that right after Labor Day, right after back-to-school, we were getting an uptick in hits on the Web site on information about Halloween costumes,” said Dan Hickey, editor in chief at in Des Moines, the Web site for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, “and it kept growing.”

Marketers joining in on the pre-Halloween fun are: Hallmark Cards, Lenox, Mars, the Popcorn Factory, and Advil analgesic, sold by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

In New York, events like the popular Greenwich Village Halloween costume parade attract the older folks to get involved in celebrating. Yep, Halloween is no longer just a “trick-or-treat” affair for youngsters.

That’s good news for me because my Wicked Witch costume could go for a few more runs. That and, this sweet tooth could never grow too old to collect candy.

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