Blog #6: Halloween (Advertising)

As the iconic Gossip Girl (narrated by Kristen Bell) said in 5×12, “Miss me, Upper East Siders?”  I know, I know – it’s been a long 2 weeks and you are just dying to know why the silence and what is up next in my blog. Our Advertising class didn’t meet two weeks ago and we had a midterm just last week – so essentially we were given early treats, not tricks — just in time for Halloween of course.

Even though Halloweekend is over, I’m still going to focus on it for this blog since it’ss  till fresh in my mind.

Gossip Girl: All Hallow’s Eve. The one day of the year it’s socially acceptable to play dress-up. The only question is, who do you want to be? There are costumes to make men feel like boys again. Or turn little girls into queens. (3×7, “How to Succeed in Bassness”)

In terms of advertising for Halloween, you have your classic essentials – costumes, candies, and pumpkin carvings.

#1. Costumes — This year, Target photographed a disabled little girl with arm crutches and leg braces, wearing a Frozen Elsa costume, in their Halloween flyers. Personally I commend them – I am tired of seeing the youth of America being corrupted, especially around Halloween, to look cute and sexy with short and scandalous costumes. The model for this costume embodies strength, innocence, and happiness; she helps shine a light on people who are often disregarded and thought about, proving that they are just like everyone else despite their disabilities.

As People Magazine reported, “Jen Spickenagel Kroll, a Michigan mom of a daughter with special needs, posted [this] to her Facebook page in praise of Target – ‘Dear Target, I love you,’ she wrote. ‘Thank you for including a child with braces and arm crutches into your advertising campaign! And as Elsa, no less! My daughter (with arm crutches and prosthetic legs) is going to FLIP when she sees this! Including children with special needs into advertising makes them less of a spectacle to the general public when they venture out into the real world. Normalizing disabilities in children is PRICELESS.’” The post was shared 6,000+ times.

Additionally, fashion brand Ultra Violet Kids included a child with a disability in their promotional Halloween photos for the very first time. According to The Daily Signal, “Four-year-old Zoe Lush, a little girl who is confined to a wheelchair, was one of five child models featured in the brand’s advertising.” She dressed up like a cat and Iris Apfel, and the cat picture currently has 2700+ likes on Instagram. The Daily Signal also reported: “[UVK Founder] Michelle Chaplain argues more companies should include children like Zoe in their ads and that through inclusive advertising a disabled child can feel that there are other people like them in the world. The ads make ‘people feel like they’re just like everybody else,’ she says.”×650.jpg

As I briefly touched upon earlier, costumes –especially for young women – are typically defined and advertised as sexy and hot. Women want to look good and be somebody or something that they typically aren’t for that one highly anticipated night of the year. Mean Girls (2004) perfectly summed this up —

However, did you know that people aren’t the only ones getting dressed up sexy for Halloween?? Take a look at this Mini Cooper Halloween ad from 2013:

#2. Candy — It’s such an important part to Halloween, especially when they become Halloween-themed. We all have our favorites and, no matter how old we get, we’ll always want to trick-or-treat to get free candy. Or at least that’s how I feel anyway … maybe because I can still pass as a high schooler with my height and young-looking face, ha ha ha.

And last, but not least #3. pumpkin carvings — You may not even realize it, but pumpkins can be a great way to advertise what’s currently popular & trendy for that year.

Now that Halloween is over, trade in your haunts and horrors for the holly and the notorious “Ho ho ho” exclamations — Christmas advertising is really being shoved down the throats at consumers everywhere. I mean who cares about Thanksgiving, right? (Me, that’s who!)

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