girl in a pirate costume and boy in a dinosaur onesie in front of a haunted house

Why Family Brands and Advertisers Need to Jump on the Halloween Video Trend

As you plan your video content and advertising for the upcoming holiday season, make sure you look for inspiration from one of the fastest-growing holidays by views: Halloween.

That’s right -- despite the longstanding appeal of Christmas, Halloween content continues to pull in more views year-over-year than December’s key holiday.

In a search for both Halloween- and Christmas-focused Made for Kids content on YouTube over the last three years, we discovered Halloween videos have earned 39.4B total views, with Christmas-centered content generating around 21.9B during that period.

Breaking Down Halloween Viewing Trends

With Halloween pulling in over 64% of total views across both holidays over the last three years, it’s clear audiences are eager to watch lots of content every time the spooky, trick-or-treating date rolls around.

The peak of Halloween content viewership has grown consistently over the last three years. In general, Halloween viewership starts trending up in the first week of October and peaks on the 31st.

In 2019, this peak hit its highest point yet, at around 120M total views, which was greater than that of Christmas content (about 100M total views). Should this trend continue in 2020, we’re likely to see the peak Halloween viewership beat out Christmas again.

Halloween content also tends to be more evergreen with relatively stable views throughout the rest of the year. Over the last three years, views on Halloween videos have stayed higher than Christmas views, with 2019’s views in particular maintaining a mostly stable plateau through September of 2020. 

If this viewership trend stays the same after October 2020, brands and advertisers can create Halloween-related content before the tentpole event itself and consider how the content can be discovered throughout the year. Halloween videos ideally want to be uploaded six weeks prior to the actual event to be established in the YouTube algorithm and advertisers can align with the right networks, channels and videos to deliver relevant contextual messages to highly engaged audiences.

Kids’ Halloween Content in 2020

These Halloween viewing trends indicate families are turning to social video more frequently year-after-year to gather ideas for the event, including costumes, food, decor, games and family entertainment. Social video will also play a key role in Halloween celebrations this year as Covid-19 changes the way parents and children observe the holiday.

recent Harris poll found 74% of millennial mothers and parents believe 2020’s Halloween to be more important than ever. However, guidelines from professional health organizations around the world suggest traditions like door-to-door trick-or-treating or crowded indoor parties only heighten the risk of COVID transmission.

Based on this information, it’s reasonable to assume Halloween video viewership will increase greatly as kids and families stay home to celebrate this year. And if some families are altering their plans for how to celebrate the holiday, brands and advertisers need to get on board right now and there is still time to execute ad campaigns.

Here are three ways brands can create fun Halloween content for families and target relevant audiences this year: 

  1. Home-based party suggestions: Experts predict some families will choose to have parties at home with close friends and family instead of trick-or-treating or attending a different party to reduce their COVID exposure risks. As such, consider developing or aligning around video content on party themes, games, food, and more. For example, put together a tutorial video on how to set up and play a spooky scavenger hunt.
  2. Make your branded content useful: Safety tips can be entertaining. These ‘wash your hands’ kids videos were produced and published on our network in record time to deliver an important message: Wash Your Hands: and Mole and the Worm’s 4 Tips to Stay Safe.
  3. Maximise shared family screen time: If you’re looking to get your brand in front of parents for the Halloween season, make sure you run your ad campaigns on longer videos during parts of the day where families are more likely to watch spooky content together. For example, children and parents will likely sit down after dinner during weekdays to watch before bed. They’re also likely to view more content collectively on the weekends, particularly Friday evening.