This Halloween will be unlike any other in recent memory. Some might say it already feels like we are living in a scary movie, given that the pandemic and resulting economic crisis has disrupted so many things about our way of life. We used Nuvi’s social listening and social analytics to gather social data and see what people were saying about Halloween 2020.
Popular Posts and Online Discussion
The CDC recently issued guidelines deeming door-to-door trick-or-treating, car trick-or-treating, indoor haunted houses, and costume parties high-risk activities that should be avoided. Some places, like Los Angeles County, have banned Halloween carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and haunted houses.
Instead of traditional Halloween celebrations, the CDC suggested house decorating, socially distanced pumpkin carving, virtual costume contests, outdoor scavenger hunts with family, and socially distanced outdoor movie nights. They also emphasized that costume masks are not a substitute for cloth face masks that protect people from the virus. Lori Bergamotto of Good Housekeeping explained, “It’s all about reframing it in a way where it’s not canceled, but instead, here’s an awesome way we can celebrate.”
Looking at our emerging trends monitor, we noticed people were widely sharing some unique and inventive ways that families are celebrating Halloween while maintaining social distance. Some viral posts and articles shared particularly creative examples, like candy cannons, drive-through haunted houses, and more.
In Austin, Texas Jaimie Nakae-Grenier and Jay Grenier draw crowds at Halloween with their interactive home decorations. This year, they’ve redesigned their Halloween decor to be seen from afar and constructed a 6 foot candy slide to deliver contactless treats to neighborhood children.
Some, (like Erin Dunphy Rickel of Burlington, CT) are looking to make family-only celebrations fun with unique solutions like indoor trick-or-treating, where an adult stands behind each door in a room or closet with candy (so children can still knock on doors) and a costume parade in the driveway. One Halloween enthusiast in Garden City, Michigan, modified a zipline with a stuffed ghost that will bring candy to the children on the sidewalk. A video of the candy delivery ghost received 25 million page views.
Trending Terms According to Social Listening Analytics
Nuvi Language Engine analyzed the words most frequently used in the discussion around Halloween, to give us an idea of what topics, phrases, adjectives, and more were popular.
Our Trending Entities visualization measures popular nouns. For Halloween 2020, these included: year, ideas, house, family, costumes. The word “Year” has been particularly popular due to people sharing particular concerns about Halloween celebrations in this unique year in our history. “Ideas,” “house,” and “family” indicate the need for creativity in finding ways to have safe, family-centered at-home celebrations.
Analysis of trending adjectives revealed a mix of traditional halloween descriptors, like “spooky,” and a number of positive adjectives, like “best,” “perfect,” “favorite,” and “cute,” which showed that people are still finding a way to enjoy the Halloween season in spite of the new distancing recommendations.
Trending positive phrases reflected the same takeaway, including “creative ideas,” “fun time,” “getting excited” and “favorite holiday.”
Halloween is a holiday of high emotions—fear is at its center, but this spooky season brings plenty of people joy, too. We used Nuvi’s social listening emotion analysis to unpack the feelings behind the discussion of Halloween 2020.
The most frequent emotion that appeared in our monitors was Anticipation; social media users are eager to celebrate the upcoming holiday in any way they can.
Next was Surprise: this elevated score was primarily due to expressions of astonishment at the creative halloween costumes and decorations (some of which we described above) many users are already sharing.
Joy and Fear came next, the two emotions we would expect of this holiday.
Unfortunately, Anger and Sadness also appeared with moderate frequency in our monitors. Americans are understandably upset that the continued health crisis will put a damper on their Halloween celebrations, with traditions like trick-or-treating and haunted houses carrying increased risks this year.
Despite the inability to celebrate Halloween as American’s have traditionally, they are showing signs of one of the greatest human traits: resilience. Although understandably disappointed and even angry, people are moving forward with anticipation and celebrating in whatever way they can. Whether online or socially distanced, the Halloween spirit is still felt and spread.
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