The time of year has come around again when the leaves on the trees are rapidly changing colour and falling to the floor, making everything crunchy under our feet (or just really soggy, if the incessant rain has anything to do with it).
It’s true, the weather is now much colder, foggier, damper (ewww) and for those early risers amongst us, we are now having to de-frost the cars in the morning. Oh the calamity! It’s also impossible of course to escape the vibrant orange and black that is plastered everywhere, i.e. the spooky commercialism of Halloween.
As far as the shops are concerned, it is a time to go all out with decorations. People are encouraged to buy huge pumpkins, arm their kids with plastic toys, and demand that we buy and consume ridiculous amounts of sweets and chocolates. Now, I’m no Halloween Grinch, but I can’t help but notice how over the years us Brits have been trying hard to make this become a much bigger holiday than it used to be. And, a little bit like Marmite, people are either really into it, or they’re not bothered at all.
According to a poll last year, the nation is evenly split between those friendly to this “American Import” and those who would just simply rather not get involved. You know, the ones who forget to buy sweets and turn the lights off when the trick-or-treaters show up. Yet Britain continues to go bigger on Halloween each year, with marketing and ad campaigns that love to run wild with it throughout the entirety of October. It certainly is big business, with an eye watering £400 million plus being spent on Halloween in the UK last year. Shops and ¬supermarkets fuel this by starting promotions weeks before the day and that familiar ‘spooky’ style packaging starts cropping up everywhere, even on some of your favourite household goods.
It’s not just the packaging, advertising, and countless promotions that are getting into the spirit of this unofficial holiday either, employees are joining in as well. For example, whilst shopping at the weekend I was stunned to look up and see the lady in Boots had a full face of pretty terrifying skull makeup on while she was handing me a No. 7 skincare voucher (other skincare brands are available) I think I actually heard a child scream in the next aisle when she approached them! As for other workplaces? I’ve seen countless offices trussed up in skeleton bunting, fake-bloodied handprints un-ironically adorning the walls that keep employees encased within. It seems you can’t move without being confronted by a bowl of Miniature Heroes and a member of accounts wearing a prosthetic witches nose…
However, in contrast to our American counterparts, where you see entire houses, gardens and streets being transformed into crazy and OTT playgrounds dedicated to this theme, us Brits are still fairly low key. It seems then, that the general consensus is that for the UK, it is just a great excuse for a party and fancy dress (SHOCK, right?). Certainly over the last few years I have been to a couple of themed parties by some of my creative friends who really go all out for it. The best so far being held on a creepy Island in Windsor by the River Thames, decked out to the max with hazard tape, dry ice, strobe lights, incredibly carved pumpkins, freaky props and a great big projector with horror movies on. Needless to say, all the attendees went all-out with costumes, both home-made efforts and shop hired ones (which let’s face it aren’t cheap). And if you haven’t seen anyone dress up yet, you can be sure to see some sights in all the local bars tonight, especially if there is a University nearby. Themed nights at pubs and clubs will be bursting with people dressing up this coming week and weekend.
So, what is the point of this analysis of modern-day Halloween? Well, as well as it being a great excuse to keep young children entertained, it is also a fantastic way to get creative and challenge yourself to make and share something truly spectacular. Which is what we’re all about at Pistachio. So, even if like me you aren’t too sure where you stand on the Halloween cobweb and plastic spider decorated fence, Halloween is a now unavoidable event that can be a great deal of fun. With that in mind, go forth and have a bit of fun, release your inner child and get really creative…you might even surprise yourself! Which reminds me I really need to get my costume sorted for Saturday night…any ideas?
To find out what else makes us tick here at Pistachio, visit the rest of our ‘Thoughts’ page, here.