Google Frightgeist is tracking popular Halloween costumes, but will it help prevent embarrassing situations? Using data compiled from Google Trends, Frightgeist displays a United States map and reveals stats based on local and natural trending searches. While the information may help people choose popular costumes, those who want to avoid wearing the same costume as others may find the information useful. Nationwide, the most popular Halloween costume is Harley Quinn. However, the information varies widely when looking at local costumes. According to Google Frightgeist, the information is culled from the top 500 costume searches in the U.S. Google says that Frightgeist is an experiment. There is no mention of whether Google Frightgeist will be available for years to come. It’s interesting to note that Google’s results are different from the top Halloween costume list provided by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
As Harley Quinn leads the Google trends list, the costume isn’t even mentioned by the NRF. Could this be due to the date of NRF’s survey and that Google Frightgeist is compiling data in real time? Do people’s choices for Halloween costumes fluctuate with the newest release of Hollywood blockbusters? As the nation prepares for the newest Star Wars film and release of Suicide Squad, the nationwide results provided by Google aren’t surprising. The NRF findings, however, are. When it comes to finding top trends, should people forget the surveys and turn to real-time results provided by sites like Google Frightgeist?
Additionally, the NRF survey placed the witch costume as No. 1 for adults, where Google’s Frightgeist placed it No. 7. What might be most surprising is the wide spectrum of costume choices between various regions. For instance, the most popular Halloween costume according to Google Frightgeist for Alpena, Michigan, is the Game of Thrones character Daenerys Targaryen (Khaleesi) followed by the character Evie from the new Disney Descendants television movie. As the Evie costume comes in at No. 2 for the Alpena, Michigan, region, it ranks at 264 nationwide. These costumes aren’t even close to the top pick for the nation as a whole, and fail to make the top ten list in many local regions.
Of all the data Google Frightgeist has compiled, none may be as interesting as the Halloween costume choices for Juneau, Alaska. Undoubtedly, many feel that Alaska is a bit separated from the rest of the nation and inland states, but the costume choices really show that there is a wide difference between these regions. The top trending Halloween costume for Juneau, Alaska, according to Google, is Chucky. Chucky does come in at 67 nationwide, but is not mentioned anywhere on the NRF survey. The Chucky costume is so popular in Juneau, that Frightgeist predicts there will most likely be more than one Chucky circulating during a Halloween party. Following Chucky is the Star Wars character Boba Fett. Coming in at number three is a unicorn. Who would have thought that unicorns were so popular in Alaska?
Another surprise based on Google trends is the top Halloween costume for West Palm Beach, Florida. Cowboy costumes are the rage in West Palm Beach, and there’s a strong chance a cowboy may run into another cowboy, or a cowgirl at a party. Clicking on one Frightgeist’s results provides more information and data that users can continue to access. Google Frightgeist users may compare how a costume’s popularity has trended over time and compare the results to the national trends list.
What will be interesting to note is how consumers will use the information. Will people tend to pick costumes because they are popular, or will Frightgeist help steer consumers away from popular costumes and ultimately select or create their own unique Halloween garb? Do people want to be original and unique and stand out from the crowd, or are they more comfortable wearing Halloween costumes that celebrate their favorite characters? Google Frightgeist is a great way to closely examine your costume choice, and you may be surprised to find what you thought was a unique idea, was actually a popular one.
[Image courtesy Google]