Buzz Lightyear, Alice in Wonderland lead 2010 Halloween outfits

By Elena Malykhina on Thu Sep 30 2010


The spookiest day of year, Halloween, is only a month away, which means costume shopping is in full swing. While traditional costumes are still a popular choice, Hollywood-inspired characters are expected to make an appearance at parties everywhere, according to the 2010 Top Costumes survey, released this week by the National Retail Federation. Buzz Lightyear, Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland made the list, while the unbranded witch, vampire, pirate, nurse and wench, respectively, are the top five picks for adults. That's not surprising, since classic costumes are always easier and cheaper to obtain. In fact, the NRF said that while more people than ever plan to dress up for Halloween, they'll be looking for ways to save money in doing so. The leading costumes for kids are generic princess, Spider-Man, witch, pirate and Disney princess. "Aiming to attract shoppers of all ages, retailers have already begun stocking their shelves with a wide variety of costumes," per the NRF. And let's not forget our furry friends. You'll see plenty of pets dressed as pumpkins, devils, witches and hot dogs. I've already seen several retailers capitalizing on that four-legged demo.

Frightful changes are in store for Chipotle's Halloween giveaway

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Sep 29 2010


Fans of Halloween promotions and bad puns will be saddened to hear that this year, Chipotle is overhauling its long-running "Boo-rito" giveaway. Under the promo, as many college students know, you get a free burrito if you show up at a Chipotle location dressed as one. But Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's CMO, told attendees at an Advertising Week session on Wednesday that Boo-rito will look different this year. For one thing, you now have to dress up like a processed food item (a Twinkie, for example) to claim the prize. For another, you have to pony up $2 as well. The cash goes to fund a Jamie Oliver charity (Crumpacker didn't specify which one). The nominal charge and the more challenging costume will no doubt result in fewer freeloaders this year. Crumpacker said the promo costs Chipotle about $3 million. We say: Boo!

Victoria's Secret said to be creating line of Halloween costumes

By T.L. Stanley on Tue Jul 13 2010


The details are as scant as a thong-and-backless-bra set, but word around the interwebs has it that Victoria's Secret plans to launch a Halloween line this fall. That should come as incredible news to the men of America and folks peddling gym memberships. Nylon magazine drops hints like, "Think corsets, think glitter," but that's fairly vague. Will these branded bits of fabric have wings? Or ears and tails? Pitchforks, maybe? More information has to be forthcoming, but various fashion pubs that tried to root it out got bupkis so far. Since Halloween is the sluttiest holiday—it's OK to dress like a streetwalker!—I'm envisioning all kinds of push-up, bejeweled, sliver-sized outfits. It's the next logical step to what we've all seen for the past several years, but it doesn't make it a good thing. Gentlemen, feel free to disagree.

Billy Mays tops list of brand-spokesman costumes for Halloween

Posted on Thu Oct 29 2009


Other than selling us a bunch of crap, infomercial king Billy Mays left an indelible impression on some us. So much so that he was voted the brand spokesman most likely to win a costume contest this year. The Geico caveman was second, and the Geico gecko was third, according to a poll from First Call, Octagon's celebrity and acquisition division. (As AdFreak mentioned earlier, Billy Mays's son will support you if you want to go as his dad. He even wants pictures.) Kayne West was voted the celebrity whose mistake could make him a popular costume this year. (One would assume a Taylor Swift would have to be in tow.) Second and third in that category were Michael Jackson and Jon and Kate Gosselin (in Jackson's case, that's a weird use of the word "mistake"). For the kids, Hannah Montana was voted the licensed character that will most likely be popular this year. Dora the Explorer and characters from Where the Wild Things Are were a distant second and third. Personally, I'm expecting a healthy dose of Balloon Boys and Bernie Madoffs. If you can think of any other good celebrity costumes, feel free to chime in.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Nerds spend $2,000 and two years on iPhone Halloween outfits

Posted on Thu Oct 29 2009

So, what's the Halloween costume that all the well-dressed geeks will be wearing this time around? While many of the common folk will be drawn to tasteless dead-celebrity costumes, at least a couple of techies will be going as iPhones—functional ones that they like to call GuyPhones. In this video, two rabid fans, Reko Rivera and John Savio, parade their iPhone getups, which have actual working 42-inch displays. Alas, this costume is not for everyone. It weighs 85 pounds, for one thing, and has a battery life of only 1.5 hours. The two sank more than $2,000 and two years of work into this, so can't you give them 30 seconds of your time?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Doritos unveils Asylum 626, another pants-soiling Halloween site

Posted on Tue Oct 13 2009

Jeepers! Last year, it was Hotel 626. Now, Doritos and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners are reviving their scary Halloween online experience with a new site, Asylum 626. Log on between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and you're plunked into the middle of a horror film (hint: it takes place in an asylum) with the challenge of escaping ASAP. To get your adrenaline really pumping, Frito-Lay recommends turning all the lights out, turning on your webcam and microphone and putting on your headphones. The campaign celebrates the return from the dead of two "fan-favorite flavors," Black Pepper Jack and Smoking Cheddar BBQ. An augmented-reality marker on the back of the "undead" bags gives viewers access to exclusive footage when you hold it up to the webcam. We'd try it out, but it's not 6 p.m. yet, and the BrandFreak office is scary enough with the lights on.

—Posted by Elaine Wong



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