Blog Home Design Design Inspiration The Clickiest Halloween Costumes According to Data

Every year brings new costume trends inspired by current events. While some pop-culture costume predictions may score cool points in 2021, we wanted to find out which will score clicks. Enter Shutterstock.AI.

We used the tool to analyze more than eleven years of digital-marketing data to determine which Halloween costumes, accessories, and settings will be the most engaging for audiences this spooky season.

Here’s what we learned . . .


Classic Costumes Are Clickable

Fashion trends come and go, but the classics are always in style. According to artificial intelligence, tried-and-true costumes are trending up in clickability across the board.

Specifically, imagery and videos of wolves have seen big boosts in engagement, with click-through rates (CTRs) up 235% over the past two years. 

Man in Wolf Costume
Videos and images of wolves have made a comeback. Image via K Petro.

Witches are also on-trend. Their clickability has increased 16% since fall 2020. Interestingly enough, though, the CTR of brooms dropped 97% within that same time.

So, if you plan to include a witch in your Halloween campaigns, AI suggests including a cat instead. (Cats are becoming more engaging with time, and their CTR has risen 37% since 2019.)

Pirates have had a swashbuckling CTR surge in recent years, too, rising 29% since 2019.

And, unfortunately, depending on who you ask, clowns are once again receiving a lot of attention, with a CTR up 171% over the last two years.


Opt for Athletics and Action-Packed Looks

This year, AI found that athletes are the most clickable costumes of all. This rise in popularity could be due to the excitement of the Tokyo Olympics. It could even be attributed to the influence of popular athletes playing the roles of movie stars, celebrities, and advocates. Whatever the cause may be, audiences can’t get enough.

In particular, jerseys are highly engaging when compared to previous years. The CTR of jerseys has gone up 77% since just last year. 

This trend goes hand-in-hand with what AI found for videos, too. It observed that since 2020, athletics-themed creative has been trending up.

For example, for the entertainment and media industry, AI found that videos containing athletes saw a 445% increase in CTR, and videos containing basketballs saw a 633% CTR increase. 

Football Jersey
Score some points with your customers by costuming models in a jersey. Image via Masarik.

Another type of action-oriented costume is that of the superhero. Movies featuring our favorite heroes have been dominating the silver screen for years now. The popularity of featuring superheroes in advertising has remained steady over this time period, too.

But, while the CTR of superhero imagery and videos increased dramatically from 2019-2020, AI has seen no change in engagement since.

Selecting these costumes for your ad creative is still a wise choice though, as superheroes remain highly-clickable for all audiences. 


Get the Details Right

When it comes to fabrics and textures, AI found that more is more. Glitter saw a 44% CTR boost since this time last year. Feathers also saw a big increase in engagement, with the CTR of content containing feathers increasing 154% since 2019. (While this number may seem pretty substantial at first, glitter is still 225% more clickable.)

Headwear has also been highly engaging. Hats have been trending up steadily year over year for the last three years, with a 38% CTR bump since 2019.

In fact, when looking at a wider variety of head pieces, hats are still more clickable than wigs, with a 391% higher CTR. 

Also over the last year, crowns have seen a huge surge in clickability, with a 254% CTR increase. Perhaps this is due to renewed interest in high society and royalty in television dramas and films.

Whatever the case may be, crowns are engaging, but hats reign supreme with a 17% higher CTR.

As mentioned before, wigs have declined in clickability. But, if your costume needs some extra hair, don’t despair! Consider showing a beard, instead. They’re trending up. The CTR of beards increased 46% from 2019-2020, and 12% from 2020-2021.


Outdoors Is Best

Now that you know the details that will boost the CTR of your costumes, what settings should your models be in? 

In general, outdoor settings outperform indoor ones. In fact, videos that are set outdoors have a 15% higher CTR than ones set indoors.

This means that your brand could embrace a variety of outdoor content—trick-or-treating, bonfires, etc.—and still see engagement. 

Finally, if you’re looking for settings that fit into the spooky season’s theme, here are some data-driven details to delight your audience.

Imagery and videos featuring fog saw their CTR increase 262% since 2019. And, content including the moon saw a 32% CTR boost since just last year. 


Artificial intelligence is in the hot spot. Here are a few interesting reads for you:

Cover image via yul3885.