Are Millennials Also Killing the… Halloween Industry?

The golf industry, the apparel industry, the department story industry — we’ve heard it all. Millennials are the new age, crazed Freddy Kruegers, playing what must be a spin-the-wheel with any given industry on the chopping block. So what’s next? With Friday the 13th just passed, could any industry be more fitting to get a gruesome death than the beloved and ghastly Halloween industry

All right, let me first qualify — I don’t really believe millennials kill any industry. I like to believe my kind and Gen-Z who come right after us are just rational consumers, who don’t overspend on material items or old-fashioned hobbies, and companies or industries who don’t recognize or innovate often fall victim to the media-sensationalized, tragic enviable end (who plays golf now-a-days anyway?)

But with that said, we’re starting to realize spending power isn’t just everything. It’s habit power too. When people change what they do all at once, it can shift an entire industry. And quite possibly a holiday.

This Halloween, the new tech app “chat roulette for the phone” is encouraging users to join in for their HOLLAween (get it?) campaign. They’re changing their “smile points” which uses AI-facial recognition to award you if you smile and have fun, to “scare points,” and they’re encouraging their users to scare others — and get scared. And the top scare-ers, those who rank the highest in the leaderboard for scare points can wish cash.

Okay — I get it. How is this going to kill the Halloween industry? you ask. It probably won’t, singlehandedly at least. But it’s the start of a shift to an even more online and mobile society. There’s safety and security behind the phone, not to mention convenience to do almost anything in the comfort of your own home. So it begs the question: If you could get a one-on-one, spooky, scary experience from your phone, maybe one day similar to a haunted house and for free, are you really going to pay good money to go to actually get dressed and go to a haunted house?

And some people say yes. And those are the probably the same people who will be hitting the balls off the golf tee until the day they die, never succumbing to the cool convenience to VR. But I really think the majority of tech users one day will say no — that they will indeed opt for the virtual substitute of experiences, at least every once in awhile.

And that’s what HOLLA’s all about. They ask why go to the bar and waste time trying to meet someone when you can instantly match with someone from the comfort of your own home and get to talk to them in 10 seconds? Crazy idea, you may say, but HOLLA’s been growing wildly since launching just under a year ago. It’d be even crazier to think people aren’t jumping on board for that concept. And while it maybe be a little excessive to completely drop the “let’s meet some people in real life” idea in 2017, it may not be such a wild one for 2025.