This year is different.
From virtual marketing conferences and "staycations" to working from home, everything in our lives has taken a bit of a 2020 twist amidst COVID-19 and political and social unrest.
With fall finally here in the United States, this environment may have you wondering "what the holidays will look like?" More pressing, what will Halloween look like?
Understanding this is critical to your adapting your seasonal marketing strategies, but, let's be honest, it also affects company culture quite a bit.
If your office is anything like ours at IMPACT, you like to have some fun on Halloween, donning costumes and enjoying a few spooky treats, but with everyone working remote, is that still possible?
It is if I have anything to say about it!
Long before the pandemic, about half of the IMPACT team has worked remote so while some of us would enjoy planning a costume and heading into the office in previous years, others would just enjoy the fun via Zoom.
Even under "normal" circumstances, it can be difficult to come up with a creative, easy-to-make costume that’s also safe for work, but add in the idea of things getting lost in "virtual translation" and you've got yourself quite a conundrum.
So this year, I did the brainstorming for you.
Below are some clever, work-friendly Halloween costumes you can put together with some simple materials you most likely already have lying around your home or office and that still translate well on Zoom.
1-2. The "Wipe it Down" Challenge/TikTok
With most of the global population confined to their homes, TikTok was prime for explosive growth — and explode it did.
One of the most popular trends on the platform was the "Wipe it Down" Challenge in which people would find themselves cleaning a mirror at home looking less than glamorous. Then, when they wiped the mirror, they would be dressed up and ready for a night out.
To recreate this trend, get glam on one half of your face/body and carry around a bottle of windex and a cleaning cloth. Or if that sounds a bit too complicated, you can grab this off Etsy or use a poster board to literally dress as the TikTok platform:
Nothing will says 2020 tech or marketing more.
3. VSCO girl
What's a VSCO Girl, you ask? It's a name given to young (usually Gen Z) female influencers who use the popular VSCO photo-editing app to keep their Instagram or TikTok profiles picture perfect.
All you need is a camera or smartphone (bonus points if it's a Polaroid), Hydro Flask, and some trendy accessories like a hair scrunchy and you'll be good to go.
4. Click farmer
Click farms may not be the most honorable way of growing your numbers, but they do lend themselves to a pretty admirable costume.
Like IMPACT's own Carina Duffy, you can create this costume with a simple plaid or flannel shirt, some overalls, and a few computer mice.
5. The latest iPhone
Though not officially announced, the iPhone 12 is likely only days away from being a reality.
Throw on a white shirt or black shirt (to mimic "dark mode"), print out the icons of your favorite apps, and attach them using safety pins.
(Or, if you're feeling really crafty, use felt to recreate the icons like the woman below:)
6. Adobe Creative Suite
Grab a bright tee (and maybe some friends) and show up at the office as your favorite programs from the Adobe Creative Suite.
Google and print out the logos on some card stock or everyday computer paper, pin it to your shirt, and you’ll be good to go.
7. Expo marketers
Nothing says team meeting like a white board and the smell of Expo dry erase markers. Like the Adobe Creative Suite, you can pull this one off with aprons/t-shirts and some construction paper.
8. The Purple Cow
Who doesn't love Seth Godin? Throw on something purple and use construction paper to cut out some spots to be the iconic Purple Cow.
9. Your favorite marketing book
If you're like most of us at IMPACT, books are still one of your favorite ways to learn a new skill or even escape. So why not dress up as a bookworm or pay homage to your favorite marketing book this Halloween?
Grab some oversized glasses, a green shirt or dress, some green pipe cleaners to turn into antennae, and recreate your favorite book's cover on some poster board for this fun look:
10. Your favorite meme
Memes have dominated the internet in recent years, but never more so than in 2020. Try recreating your favorite for an easy, zoom and office-friendly costume. Here's some inspiration:
"Is this a bird?":
"This is fine:"
11. Web server
Got a black shirt and a plate? Grab those and print out a photo of a computer for a simple, but clever web server costume.
12. Identity theft (or thief)
With cyber hacks and data breaches making headlines every other day, this costume couldn't be more timely or easier to put together. Just dress like yourself and throw on some name tags. Use the names of your coworkers for a more personal touch.
There are hundreds of iconic (no pun intended) and recognizable characters for you to recreate sitting right in your smartphone, including a lot of new options. Here are just a few examples of how well it can be done without much work:
Information Desk Girl:
14. Snapchat lenses
Snapchat’s lenses help us transform all year long and can offer some great inspiration come Halloween. Grab some makeup or face paint at a local craft store to recreate some of your favorites with these helpful tutorials:
These are especially great if you're looking for something that is Zoom-friendly!
15. Social butterfly
Love social media? With a pair of angel or fairy wings, a colorful t-shirt, and some printed out logos, you can easily become a social butterfly.
(Not to brag, but this number right here has gotten me on more than one top punny costume lists.)
16. Social media graveyard
Speaking of social media, Halloween is the perfect time to pay tribute to the platforms we've lost over the years and capture the spooky spirit of the season, as a social media graveyard.
Grab a t-shirt and use felt to cut out little tombstones for the social media networks of yesteryear like Vine, Friendster, and Hi5.
17. White space
Dress in all white.
18. “The cloud”
iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox — “Clouds” are everywhere in the tech world and a critical tool for many teams.
Use construction paper to cut out fluffy clouds to pin to your shirt, or if you’re feeling crafty, cover a white shirt with cotton balls or stuffing cotton for a punny office costume.
19. Mozilla Firefox
It may not be the most popular browser, but it's certainly one of the most recognizable. Wear orange, find an inflatable globe, and grab this pair of ears for a foxy office get-up.
Pick up a pair of cat ears (any local pharmacy will have these, guaranteed), use eyeliner or a marker to draw on whiskers and a nose, and jot down "Control + C" on a piece of paper. Pin it to your shirt and you’re done!
21. Mad Men characters
Taking a more traditional costume approach, break out your suit or pencil skirt and dress up as one of the characters from TV’s Mad Men.
22. The Office Characters
If you're more of a Michael Scott fan than Don Draper, The Office is also full of iconic characters to choose from. This pair did a great job with Angela and Dwight using everyday office attire:
23. 404 page
Here’s one for all the developers out there. Grab a plain white tee and use some sharpies to write “Error 404: Costume Not Found” across the front.
Really strapped on supplies and time? Grab some eyeliner or a marker and write “BOOK” across your cheeks for a literal “Face book” costume.
Credit: NBC Universal
25. Reaction buttons
Now, this one would make an awesome group costume for you and your team.
Throw on some yellow t-shirts and in black, write or attach one Buzzfeed’s reaction options (i.e. OMG, LOL, WTF, etc.)
Or if you're looking for more of a marketing angle, consider Facebook reaction buttons:
26. Pantone colors/swatches/palette:
For another easy group costume, use colored shirts and the Pantone Color Finder to print out labels to go as different swatches or a cohesive palette.
If you’re feeling technical, try going as the CMYK color model.
27-31. Marketing icons
Pay tribute to some of marketing’s most well-known mascots and spokespeople with clothes you already have in your closet. This is all you need for some of the most popular:
Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World: Black Suit
Flo from Progressive: White pants, white polo, navy headband, and a white apron that says “Progressive”
Brawny Man: Red flannel shirt, jeans, a roll of paper towel
Jake from State Farm Insurance: Red polo shirt, khakis, and “State Farm” name tag.
KFC's Colonel Sanders: A white beard and sharp white suit will do the trick here.
32. Mark Zuckerberg
Turn the Facebook founder’s minimalist style into a casual costume. All you need is a a grey t-shirt, black hoodie, jeans -- and of course an innovative mindset.
Use a lime green t-shirt, or a clean, classic garbage can and a glow stick necklace to turn yourself into the Android mascot.
34. Ghost writer
To turn yourself into a ghost writer for the day, take an old white bed sheet, cut a few holes for your eyes, and a carry around a notebook.
Use a piece of poster board or cardboard to cut out a # or hashtag shape then use old shoe strings to hang it around your neck.
This video can show you how to create the look in as little as 20-minutes:
36. Instagram frame/screen
While you’ve got the cardboard out, cut out a large square and use construction paper and markers to recreate the Instagram frame/screen. Add personality with a witty caption or even use cellophane to create your own “filters."
Source: Linda Hoang
37. Steve Jobs
Like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs had simple, memorable style that you can replicate for Halloween. Throw on a black turtleneck, jeans, sneakers, and thin-rimmed glasses.
38. Monkey business
I don’t know about you, but it’s going to be pretty chilly on Halloween here in New England. Grab this monkey suit from Amazon and put a suit on over it to bring a little bit of monkey business into the office for the day.
39. Guerilla marketer
Are gorillas more your primate? Put a tech t-shirt on with this mask and print out some fliers to become a “Gorilla Marketer.” Get it?
40. Roger the Moz Robot
Use a cardboard box and some masking tape to craft yourself into Roger the Moz Robot.
#TrickOrTreat @randfish & @Moz! Check out @WaltersContent as Roger the #MozBot! #HappyHalloween #SEO #Costumes #FF pic.twitter.com/aVePcEj7tV
— Brian D. Shields (@BrianDShields)
October 31, 2014
41. Call-to-action button
Wear bright orange, red, or any other high-converting colored shirts and write your best CTA copy across the front. Cut out and attach a paper “cursor” and try something fun like “Push for a High-Five” or “Click for a Hug.”
42. HubSpot sprocket
Pay homage to our favorite marketing automation company with a bright orange shirt and a cardboard or paper sprocket!
43. Gary Vaynerchuk:
Carry around a bottle of a wine and throw on this tee, for a quick and easy costume as the one and only Gary Vee. (Yes, that rhymed.)
44. Data/analytics chart:
What’s your big metric? Traffic? Clicks? Whatever it may be, use a plain shirt and some paper or cardboard to craft a data chart.
45. Link juice
Use a cardboard box, construction paper, and carry an old juice jug to turn yourself into “link juice.”
Take a plain t-shirt and attach as many old mail envelopes to it as you can. (or just buy this costume.)
47. Internet troll
If you've got a plain shirt handy, write "Internet" or even the name of a specific social media platform like "YouTube" or "Facebook" on the front and put on a colorful wig like these to quickly become an internet troll.
If your office is anything like mine, this groan-worthy pun will be a big hit:
49. Seth Godin
Feeling bold? Shave your head and throw on a suit and some round-framed glasses to transform yourself into Seth Godin.
Happy Halloween, friends! :)