Commentary

Carving Pumpkins Online Spurs Viral Marketing

Carving Pumpkins Online Spurs Viral Marketing

Nielsen//NetRatings reported that the first week in October is the  busiest time online to prepare for Halloween, with Halloween-related sites peaking during the week ending October 9th. Buycostumes.com grew 48 percent week-over-week from October 2nd to October 9th,  drawing 700,000 unique visitors in the first week of October, while the following week  saw a seven percent drop off in unique audience traffic.

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Liquidgeneration.com was the fastest growing (Halloween) site in the week ending October 9th, increasing 163 percent over the prior week. It was an exception to the first  week peak, growing another 45 percent in the week ending October 16th. This site gave Halloween a high-tech edge, with an interactive flash cartoon purporting  to allow visitors to carve their own jack o' lanterns, and asking visitors to send it to friends and  family. The site's significant week-over-week growth can be attributed to  effective viral marketing.

During the week ending  October 9th, lillianvernon.com, featuring a "Halloween Hauntquarters," attracted 395,000 unique visitors before it dropped  below reporting levels the week ending October 16th.

Kraft Food & Cooking and FamilyFun.com offering Halloween recipes and decorating  tips also peaked in the first  week of October, drawing a unique audience of 1.1 million and increasing 48 percent  over the previous week. FamilyFun.com saw a similar rise in traffic in the week ending October  9th.

Halloween-Related Sites and Week-Over-Week Growth (U.S., Home, Unique Audience  x 000) 

Site

W/E
10/2/05

W/E
10/9/05

W/E 10/16/05

Week-over-Week 10/2/05- 10/9/05

Liquidgeneration.com

366

962

1,393

163%

Kraft Food & Cooking

739

1,096

831

48%

Buycostumes.com

474

700

650

48%

FamilyFun.com 

--

483

--

N/A

 lillianvernon.com

 --

395

--

N/A

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, October 2005 (--: below level)

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