Being a parent to 3 young kids, Halloween has taken on a brand new meaning. People who hardly give a drive-by wave 364 days out of the year are suddenly predisposed to open their doors, smile at my kiddos, and give them 1, 2, sometimes 3 pieces of candy.
Like, for FREE.
As a full-fledged, card-carrying grown-up, I KNOW how much all that candy costs - it’s not a lot, but it isn't cheap either. But cost is the last thing my kids are thinking about - for them, of course the candy’s free. Of course it should be sweet, brightly-wrapped, and have some degree of ‘special-ness’ to it - it’s Halloween, for crying out loud.
Here’s the deal though:
As candy is to kids on Halloween, so content is to our audiences.
For them, every encounter with our screens is a knock on the door, every glance a ‘trick-or-treat.’
So, what are YOU handing out?
When it comes to making content that’s more treat than trick, here are three simple things that separate the two.
1) Is special. It’s sweet, timely, makes you feel good. It’s a bonus to have.
Good - Think those people who always gave out the FULL SIZE candy bars. Jackpot.
Bad - “A toothbrush? Seriously?
2) Has a nice ‘wrapper.’ Nice wrappers are well-designed, grab attention, and just look attractive.
Good - Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Clean, bold, recognizable from a mile away.
Bad - Butterscotch hard candy. Yellow-tinted cellophane? What a disservice to a true classic.
3) Offers some value. Something your audience could genuinely use, share, or benefit from.
Remember those neighbors who just gave out some spare change? Wasn’t much, but hey - free money!
Tuning Out the Toothbrushes
Take one last look back down memory lane - remember the houses that handed out the lame candy? What was their fate? Nothing that bad, really. A year would pass, and you’d ring their bell all over again in hopes for something better.
The challenge for our screens is that viewers are one 'toothbrush' away from tuning out for good.
Thankfully, with a little sweetness, visual polish, and value we can all keep them happily coming back for more.