Our Marketing Blog

Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

Ghosts, Goblins, and Data? This Halloween, AMP & Predictify.me made 'BIG DATA'? Less Scary  

predicitify.meAs a kid dressed as the latest Disney character costume or in classic scary attire, you knew which houses had the best candy and which houses were not worth lugging your pillow case down the driveway. In a way, it was your own scientific approach to Trick or Treating.

But, imagine if there was a more scientific, proven method to finding the best candy and getting more of it. This Halloween, one trick-or-treater asked that exact question. His data scientist dad, Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, Founder and CTO of predictify.me, with the help of AMP Agency, uncovered the answer.

The mad Data Scientist approach consisted of the following steps:

  • Collecting Data Candy
    • Data Candy is small pieces of information that could be readily collected by kids while trick-or-treating their way through the neighborhood. Usmani's son wrote down the number and brand of candy that he got from each house during his three hour candy collecting spree.


  • Data Candy Reporting & Analysis
    • With the candy collected, it was time to sort the types of candy and input the information into a data scientists' most powerful tool ' a database in R.  In order to provide a more thorough analysis, we leveraged publicly available data sets including:
      • Exact house addresses from Google Maps
      • The worth of the house and monthly rent estimates from Zillow
      • Names of the houses' residents, gender, age, political affiliation from public voters' database
      • From which retailer the candy was purchased ' determined by geo-location information and an assessment of the retailers' online inventory

What Did We Find?

There is an optimal route for trick-or-treating.

Out of 117 houses surveyed, 32 houses (27%) did not participate in Halloween. Usmani's son now has the data to lead his friends on the optimal trick-or-treating route in 2015.

Predictify & AMP

Lollipops, Twizzlers, Snickers and M&M's won Halloween.

The top choice for Halloween treats among the surveyed group was lollipops (making up to 12.3% of all the treats), followed by Twizzlers, Snickers, M&M, Twix, Milky Way, Dove, Kit Kat, Whoppers and Tootsie Roll (with only 3.4%).

Pay careful attention to who is giving you the candy.

If the household consists of a woman between 41-to-50 years old and a man between 51-to-60 years old, there is 100% chance that you will get a treat. It dramatically reduces down to 25% if the woman is 51 years+ and the man is 60 years+. Similarly, if either of the household residents is 71 years+, you are less likely to get any treats.




Candy preference indicates political affiliation.

This chart shows the preference of candy with the respective announced political affiliation of the people in the respective households. Blue represents that at least one resident in the house is Democrat (the other may or may not be UNA). Red represents that at least one resident is a Republican (again, the other may or may not be UNA).

Lollipops and Kit Kats are highly associated with Democrats while Snickers and Butterfingers are associated with Republicans.

predictify & AMP


What does this mean for brands?

Halloween is no joke. According to National Retail Federation,  Halloween is the second largest retail holiday behind Christmas:

  • Americans spend $6.9 Billion on Halloween each year
  • Americans spend $1.96 Billion on decorations
  • Americans spend $2.6 Billion on costumes
  • Americans spend $12.6 Billion per dollar per year on chocolate

For brands, this type of treat-or-treat predictive analysis could help inform a more efficient, effective media spend during the holiday in addition a compelling Halloween messaging strategy for 2015.

Interested in learning more about predictify.me and AMP's predictive analytics capabilities? Contact us or predicitify.me here.



If the next five years looked like the last five, decisions would be easy.  But that's neither real nor accurate.  Predictify.me's proprietary HourGlass engine mashes massive amounts of data into a fully interactive simulation environment that allows you to test drive the future, with confidence

Related Posts

Predicting the 2020 Console War Winner With Google Trends

Console wars were back in late 2020 with the release of the next gen systems. Although one console was the clear winner, both Xbox Series X and PS5 saw record numbers for units sold. We looked to Google search trends to see which console would come out on top. As we continuously look at search trends throughout the year, we noticed that one console stood out over the other. We wanted to see if we could use this data to predict which console would sell more units. Major Date Announcements On September 9th, Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X would release November 10th. Microsoft also announced the price of both editions, $499 for the Xbox Series X and $299 for the all-digital Xbox Series S. Pre-orders were announced to go live September 22nd. Sony did not release their pre-order or release date info for another week. During the PlayStation Showcase on September 16th, Sony announced the PS5 would release November 12th and would cost $499 ($399 for the all-digital). Sony then ended the event with a surprise announcement that pre orders would go live the following day, September 17th. Pre Orders Google searches for both Xbox Series X and PS5 skyrocketed after the announcements. The search queries with the highest increase in volume were queries related pre orders, price, release date, and retailer availability. Comparing exact match queries, PS5 had almost 4 times as many searches as Xbox Series X for pre orders, price, and release date. According to search trends, the most popular retailer to pre-order an Xbox from was Amazon, and for PS5 was Walmart. Xbox searches September 2020: Xbox series x pre order – 1,800,000+ queries    Xbox series x price – 550,000+ queries    Xbox series x release date – 370,000+ queries Xbox series x pre order amazon – 110,000+ queries PS5 searches September 2020: PS5 pre order – 7,500,000+ queries PS5 price – 1,800,000+ queries PS5 release date – 1,500,000+ queries PS5 pre order Walmart – 300,000+ queries Post Launch According to Google trends, search interest for the PS5 pre orders was double that of Xbox Series X pre orders. The sales numbers confirmed these trends. Through the first 4 weeks of sales, the PS5 sold 1.5 times more units than the Xbox, both globally and in the US. Consoles sold globally through first 4 weeks: PS5 Global sales – 3,368,098 units Xbox Series X global sales – 1,817,303 units Consoles sold domestically through first 4 weeks: PS5 US sales: 1,389,963 units Xbox Series X US sales: 988,641 units After launch, we saw “restock” queries skyrocket as retailers everywhere were completely sold out. We saw similar trends here as we did with pre order queries, with PS5 restock queries outnumbering Xbox Series X queries almost 4 to 1. “Restock” searches November 2020: PS5 restock – 2,200,000+ queries Xbox series x restock – 500,000+ queries “Restock” searches December 2020: PS5 restock – 5,000,000+ queries Xbox series x restock – 800,000+ queries Overwhelming Demand Crashes Retailer Websites Both consoles saw an unprecedented demand online due to COVID-19 restrictions at physical retail locations. This caused retail websites to struggle to keep up with the demand. In some cases, the demand was too much, and the websites went down temporarily. When these sites were down, consumers turned to Google search for answers. During the month of September, the Best Buy website went down multiple times. The queries “is best buy website down” and “best buy site down” had the most volume during that time. “is best buy website down – 5,400+ queries “best buy site down – 2,400+ queries During November, the Walmart website went down on multiple occasions. The queries “Walmart website down” and “Walmart site crash” had the most volume during that time. “Walmart website down” – 6,600+ queries “Walmart site crash” - 5,400+ queries As we continued to track search interest daily, we found there was more buzz for the PS5 over the Xbox Series X. When we compared the most popular keywords for each, PS5 queries had over twice as much volume as Xbox queries. We were able to accurately predict that PS5 would outsell the Xbox Series X, as the search trend data directly correlated to sales. All brands should be paying attention to search trends in order to have a better understanding of the marketplace, their own brand health, and the search interest in their competition. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of March 1, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. TWITTER RE-LAUNCHES TEST OF WARNINGS ON POTENTIALLY HARMFUL TWEET REPLIES Twitter is now re-launching the alerts, with a new format, and further explanation as to why each reply has been flagged. Read more CLUBHOUSE FACES NEW SECURITY QUESTIONS AFTER SIGNIFICANT DATA BREACH The latest comes as a result of hackers gaining access to Clubhouse audio, and re-recording that data into third-party streams. Read more 15 TIKTOK TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BRANDED CONTENT EFFORTS This overview of tips from the team at Socialtyze covers everything from choosing topics to user demographics to hashtags on the platform. Read more That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMP Agency Wins 4 Hatch Awards

AMP Agency took home 4 awards last night at the 60th annual Hatch awards that celebrates creative excellence in New England. AMP won bronze awards for the below work: “Eastern Bank’s Color & Capital for Good closing Boston’s wealth Gap” Work for Good Category “Facebook’s Gaming Just Like Us” Film Category “Stop & Shop’s On Your Terms”Design Category AMP also won a Merit award for work done with RXBAR.  Be sure to check out AMP’s article featured in the Boston Globe that looks at the virtual realities of advertising and how flexibility led to a creative growth spurt in marketing in 2020.