At the time of this writing, it is very nearly Halloween. Indeed, you may be reading this on the spooktacular horrorday itself. Perhaps it’s already November or later, and you’re lamenting the passage of one of the year’s finest days.
Whenever you’e reading, every day is a good day for eating candy and watching horror movies (or bobbing for apples, or wearing costumes… why confine it to a single day?). So, whenever you’re reading this it may as well be Halloween.
While it is a festival of ghoulies, goblins, grey-faced ghosts, and gremlins, not everyone is so keen on having the Jehoshaphat scared out of ’em. Two things everyone loves, though, are candy and influencers. Well, maybe not everyone, but if you are reading this you are likely in that camp.
I personally believe it a sad thing that Halloween’s function as a “festival of the dead” — by which I do not mean an event where middle-aged men in tie-dyed t-shirts twirl around and lament Jerry Garcia’s passing, a quarter-century ago, while Bobby Weir jams with John Mayer — is often lost amongst the festivity. It marks the end of the harvest season, ushers in the calendar’s darker half, and prompts us to acknowledge those who have come before but are no longer here.
THAT IS, unless they’ve been transformed into zombies, vampires, lycanthropes, emotionless relentless bloodthirsty killers in iconic masks, reanimated corpses, and/or such and such.
For many, Halloween is simply masquerade day. Ultimately I accept this.
And by gum (quite literally) it is also candy day. That part I support wholeheartedly. AND THAT IS WHY WE’VE GATHERED YOU HERE TODAY.
We’ve taken our StatSocial social media audience analysis engine and put it to work identifying the most ardent and outspoken fans of the biggest candies in candyland (not a place, it must be noted, occupied by the Candyman, whose name we’d recommend against saying three times while looking in a mirror). From there, we’ve identified with which influencer each candy’s strongest adherents most dramatically identify.
To give these statistics context, we are using as our baseline for comparison the average American social media audience.
The findings? A holiday treat for young and old.
1) M&Ms -Lady Gaga
If you were expecting, perhaps, Eminem then you are not only lacking in vision and imagination, but you are also lacking the cold, hard statistics that only StatSocial can provide.
M&Ms chocolate candies, the insanely delicious treats that famously melt in your mouth and not in your hands (unless you’re some kind of wiseguy creating heated hand-conditions well outside the realm of typical) find among the throngs who adore their treats a large number of Lady Gaga admirers. Indeed, the candy shares fans with the “Born This Way” chanteuse to a degree exceeding the average U.S. social media audience by two-and-seven-tenths times.
This year has found the superstar singer, songwriter, and all-around multimedia phenom being seriously discussed as a bona fide Oscar hopeful. Her starring turn in sparkly blue-eyed, ab-tacular Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut — a remake of the Kris Kristofferson/Barbra Streisand starring remake of the James Mason/Judy Garland starring remake of the Fredric March/Janet Gaynor starring ‘A Star is Born’ — has been greeted with wide acclaim.
You can draw your own conclusions from the following: For many years now a popular series of M&M commercials has featured anthropomorphized versions of, I believe, the standard and peanut incarnations of their outstanding candies. Other candies — as M&Ms have a vast many varieties — do pop in now and again, but the campaign has primarily focused on this double act. The yellow, peanut M&M in these commercials has long been voiced by actor J.K. Simmons. Simmons of course took home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2015 for his portrayal as a sadistic, abusive music teacher in the film ‘Whiplash.’
We are a statistics company and therefore do not weigh in on such things as omens, nor do we endorse far-fetched theories with little-to-no basis in logic. Ms. Gaga, however, seems the sort who might be game for such thinking. As such, we’re calling it. Ms. Germanotta is a LOCK for Best Actress.
The Rock ’n’ Roll band Van Halen famously included on their concert rider a line item demanding that they find awaiting their arrival at a venue — among numerous other things — “M&Ms (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES).” While pointed to as the pinnacle of rock star excess, it turns out there was a very deliberate reasoning behind the demand. No member of Van Halen, for the record, was a contender for this coveted top-influencer slot.
2) Kit Kat –Ariana Grande
At the time of this writing Ms. Grande has found herself the focus of celebrity gossip — for a couple of weeks running — due to matters in her personal life that are not even a tiny bit of our business (that is, unless we were to run a StatSocial report analyzing those who have been taking to social media to discuss it… which we could do).
The area of Ms. Grande’s existence with which we’re most concerned at this moment is the degree to which her fans are also fans of the consistently outstanding chocolate covered wafer candy that — through a lengthy and downright convoluted journey — eventually came to be called Kit Kat.
A portion of Ms. Grande’s substantial social media audience is hobnobbing among the vast many Kit Kat eaters to a degree exceeding the average U.S. crowd by seven-and-two-fifths times.
Back in 2002, Rock ’n’ Roller, party guru, and influencer-of-note, Andrew W.K. composed a jingle for Kit Kat which we propose it would be a treat to hear Ms. Grande reinterpret.
3) Butterfinger-Christina Aguilera
Please correct us if we’re mistaken, and we do recognize that this may be a dated reference, but for some years the most high profile “spokesfigures” for the almighty Butterfinger candy bar were the “cast” of American TV’s longest-ever-running scripted prime-time show, ‘The Simpsons.’
Bart, primarily, would be heard to utter at the end of a commercial that invariably captured 0% of the program’s brilliance during those early years, the slogan, “Nobody Better Lay A Finger On My Butterfinger.”
Ah, yes, here we go. Thanks YouTube.
Whatever it is that finds Christina Aguilera ruling the influencer roost when it comes to fans of the rich, chocolate enrobed, crispy peanut-buttery centered confection, it is apparently not a connection to Fox’s impossibly long-running animated series. Christina was offered an opportunity to appear as a celebrity guest in 2005, but turned it down (2004 ‘American Idol’ winner Fantasia Barrino took the gig instead).
Still, Aguilera fanatics can be found among the Butterfinger faithful to a degree exceeding the average U.S. social media audience by three times.
Upon her introduction to the pop world she was initially written off as a bit of teeny-bop fluff, having first found fame as part of ‘The Mickey Mouse Club.’ The iteration of that show’s cast of which she was a part featured such noteworthy alums as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. In the case of the latter, due to her being a fellow blonde female pop singer launching her non-Disney career at approximately the same time as Aguilera, the two were constantly compared.
No knock on Britney, but Christina has real-deal vocal chops (much as is true of the two influencers featured above). She has managed to retain her household name status for many years now, through smart career moves such as her stint as a judge on NBC’s vocal competition show, ‘The Voice.’
4) Nestlé Crunch -Sir Richard Branson
Wellity, wellity, well… Look at Nestlé Crunch sitting there all smug because its most prominent influencer is a tycoon.
The truth is, Crunch has a right to cop an attitude anyway simply for being such an awesome candy bar. Nonetheless, the influencer for which its devotees display the strongest affinity is the high-living, adventure seeking, music/airline magnate who is Sir Richard Branson (a man who has also tried his hand at telecommunications, big box music retail, digital music, and countless other ventures, including a successful go at healthcare, but it seems inappropriate to mention that in preface to “magnate”).
Admirers of the multi-billionaire knight of the realm can be found among those of the Nestlé Crunch set to a degree exceeding the average American social media crowd by five times.
5) Red Vines -Lea Michele
Full disclosure: I write this as someone who has never seen a full episode of the cult, musical, comedy-drama Fox series ‘Glee.’ I do know, however, that Lea Michele was one of its stars, or perhaps even its biggest star.
I do also know from the glee one experiences while chewing away on a sweet and cherryish Red Vine. I’m inclined to trust the affinities of those who share my love of this delectable, sugar fortified vacation from the doldrums.
The former ‘Glee’ siren (I’m assuming she sings, right?) finds admirers among the Red Vines gang to a degree that exceeds the average U.S. social media crowd, impressively, by over four-and-four-fifths times.
6) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups -Robert Downey, Jr.
As Tony Stark, the cool exec with the heart of steel, Robert Downey, Jr. finally — well into his 40s — realized the career as a leading man for which many had believed him destined for years. With that part he not only became the linchpin character of the single most profitable franchise in movie history, he also exposed a global audience to two great tastes that taste great together, iron and men.
Similarly, there was a time where if you were strolling down the street eating peanut butter out of a jar, as one does, and bumped into a fellow tucking into a chocolate bar, and upon collision the two foodstuffs combined, panic would ensue.
That is until someone finally had the sense to see how these things tasted together.
Once the combined flavors were revealed to be greater together than either taste independently, someone — never depicted on film — had the good sense to put this third superior food in a cup. A peanut butter cup.
A man encased in iron, equipped with repulsor rays and snarky rejoinders. A candy encased in a cup, equipped with peanut butter and chocolate. It makes perfect sense to us.
Fans of Robert Downey, Jr. roam amongst Reese’s dedicated throngs to an extent exceeding the average U.S. social media audience by over three-and-a-quarter times.
Finally, we’d be remiss were we not to acknowledge that the Reese’s brand’s instantly recognizable colors are not entirely unlike those worn by Iron Man. This may or may not be a factor in this result.
7) Snickers -Selena Gomez
Actress, singer, former star of the Disney Channel early-’00s smash, ‘The Wizards of Waverly Place,’ and star of such films as Harmony Korine’s ‘Spring Breakers,’ the favorite influencer among the Snickers crowd has put together a CV so diverse there’s likely something on there to satisfy most tastes.
Do you see where we’re going with this? Snickers, as you may know, as a rule, satisfies.
Whatever the connection may or may not be, and no matter how perfect the story of their match, the fact remains that Selena Gomez is the influencer that the greatest admirers of the Snickers bar dig the most. So much so, in fact, that her admirers can be found among the Snickers crowd to an extent that surpasses the norm by three-and-four-fifths times.
8) Twix -Gordon Ramsay
The only bleeping that would be necessary were Chef Gordon Ramsay to be filmed on one of his reality series eating a Twix bar would be to cover up the expletives he’d let slip as he exclaimed how awesome it is.
“Milk chocolate? Caramel? Cookie crunch? #$&+!” the good chef might be heard to say.
The “TV chef who likes to say eff” finds fans among those who also love that cookie crunch to a degree exceeding the U.S. average by over three-and-four-fifths times.
9) Skittles -Emma Watson
While wizards and whastists are pretty Halloweenish, I’ll admit I don’t know my Gryffindor from my Slytherin.
I know who Emma Watson is, though, and goodness knows I’ve tasted my share of rainbows of fruit flavors, and there ain’t none that taste so sweet as the one provided by Skittles, Skittles, bite-sized candies.
The queen in the heart of Skittles’ most dedicated consumers is cinema’s Hermione Granger, as well as the live-action Belle in Disney’s similarly live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and a number of other things of course,
The proportion of Skittles fandom that overlaps with that of Ms. Watson exceeds the average U.S. social media audience by comfortably over three-and-four-fifths times.
10) Hershey’s Kisses -Leonardo DiCaprio
There’s much to compare when considering this ubiquitous candy with this king of the A-lister movie star heap. Disciples of Leo’s charms find themselves comfortably reclined in the world of Hershey’s Kisses’ most devout devourers to an extent that exceeds the average U.S. social media audience by three-and-one-fifth times.
Leo is a man for whom the traditional kiss has likely never been difficult to come by. A pretty-boy child actor who grew into not only a strikingly handsome man (who looks particularly good in a well-tailored suit, and is a paragon of flattering men’s haircuts — director Christopher Nolan, himself well-coiffed and outfitted most of the time, made a film entitled ‘Inception’ which was essentially a two-and-a-half hour celebration of the male pageantry Leo exemplifies), but one with irrefutable ability in his long-ago chosen field. Some are decried and hated for their active dating lives, but somehow — for no real reason other than a charisma that appeals to all — people root for Leo in his.
Similarly, a simple bite-sized dollop of chocolate wrapped in foil is loved by all and forgiven for traits that might irritate the public were they to be associated with a lesser treat. For example, let’s face it, that attractive foil wrap does not always come off in in one solid sheet, Frequently some digging and persistence is required before you’re finally holding in your hand a piece of chocolate without little bits of foil stuck to it. You do not complain, though, same as you didn’t complain when TMZ reported of Leo leaving a party with a supermodel on each arm. As you hold a finally uncorrupted Hershey’s Kiss in your eager palm you think “good for me!,” and as you heard tell of the presumably amusing evening Leo had you thought “good for him!”
While perhaps Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons would have made simpler influencers here, as with Eminem mentioned above, it’s a weak imagination that would seek such a result. Also, Paul and Gene are a sad sight in 2018. Leo like Hershey’s — and to tie this in with Halloween, like vampires — is immortal.
Although I did dress as Gene Simmons one Halloween, it’s best not to confuse things by bringing that up. I was very young and into monsters, Mr. Simmons himself was much younger and leaner and looked ridiculous to an appropriate degree.
Of exceptional convenience for our purposes here, the good people at POPSUGAR have just published an article featuring 19 suggestions for how one might dress up as Leo this Halloween. You can check that out by clicking here.
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