For many teenagers, prom is not simply an annual dance with their friends. Rather, prom is a significant social event that represents a cornerstone of adolescence. Because prom is much more than just a dance, teens are spending increasingly more money on this evening to ensure that they have the perfect night. In fact, every year, teenagers and their parents spend millions of dollars on prom. Because prom represents such a profitable industry and large consumer base, it is crucial for marketers to determine how and where teenagers and their parents spend this money for prom night.

Which Part of Prom Are High School Students Most Excited for?

  • The Prom Itself–39%
  • The Prom After-Party–20%
  • Pictures Beforehand–17%
  • Choosing What to Wear– average of 15%
    • Males–4%
    • Females–24%
  • Getting Asked– average of 4%
    • Males–2%
    • Females–7%

Closer Look: Prom and Social Media

When polled, 17% of high school students reported that taking prom pictures beforehand was the part of prom that they were most excited for. Since Centennials are living in a technology-dominated world, this love for social media translates to prom night as well. Taking the perfect pictures to post on Facebook and Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated and socially-expected parts of prom night for many high school students.

What Is the Average Cost of Prom?

  • Outfit:
    • Males–$176
    • Females–$174
  • Transportation
    • Males–$131
    • Females–$67
  • Prom events
    • Males–$145
    • Females–$67
  • Other
    • Males–$105
    • Females–$86

Where Do Prom-Goers Buy Their Attire?

  • Department Store
    • Males–12%
    • Females–32%
  • Online Store
    • Males–7%
    • Females–20%
  • Boutique/Locally-Owned Store
    • Males–20%
    • Females–16%
  • Borrowing From a Friend
    • Males–8%
    • Females–10%
  • Prom Specific Retailer
    • Males–10%
    • Females–6%
  • Vintage/Secondhand Store
    • Males–6%
    • Females–5%
  • Wearing a Hand-Me-Down
    • Males–4%
    • Females–1%
  • Rental Site/Store
    • Males–19%
    • Females–3%

Closer Look: Prom Attire

Determining where high school students purchase their prom dresses and tuxes is crucial in seeing where these Gen Zers spend their money for prom and why. When polled, 32% of female prom-goers planned to buy their prom dresses at department stores. This is most likely due to the lower cost of prom dresses at larger department stores compared to the price at smaller boutiques. In fact, only 16% of teenage girls, half the number of female Gen Zers who stated they would be shopping at department stores, said that they would purchase their prom dresses at a locally-owned boutique store. Not surprisingly with the current technology-filled world, around 20% of girls going to prom will buy their dresses online. For males, the demographic looks slightly different. Most male high school students prefer to get their prom tuxes at a rental site/store or at a boutique/locally-owned store.

Top Three Prom Trends

1.     Two-Piece Dresses

2.      Asking with Signs

3.     Promposals

Prom signifies a pivotal milestone in the lives of most high school students. Consequently, teenagers and their parents are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on creating the perfect evening. Whether in staging only Instagram-worthy prom pictures or spending hundreds of dollars on the most beautiful prom attire, Gen Zers are committed to ensuring that that one special evening known as prom is one to remember.

Varsity Spirit Partnering with Leading Consumer Brands

Varsity Spirit is partnering with our corporate sponsors to help effectively position them on the technology platforms most effectively used by youth markets.  This may be everything from joint Tweets/posts or even collaborative Snapchat efforts.  Varsity Spirit is here to support your brand.  To learn more contact our sponsorship representatives by clicking here.