The Punchbowl Trends Blog

Marketing insights from the leading celebrations site for moms

6 Birthday Party Trends Your Brand Should Know

February 14, 2013 · in Content Marketing

birthday party graphics

When it comes to birthday parties, there’s no denying that 2012 was the Year of the Mustache and the Year of the Owl.  While these themes are still popular, new ideas are set to take over in 2013. Birthday party decorations are a constantly changing market because people of all ages look for the latest, most creative themes to impress their friends and family. Position your brand’s marketing campaigns to make the most of these hot new birthday trends.

Kid Birthday Parties

All kids want to be able to brag that they had “the coolest birthday party ever.” Many parents are looking for DIY ideas to incorporate trendy themes without breaking the bank. Your brand can become a valuable resource for parents and those planning birthday parties by offering ideas on how to easily implement these themes.

kids birthday party


Little boys have loved train and airplane themed parties for years—in 2013, they’re getting an upgrade with a blend of graphic patterns and vintage touches. These parties are made extra special with ticket-styled invitations and international-inspired food. For example, this boy’s airplane party used maps, bold modern stripes, and a vintage feel with a muted blue and brown color scheme. This theme lets kids indulge in their fantasy of flying a plane or driving a train while parents can enjoy the variety of food and easy-on-the-eyes décor. 

Trains are another popular choice for transportation-themed parties. Offer useful content to moms looking for innovative ideas and they’ll remember your brand year after year. Even simple, creative ideas can leave a big impression such as, arranging cupcakes in a row on train tracks, creating a treat-train by filling decorated boxes with snacks, turning plain old cardboard boxes into a backyard train, or honoring the birthday boy with a conductor cap. 

 cowgirl party theme supplies 

The Wild West

Thanks in part to the rising popularity of country music, cowboy and cowgirl themed parties are quickly becoming very trendy.  Show party-planning moms that your brand keeps their budget in mind: suggest money-saving tips like how this mom created an adorable western cupcake display using brown paper-wrapped boxes and handkerchief-print ribbon. You could also recommend using the mustaches from last year’s party plus cowboy hats and rope to create an Old Western photo booth. Moms can then turn the pictures into “Wanted” posters as party favors for their kid’s friends.  

Promoting themes like this creates a cool, trendy image for your brand.  You could even promote your products by sending party samples to mommy bloggers for advertising on their sites. These blogs are trusted resources for families, especially moms, and tailoring your marketing campaign to current trends will make your efforts much more effective. 

Adult Birthday Parties

Just because adults may not get as excited as the kids doesn’t mean that they don’t want to throw a fabulous and creative birthday party. The market for adult birthday parties is significant for celebrations brands because adults are increasingly hosting more and more elaborate birthdays. Especially with sites like Pinterest, everyone has easy access an endless amount of party inspiration. So the question is, what will be hot in 2013?

Beautifully Styled Dessert Tables

Over the top dessert tables will continue to be popular in 2013. Whether the party has a specific theme or simply a specific color palette, making the dessert table the centerpiece is a hot idea. Pennant-styled banners are a popular choice to decorate the wall behind the table. This trend is easy for many brands to capitalize on. Tie styled dessert tables into your marketing and showcase your products accordingly. Varieties of candy, cupcakes, bars, and cookies are common features on dessert tables, displayed in clear glass jars or on simple platters. Clean, simple, and fun, dessert tables provide an accessible to make an adult birthday party special without being cheesy and thus appeal to a wide audience.

Beer Tasting Partiesbeer tasting party invitation

The trend of craft beers has translated into a beer tasting theme party. This trend is great for guys and sports fans who can plan their party around game time for built-in entertainment and it reaches a market which may usually be reluctant to plan a themed party. Do you see opportunity for your brand to work with restaurants or local breweries? Promote this theme as a party package for birthdays.  If your brand is tied to catering companies or barbecue supplies, market a beer-tasting birthday party as a way promote your products and services. Just don’t forget to make sure hosts offer non-alcoholic choices like root beer for any under-21ers or guests who choose not to drink.

Grown-up Rainbow

Despite what you may think, rainbow is no longer just for kids. 2013 will showcase the rainbow trend in a modern, grownup format. The rainbow birthday trend offers plenty of options whether the guest of honor wishes to embrace their inner child or host a sophisticated soiree. The key to marketing this trend is combining the convenience—for instance guests can repurpose leftover solid colored tableware and décor from past parties—with fresh, new ideas like incorporating rainbow into the menu with a rainbow layer cake, rainbow ice cubes made with food coloring, or a healthy fruit platter. This theme is surprising, as it gives fresh life to an old idea and will impress your audience with its creativity.


pantone emerald colorThe Pantone color of the year for 2013 is emerald, so expect to see this color everywhere—including trendy birthday parties. Tangerine Tango, the color of 2012, is so last year. Emerald green tableware, food, and drinks are all easy to find and make. Pantone describes emerald as “Lively. Radiant. Lush.”  Who wouldn’t want to describe their birthday party in—or associate their brand with—the same terms? Modern, graphic patterns like chevron and bold stripes also make a great accompaniment to this trend. Incorporate emerald green into your marketing and advertising campaigns as soon as possible to be viewed as an early adapter of the latest color trend.

Birthday celebrations happen everyday and there is a great deal of money in these parties. Position your brand to make the most of the trends in birthday party planning right now. If you need ideas for weaving these trends into your marketing plan, check out the white paper, “10 Content Marketing Strategies to Help Brands Reach Moms.” 

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