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How Consumers Across Generations Celebrate Halloween

How Consumers Across Generations Celebrate Halloween

Learn how consumers across generational segments interact with and celebrate Halloween.

Our latest Holidays & Occasions research covers major attitudes and behaviors of Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers around Halloween. Read on for a few insights from this year’s study. The full report is available to members of Collage Group’s Generations program. 

1. Halloween is most highly celebrated by Gen Z and becomes less popular with age.

71% of Americans celebrate Halloween.

2. Most Americans likely have self-expression in mind when preparing for and celebrating halloween.

The Millennial and Gen X Segments Are Most Likely to Hold this View.

3. Younger Halloween celebrants are more likely to associate the holiday with a party atmosphere.

4. Millennial Americans are most likely to carve pumpkins as part of their Halloween celebration.

Almost Half of Gen Z and Millennials Go to Haunted Houses during the Halloween Season.

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Connect with Americans across Gender and Sexuality around the Holidays and Special Occasions They Celebrate

Connect with Americans across Gender and Sexuality around the Holidays and Special Occasions They Celebrate

LGBTQ+ Americans are especially excited about life getting back to normal so they can participate in public events and celebrate Pride. 

Our latest LGBTQ+ & Gender Holidays & Occasions webinar is an introduction and overview of our research stream that looks at the holidays and occasions that matter most to Americans across sexuality and gender. Read below for a few highlights from the presentation.

1. LGBTQ+ People Hold Significantly More Progressive Views on Marriage Proposals

Two-thirds of All Americans Believe that Women Can Propose Marriage to Men.

2. One in Two Men Enjoy Being the “Grill Master” at Barbecues.

Women are far less likely to enjoy being in charge of grilling duties.

3. Costumes and Costume Parties Play a Much Larger Role in the LGBTQ+ Community’s Halloween Celebrations.

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How Consumers Engage with Cookouts and Barbecues

How Consumers Engage with Cookouts and Barbecues

Learn how Americans across racial and ethnic segments prepare for and experience cookouts and barbecues.

Brands are constantly tapping into the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors surrounding consumer holidays and occasions. This summer, most consumers across segments are looking forward to barbecues and cookouts. In Welcome to the Traegerhood, Traeger Grill reminds us that cookouts and barbecues have the power to create a sense of community–a concept much longed for in the midst of the pandemic. Brands can look to this commercial as an example of relevant, effective storytelling.

The following consumer insights belong to a series of Collage Group reports on holidays and occasions. This targeted research allows for more efficient and effective brand activations that capture greater mind and market share.

1. Multicultural Americans Are More Likely to Have a Family Sauce or Special Recipe for Barbecues and Cookouts

39% of Americans say their family has  a special sauce or recipe for cookouts or barbecues.

Acculturated Hispanics are least likely (36%H) to say their family has a special sauce or recipe for cookouts or barbecues,
compared to Unacculturated (54%) and Bicultural (60%) Hispanics.

2. Millennials Take the Most Active Role in Food Preparation at Barbecues.

The Differences among Generations Are Likely Tied to Life Stage.

3. Food Is the Star of the Show—and Most Important Element—of Most Americans’ Cookouts.

Music Is More Likely to Be a Crucial Component of Cookouts for LGBTQ+ Americans.

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Consumer Attitudes Towards the Olympics

Consumer Attitudes Towards the Olympics

Collage Group helps marketers and insights leaders connect around this occasion by providing insights that clarify the similarities and differences in how American consumers across diverse segments prepare for and experience the Olympics.

The world’s most unifying sporting event is right around the corner. The Olympics, taking place in Tokyo this year, are one occasion brands need to understand to fully capture diverse America’s attention.

One of this year’s most moving campaigns comes from consumer giant Proctor & Gamble, whose #LeadWithLove campaign hits every cultural mark. Their latest commercial, Love Leads to Good, brings awareness around the Olympic games through inclusive casting and thoughtful storytelling. 

The following consumer insights belong to a series of Collage Group reports on holidays and occasions. This targeted research allows for more efficient and effective brand activations that capture greater mind and market share.

1. Hispanic Americans Are More Likely to Believe the Olympics Brings Unity across Different Countries.

According to our most recent study, 76% of Americans believe the Olympics are a great way to bring unity across different countries.

2. Most Americans Take Advantage of the Olympics to Watch Sports outside Their Typical Viewing Habits.

However, Gen Z is notably less likely to expand their viewership to new sports.

3. Three in Four Multicultural Americans Agree that the Olympics Are a Great Way to Celebrate Diversity.

The Olympics are a great way to celebrate diversity.

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Juneteenth: What Should My Brand Do?

Juneteenth: What Should My Brand Do?

It’s not too late to activate! With almost half of Black Americans celebrating Juneteenth, brands will want to make their mark on this important holiday. Keep reading to learn what consumers expect from brands like yours this Juneteenth.

Juneteenth commemorates the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19th, 1865, which marked the official abolition of Slavery in the United States.

According to a recent Collage survey, 42 percent of Black Americans, and roughly 10 percent of the total U.S. population, report celebrating this holiday.  Black Americans often celebrate with barbecues and cookouts, with many younger members of the segment also listening to music, dressing up, and setting off fireworks. But do they approve of brands including Juneteenth in their marketing and advertising?

Generally, yes. A plurality of Black Americans – 38 percent – say that all brands and companies should celebrate Juneteenth. Across segments, only 6 percent of Americans say brands should never activate on Juneteenth. Many more Americans simply don’t care or are still unfamiliar with the holiday.

Familiarity of Juneteenth is especially low among Hispanic Americans, but over a third of the total population says they are not familiar with the holiday.

In fact, almost one in five Black Americans are unfamiliar with Juneteenth as well. Together, these numbers suggest there is room for brands and organizations to educate Americans on the history and significance of the holiday.

And such messaging is exactly what most Black Americans want from brands activating on Juneteenth. Older Black Americans especially want brands and companies to help explain the holiday’s meaning and importance. Many within the segment also want brands to address issues facing Black Americans today and to show consumers how they can support the Black community. Include these other considerations alongside your main educational message to help your Juneteenth messaging stand out from the crowd.

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Five Consumer Insights for Cinco de Mayo

Five Consumer Insights for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is annual celebration that commemorates the date the Mexican Army was victorious over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is not Mexico’s Independence Day—a common misconception, which is celebrated in Mexico on September 16th.

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In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is a day of celebration in honor of Mexican culture and heritage.

1. Who celebrates Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday popular among bicultural Hispanics. In fact, 40% of Hispanic consumers celebrate Cinco de Mayo, compared to 13% or fewer for consumers of other races. 

2. Among Hispanic consumers, Gen Z describes the Cinco de Mayo celebration as “traditional”, while Boomers are more likely to describe it as “festive.”

For most celebrants, Cinco de Mayo is not just about tequila and partying.

In fact, hispanic consumers are the least likely to rate their Cinco de Mayo celebrations as lively, rowdy, or over-the-top. However, the polarity in generational attitudes toward describing it confirms  what we already know about Gen Z: they respond to authenticity, making them more likely to appreciate traditional approaches to celebrating Cinco De Mayo. 

3. Nearly half of Hispanic consumers (46%) believe American celebrations of Cinco de Mayo misrepresent Hispanic culture. Authenticity is key when engaging Hispanic consumers on this holiday.

In recognition that Avocados from Mexico has an authentic connection with Cinco de Mayo, the brand launched an experiential and social media campaign called “Guac It,” which asks consumers to share their Cinco de Mayo guacamole recipes.

The brand also partnered with three food trucks located in New York City to give out free food made with avocados.

In order to win over the hispanic segment, brands must make it clear that they know the importance and relevance of the holiday. 

4. Hispanic consumers overwhelmingly choose beer as their drink of choice on Cinco de Mayo.

In 2018, beer giant Corona became the Official Import Beer of the Kentucky Derbyaptly scheduled on Cinco De Mayo the following two years.

During this activation, attendees of the Kentucky Derby could join the Corona de Mayo fiesta”, designed to “remind consumers that Cinco de Mayo is the first fiesta of the year and the official start of summer.”  

Corona’s move to partner with the Kentucky Derby shows how important it is to connect with the Hispanic segment by celebrating their culture.

5. 1 in 4 Hispanic consumers says they always drink tequila to celebrate the holiday.

This year, Jose Cuervo launched #CincoToGo, a social media driven campaign geared toward supporting the small restaurants impacted by Covid. In exchange for a free meal, covered by Jose Cuervo, “customers must dine at Mexican restaurants that have 10 outlets or less, keeping the contest focused on patronizing small businesses.” 

This is a great example of how brands can connect with the hispanic segment and enable giving back to their community. 

Interested in learning more about how to authentically engage Hispanic consumers? Fill out the form to download an excerpt from, “Essentials of Hispanic Marketing.”

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Christmas in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Christmas in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year, even during a pandemic. Keep reading for stats on timeless Christmas themes to lean into this year while pivoting to the realities of COVID.

Christmas is one of the most beloved and widely celebrated holidays in America. Over three-quarters of each racial/ethnic segment celebrate it, and 73% of people view Christmas as the biggest holiday of the year.

Every year, consumers of all backgrounds traditionally ring in the holiday by spending time with loved ones, putting up festive decorations, giving gifts, and enjoying seasonal foods. And as Americans adapt to the pandemic, our research suggests they will continue to incorporate these traditional sources of comfort and joy into their holiday.

Download an excerpt of our webinar presentation, “Multicultural Holiday Behaviors During COVID – Food, Beverage, and Alcohol.”

This year, brands are leaning into core Christmas themes in COVID-relevant ways.

For instance, McCormick reminds viewers that even if you can’t get together with your family this year, “their dishes can still make it to the table.” And Lowe’s emphasizes the importance of home as a central part of our lives. This year especially, with so much time spent at home, Lowe’s highlights home decorating as a gift that “brings joy to all.”

These core consumer Christmas values won’t be abandoned just because the circumstances have changed. You can, and should, still activate against these themes. But keep in mind that you also need to know how things are different to understand where and how to tweak messaging.

Our recent data gives us insight on the shifts you can expect to see in consumer attitudes and behaviors as they modify their plans to celebrate the holiday safely. Consider these high-level consumer trends as you prepare your final holiday push for maximum impact.

1. Consumers will celebrate in 2020, but celebrate differently.

2 in 5 consumers expect that the pandemic will prevent them from carrying out their usual Christmas plans. That may mean abstaining from large family gatherings, nixing travel plans, or forgoing festive outings.

Continue to activate on core Christmas themes like family – but do so in a way that’s relevant during the pandemic. For instance, recent holiday spots by Etsy and Chewy feature family members opening presents with one another over video chat.

Alternatively, shake things up by leaning into the probability that the pandemic will likely create new activities and traditions. Show how your product or service can inspire new ways to celebrate because of the pandemic. For instance a recent spot by Maker’s Mark features roommates getting together to decorate their fire escape with Christmas lights, then huddling outside on it to watch a virtual fireplace on their TV while sipping cups of holiday cheer. Or illustrate how new quarantine activities can inspire Christmas gift ideas this year, like Best Buy.

2. Consumers prioritize convenience and safety for holiday shopping this year.

With no end to the pandemic in sight, consumers are modifying holiday shopping habits as they seek convenience and safety. Many are looking for contactless options: 67% of people say they’ll probably shop online more for the holidays this year.

Telling people how they can shop online for your products needs to be central to your campaign. For example, Walmart recently debuted a heartwarming and relatable spot highlighting everything we now buy online these days to cope with the pandemic. And Sam’s Club customers can take a virtual tour of the Griswold “Christmas Vacation” house as they shop the festive décor and gifts Sam’s Club offers.

3. Many people are still struggling financially as a result of the pandemic and economic recession.

Half of all Americans worry that they can’t afford holiday shopping this year.

Show sensitivity towards your customers by offering extended discounts. For instance, Target and Home Depot are offering Black Friday deals all season long. Additionally, signal that you care by supporting vulnerable communities financially or through donated goods. Amazon, recently announced plans to donate to over 1,000 charities to support communities hit hardest by the events this year. And Visa encourages consumers to shop local this holiday season and give back to the small businesses at the heart of their communities.

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2020 Holiday Consumer Behavior: Thanksgiving in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic

2020 Holiday Consumer Behavior: Thanksgiving in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic
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The coronavirus pandemic is fundamentally changing how American consumers gather for Thanksgiving and shop on Black Friday this year. Read on for insight into the consumer mindset and advice on how to best position your brand for success in this untraditional holiday season.

Thanksgiving. The word immediately calls to mind iconic images of Americana: roast turkey, family gatherings, football, the Macy’s Day parade. But Thanksgiving isn’t just a truly American holiday—it’s also one of the most celebrated! Our research from 2019 revealed that 84% of Americans regularly celebrate Thanksgiving, making it the second most celebrated holiday for Americans after Christmas. White and Black consumers are most likely to celebrate, while Hispanic and Asian celebration rates are lower, perhaps due to members of these segments that have recently immigrated and not yet adopted the holiday.

Thanksgiving is normally a popular occasion for Americans to travel and reunite with family and friends. Last year more than 26 million airline passengers were screened by the TSA during the week of Thanksgiving. And a survey we ran in 2019 revealed that 59% of Americans reported typically celebrating Thanksgiving with extended family, while 40% reported celebrating with friends.

But this year, nothing is normal. When we surveyed consumers in August 2020, 44% already expected the COVID-19 pandemic would interfere with their normal Thanksgiving plans. Since then, coronavirus cases and fatalities in the United States have risen dramatically.

Another survey we fielded in September 2020 found that only 19% of American adults reported feeling safe travelling on commercial airplanes. And the CDC recently issued official guidelines recommending that people stay close to home and only gather with immediate family members on Thanksgiving to lower the chances of spreading the virus. These fears are not unfounded. In October, Canadian officials linked rising case numbers all over the country to Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations

The coronavirus pandemic will likely result in a larger number of small Thanksgiving gatherings across the United States. And this means that many Americans—perhaps 18%—will be cooking their own Thanksgiving meals for the first time. Despite these changes, many other aspects of Thanksgiving 2020 will look the same as any other year. 

For example, the top things that people associate with Thanksgiving (spending time with family, eating delicious foods, cooking, baking, and watching football) are still possible, in some form, during the pandemic. And maintaining these traditions will likely be a welcome reminder of more normal times.

Brands can use these challenges to connect with consumers. McCormick’s new ad does this by showing how their products help create a sense of togetherness and ensure success despite separation. They encourage people to cook their relatives’ signature dishes as a way to be together. And they use the image of a young woman fumbling with a turkey—an inexperienced Thanksgiving cook—to remind viewers that “it’s gonna be great” despite the challenges

Thanksgiving is also a crucial time of year for brands because of Black Friday and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. This is yet another aspect of American life that will look different in 2020. According to recent research, two thirds of consumers plan to shop online more for the holidays this year, while 60% plan to put off shopping until it’s absolutely necessary.

Brands and stores have already begun to adjust their Black Friday campaigns in expectation of untraditional shopping patterns.

A common move is to expand your online strategy well beyond Cyber Monday as consumers fear shopping in crowded stores. For example, Target and other retailers are advertising that all deals are available both in-store and online. Retailers are also fighting against consumers’ instinct to hold off on shopping by offering Black Friday deals throughout November.

Unfortunately, about half of consumers are worried they won’t be able to afford holiday shopping this year. Brands can activate on this moment by showing how their products can figure in homemade or low-cost gifts. For example, Ashley Home Store released a commercial showing two children who make their parents a simple dinner and decorate the table with homemade decorations. The parents love it! And with the slogan, “celebrate the magic of home,” Ashley Home Store is also subtly reminding people of the importance of staying home and safe during the pandemic. Similarly, Ross advertises their Christmas bargains by saying, “you don’t have to spend a lot to give a lot to the ones who mean the most.” By offering extended sales, brands can also show they recognize the economic challenges many are now facing.

This Thanksgiving and Black Friday will look different than those past. But that doesn’t mean marketing is out. Brands can still connect with consumers by activating on tried and true themes and reminding people they understand the challenges they face.

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Harder Times Ahead: Updated Economic Forecast and Survey Results on Consumer Finances and Purchasing

Harder Times Ahead: Updated Economic Forecast and Survey Results on Consumer Finances and Purchasing
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As the COVID-19 Pandemic tightens its grip on America, consumer attitudes regarding financial security and social activities continue to change. Here’s the latest information brands need to strategically prepare for both short-term needs and long-term expectations.

Last week’s news headlines were filled with quite a few anxiety-inducing story lines. We have President Trump remarking that things will get worse before they get betterAmerica crossing the 4 million mark on COVID 19 casesan uptick in unemployment, the use of unmarked federal agents to suppress protests in Portland, spawning solidarity protests around the country, and uncertainty about the contents of the next coronavirus relief bill.  The resurgence of COVID-19, protests for social justice, and a political season of unprecedented polarization has gripped American culture, and it’s anyone’s guess as to how the next four months will evolve, let alone our longer-term future.

Given all the uncertainty and stress, it’s more important than ever for marketers to keep a finger on the pulse of important consumer attitudes and behaviors. To support this need, we at Collage have been conducting an intermittent tracking survey of how 18 to 39-year-old Americans, a group we call the New Wave, are responding to this extraordinary time.  We focus on the New Wave not only because this generation’s preferences will determine the fate of growth for countless brands, but also because the New Wave represents the first generation to grow up in a highly diverse environment. Our tracking survey observes how this group of consumers perceives their financial situation to be changing, and what activities they currently feel comfortable doing. Keep reading to see what we learned from our most recent pulse check taken of more than 1,800 New Wave consumers between July 20-23 as compared to a prior survey taken in mid-June.

New Wave Consumers See Harder Times on the Horizon

The clearest finding from our most recent survey is that New Wave consumers, across race and ethnicity, are more likely to expect their financial situation to get worse over the next month, compared to how they felt just a month ago. Similarly, they’re also much less likely to see their finances improving.

The change in expectation that finances will be worse is largest for Black and Hispanic consumers (9 and 7 percentage point shift, respectively). These responses likely reflect an increase in job insecurity given the re-emergence of social distancing and pausing of re-openings around the country, two actions which disproportionately impact the service industry jobs these segments are more likely to have. We expect these segments to be more price-sensitive in the coming months, especially if Congress fails to extend unemployment support in the next Coronavirus bill.

Consumers Remain Hesitant to Engage in Social Activities that Drive the Economy

Another key indicator in likely economic activity is how comfortable people feel engaging in the social activities which drive personal consumption and job creation. The story here is that of little meaningful change: consumer hesitancy to participate in these activities remains low across the board. We’re four months into a worsening pandemic and unsurprisingly we see that most consumers just aren’t comfortable getting back to life “as it was.” The only substantial difference across multicultural segments is that non-Hispanic white consumers tend to be more comfortable engaging in these social activities, while unacculturated Hispanics tend to be less comfortable overall.

Purchase of Consumer Staples Appears to Be on the Rise, at Least in the Short Term

Despite the greater concern with finances and slightly reduced comfort with public places overall, New Wave consumers report they plan to spend more in a few areas, notably food, personal care, and home care. We see some movement in other categories as well, but the real story is lingering overall hesitancy to increase spending on non-essentials. These two findings could represent a tendency towards “stocking up and hunkering down” in anticipation of renewed social-distancing guidelines or catch-up spending on essential goods that may have been deferred during the first few months of the pandemic. Regardless of the cause, the sustainability of the increase in essentials purchasing depends on what happens with the pandemic and the Coronavirus bill over the next few weeks. Learn more in the download above.

Downturn Will Be Deeper than Previously Forecast, But Return to Growth After 2021 Looks Steep

Economic projections of the COVID-19 Recession have become more pessimistic across the last several months. Indeed, the most likely outcomes envisage no return to the long-term growth rate in consumer expenditure before 2025. That said, forecasts suggest that the depth of the downturn will be matched by a very rapid rate of growth for a few years. If history is any guide, that updraft will coincide with increasing employment and consumer confidence even if absolute levels of expenditure are below those preceding the COVID-19 Recession

Lean In to Multiculturals Now to Ensure Mid-term and Long-term Growth 

While much of the current pandemic response is out of our hands, it’s imperative for brands to begin the process of preparing for the eventual recovery and future-proofing their long-term strategy. When growth returns, which it will, marketers must recognize that this traumatic year has only heightened the importance of multicultural consumers. Between household formation, immigration,and a declining white population, the dominance of multicultural expenditure growth and cultural influence in the medium and long term is a foregone conclusion.

There is simply no way that companies can expect to grow over the next decades without capturing these important consumer segments. The first step to doing that is showing up for them when they need you most. We suggest brands take advantage of the opportunity to show up for these segments in this time of crisis. People will remember who lent a helping hand and advocated for their needs, and who did not. People will remember efforts to improve the representation of multicultural consumers and their stories in advertising. When the pandemic ends and Americans again feel comfortable spending and taking advantage of your categories, this may make all the difference in the brands and products they choose.

In the download, you will find a sampling of the latest COVID-19 economic projections and implications for multicultural consumers, incorporating a comparison with forecasts released one quarter ago, and the most recent pulse survey on consumer expectations for financial security and social behaviors.

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Diwali Celebration

Diwali 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

It’s not too late to activate! With two thirds of Indian Americans celebrating Diwali, brands will want to make their mark on this important holiday. Keep reading to learn what Asian consumers expect from brands like yours on this festival of lights.

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Media Consumption Across Gender

Media is a major aspect of American life. Whether it’s social media, visual entertainment, or audio content, Americans spend a significant amount of time and attention in the media sphere.

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