Is America ready for fun to return to marketing & brand communications? Survey says …

Four in five Americans crave news stories that are more fun

A new nationwide survey yields compelling data related to consumer brands, marketing campaigns and the state of the media landscape. The goal of the survey was to take the temperature of fun in brand marketing, how it factors into purchasing decisions and the types of news stories consumers seek in the current media landscape.

Conducted on behalf of national award-winning, Florham Park-based fun-comms agency, BML Public Relations + Digital, by the Harris Poll, the online survey of 2,046 U.S. adults ages 18 and older found:

  • 85% of American consumers agree it is time for fun to return to brand marketing campaigns;
  • 62% say humor in a brand’s presence makes them consider the brand “fun”; and
  • 75% are more likely to purchase from brands they associate with being fun or upbeat.

Categorically, consumers identified where fun matters most when making purchasing decisions, with approximately 7 in 10 Americans saying it is important that hospitality/travel (72%), food & beverage (69%) and quick-service restaurant (67%) brands are considered “fun.”

More than just a pulse on fun, the survey also aimed to uncover the type of news stories consumers are seeking from media. Four in five, or 80%, of Americans said that, in these challenging times, they crave news stories that are more “fun” or “positive” than ”dark” or ”depressing” currently dominating the news.

“As an agency that heavily infuses fun in our earned, social and digital media campaigns, we wanted to understand where it currently stands with consumers in this challenging climate,” Brian Lowe, founder, CEO and president of BML Public Relations + Digital, stated. “Our goal was to determine if consumers want brands to turn up the fun in their marketing — which was at significantly higher levels pre-pandemic — or, if it would be tone deaf considering the countless foreign and domestic issues that exist in the current the news cycle. We are excited to report consumers not only overwhelmingly want fun to return to brand marketing, but their spending habits heavily rely on it.

“Since the start of COVID-19, the news cycle significantly shifted away from a balance of hard news and fun to, in my opinion, overloaded negativity all the time. And, while that might generate ratings and clicks for outlets, this research shows consumers are exhausted by the level of negativity and crave a more balanced news cycle with some levity.”

To access the research white paper and survey tables, click here.

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by the Harris Poll on behalf of BML Public Relations + Digital from May 17-19, among 2,046 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.