Common ground

How well do you think you know the traits of republicans and democrats? Can you tell them apart by how they look? What they buy? Where they spend their time with media? They are like oil and water – right?

Based on the recent New York Times Refrigerator Poll, which launched on October 27th, only 52% of people were able to correctly guess which refrigerators contents were democrats and which were republicans. And it wasn’t just a few people who attempted the quiz - over 24 million people participated, and our collective guesses were about as good as flipping a coin.

We think that we are so different from each other, but is that actually true? We took to the data (Source: Dentsu M1 DataSource) to look at how similar, or different, republicans and democrats really are – from interests and passions, to media behaviors. What we found surprised us.

  • We are both feeling more anxious right now than they have in the past. (45% R/46% D)
  • We both long for simpler times (who doesn’t) – 45% D, 47% R
  • Who said GenZ are definitely democrats? There is the same % of genZ in each party (6% D/7% R)
  • We say that we don’t have enough time in the day, but somehow find the time to binge watch TV - both overindex on binging TV (3+ episodes at a time!) (50% each)
  • Oh- and both also don’t have enough time to eat properly (25% each)
  • Both are primarily watching TV for entertainment purposes, wanting a bit of escapism right now
    • You can find both Dems & Repubs watching Blackish, 60 mins, & Shark Tank
  • And that need for entertainment also trickles into ads, they want advertising to be as entertaining as the show that they are watching (51% D, 50% R)
  • Both watch the news (although different programs) (26% D, 29% R)
  • Both have a love of reading magazines (26%) and overindex vs. the rest of the US (106i)
  • 60% use Ads to find out about new products
  • 62% say that music is a very important part of their life
  • When shopping, 33% of either party prefer to shop at local stores over big supermarkets
  • What you’ll find them wearing:
    • Both like adidas equally (33%) – can’t say the same for Nike!
  • What you’ll find them sipping on
    • Slightly more Republicans drink Coke, but not by much (10% D, 13% R)
    • Both equally drink San Pellegrino water
  • What you’ll find them munching on
    • Babies in these homes are just as likely to be Gerber babies (1% each)
    • Both get hangry (10% D, 13% R)
    • You’re equally likely to find a box of Frosted Flakes in their cabinet (7% both)
    • When they are stress watching the news, they sink their spoons into Ben & Jerry’s (4% each)
  • And lastly, both equally buy Durex for those intimate times (8% each)

As with any significant issue in our country, brands have an important role to play in how we might solve our great political divide. By helping to focus on where we have common ground, maybe brands can help get us to start moving toward each other rather than drifting further apart. It won’t be easy, but what of any value ever is. And it just might prove to be one of the most important things brands ever do.

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