CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Work with us to learn more.
1. One-quarter believe navigating search engines has gotten harder amid AI integration and push toward increased e-commerce activity.
In their efforts to incorporate AI chatbots, Microsoft and Google have received somewhat mixed reviews on the integration of AI programs similar to ChatGPT into Bing and Google search engines. In recent years, users have expressed concerns about the general rise in advertising, shopping integration, and search engine optimization, impacting the ease of finding specific information on search platforms.
CivicScience data show that while 24% of users say finding information on search engines is harder now (with 9% saying it’s become ‘much more difficult’), 34% of respondents believe it has actually gotten easier. Gen Z adults are most likely to say that search engines are easier to use now, while Gen X adults are most likely to say it has gotten more difficult.
Regardless of how consumers feel about the ease of finding information, a recent CivicScience study indicated that Google continues to dominate as a top choice for e-commerce product searches – compared to social media giant TikTok, which saw its appeal for product search on the decline. However, Amazon leads overall for product searches.
2. Amid likely 2020 election rematch, one-third would vote for a so-called “Unity Ticket” made up of one Republican and one Democrat.
With presidential primaries now just six months away, the presidential election is looking more and more likely to be a rematch between incumbent President Biden and former President Trump (pending any legal issues for the former president). Many Americans are not particularly happy about either choice.
Some voters represented by No Labels, a moderate political group, have pushed for an alternative option: a bipartisan “unity ticket” with one Democrat and one Republican. CivicScience data exploring the concept find American opinions divided, with 33% supportive of the idea and 37% opposing it. Interestingly, Republicans are just six percentage points more likely than Democrats (41% to 35%) to be at least ‘somewhat willing’ to vote for a “unity ticket” in 2024.
Additionally, CivicScience data show nearly 40% of U.S. adults say they would be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very willing’ to vote for a third party if the choice next year is between President Biden and former President Trump – with young adults and Democrats more likely to be open to voting for a third-party candidate.
3. Nearly 3 in 10 say “Oppenheimer” has them more concerned about the use of nuclear weapons.
The showdown between Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” proved to be a major hit at the box office. The two films blew past already high expectations and raked in a combined $235 million on opening weekend, the biggest weekend for movie theaters since 2019. The latest CivicScience data show fewer than 50% of U.S. adults say they have no interest in seeing either “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer.” Both blockbusters have influenced online cultural discourse but in distinct ways.
“Oppenheimer” looks to have rekindled long-dormant Cold War era anxieties surrounding nuclear apocalypse. Almost 30% of respondents, including 45% of Gen Z adults, report feeling a heightened concern around nuclear weapons following the film or its related discussions. Though Baby Boomers, who experienced the Cold War firsthand, show lower levels of nuclear concerns following the film, one-quarter of them still express increased apprehension after watching it.
Meanwhile, the social commentary of “Barbie” has sparked some conservative backlash, including from Texas Senator Ted Cruz. CivicScience data highlight today’s politically polarized climate as Americans identifying as liberal find the film ‘playful and fun’ or ‘celebratory nostalgia,’ while conservatives are likely to view it as ‘woke’ or ‘anti-male/man-hating.’
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