I hope you had a great extended holiday, free from family political arguments – unlike mine.

We’re heading down the home stretch of 2016 and into what should be an interesting year ahead. I’ve been studying an array of macro-economic sentiment factors, as I’m convinced these are going to dictate consumer behavior through the holidays and well into next year.

Here’s some of what we’ve been seeing on the macro level and beyond:

Overall consumer confidence is higher than it’s been in over two years. Our most recent Economic Sentiment Index reading shows a continued surge since the election, driven most recently by increased optimism around the job market – confidence which preceded yesterday’s glowing jobs report.Poll results showing that consumer confidence has climbed since the November election.

This confidence may have provided a much-needed boost to Black Friday traffic. Although our tracking numbers showed a slower pace of shopping before Thanksgiving, compared to last year, the numbers leapt ahead following last weekend. Will it continue?

For holiday retail advertising and beyond, television networks should expand their use of split-screen advertising – it’s a winner. Made vogue by NBC’s Ryder Cup broadcast, the practice of showing muted coverage of a live sporting event on half of the screen, while commercials run on the other half, is being met with rave reviews by consumers. Don’t be surprised if this becomes more commonplace as networks look to keep eyeballs on their ads.

What doesn’t seem to be catching on is the new tradition of “Giving Tuesday” – a day of promoted charitable giving, which happened this past week. If you’ve never heard of Giving Tuesday, you’re hardly alone. In fact, you’re in the majority. And that’s the problem. Participation in the event was completely flat versus last year. Where’s all the love?

But to restore your faith in humanity, we’re pleased to report that the “Age of the Kardashians” might be nearing its merciful end. After being relatively flat for over two years, negative sentiment toward the famed-for-nothing reality stars climbed significantly in 2016. Maybe the family’s 15-minutes (which has seemed like 15 years) is nearly over.

On that note, have an awesome weekend.


PS – I’ve added a few new names to this distinguished distribution list. If you’d like some of the archived emails or just want to know what it’s all about, feel free to email me personally. Nobody has unsubscribed yet 🙂