We have an ongoing scavenger hunt at CivicScience to find poll questions in our database that should have “Only When I’m Drunk” as an answer option. For example:

How frequently do you use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft?

  • Once a week or more
  • Once a month or so   
  • Rarely if ever
  • Only when I’m drunk

Got it? Anyway, it makes for a lot of laughs, especially when you’re spending hours sifting through endless lines of data. Here are some of my favorites from over the years:

How often do you purchase infomercial products on TV or online?
It’s the only reason I have three salad spinners.

How often do you smoke cigarettes?
Ugh. Guilty.

How much do you like Totino’s Pizza Rolls?
Always a good way to add to your hangover self-loathing.

How much do you like to drink Budweiser?
I haven’t been that drunk since college.

Can you sing?
Drunks: Keeping karaoke in business since the Prohibition.

Do you use your work email for personal email too?

How happy are you today?
OK. Now that’s just sad.

And my personal favorite…

How often do you use money transfer services like Western Union, MoneyGram, or others?
Ah, Vegas.

Here are a few less-intoxicating things were seeing this week:

Consumer confidence keeps plugging along, even after the stock market fiasco on MondayWe released our latest Economic Sentiment Index on Monday – just as the proverbial shit was hitting the fan. Through the end of last week, the index had reached another five-year high, buoyed by people’s enthusiasm for their personal finances. One of the advantages of our methodology, compared to the old-school U. Michigan and Conference Board indices, is that were tracking everything on a real-time basis. And, while we indeed saw a dip at the beginning of the week, things levelled off by Wednesday.

Economic Sentiment

Maybe America’s hatred for the New England Patriots* trumped our fears of a market sell-off. One thing that may have staved off a precipitous decline in U.S. sentiment this week was the Eagles’ thrilling victory over Belichick and Brady on Sunday. You can see in the chart below how our national happiness tracker jumped on Monday morning. The percentage of U.S. adults who identified as “Very Happy” (the dark blue line) leapt nearly 7 points in the 24 hours following the Super Bowl. “Very Happy” respondents in the Philadelphia metro area climbed from 15% in the weeks leading up to the game to 40% in the days since. Most surprising to me is that 15% of Philadelphians were actually happy in the first place.

are you happy

Audience interest of younger viewers for the Winter Olympics is pretty much insane. When compared to our data leading up to the 2014 games in Sochi, were seeing a significant increase in likely viewers for the games in Pyeongchang. 52% of Americans say they intend to follow the Games at least “somewhat closely,” up from 41% prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics. But the headline number is the growth were seeing among Millennials and GenZ. In 2014, just 41% of people under 35 expected to follow the Games in Sochi. This time around, that number rocketed to 59%. If the ratings play out that way, it could be an absolute banner event for NBC.

And once the Olympics are over, get ready for the coming renaissance of local media. I know I started beating the drum on this last week. Get used to it. Whether Facebook catapults local media back into public favor or whether they’re just capitalizing on a trend that already started, we should see a resurgence of traffic to local publishers – and, as our data shows, national advertisers would be smart to follow them. Between safe brand alignment, high-value, loyal readers (particularly women), and improving Martech tools for content personalization, a trend toward local publishers could be as beneficial to advertisers as it is to the outlets themselves.

Doritos may need to do a little clean-up with those local-media-loving female consumers. In a perfect storm of unfortunate misunderstanding, hyper-sensitive gender issues, and rampant internet viral-ness, Doritos was dinged this week for rumors of a ladies-only tortilla chip. Favorability toward the Doritos brand dropped nearly 10 full percentage points this week. Given that this was just a case of misinformation, hopefully the bounce-back is quick.

Some Random Stats (or Tips) for the Week

–   19% of people tip the same percentage every time, no matter what
–   33% of people tip on a restaurant takeout order
–   37% of people always tip at a coffee shop – 37% never tip at a coffee shop
–   38% of Uber riders tip their driver
–   17% of people tip their garbage collectors around the holidays
–   28% tip people who deliver large household items to their home
–   See below: If you’re in the 18% who tip restaurant servers less than 15%, you’re a jerk.

How much do you tip

And last but not least:

Tip hotel staff

Missing answer option: “It depends on how drunk I got the night before”

Hoping you’re well.


In case you’re wondering, this is an informal email I write to CivicScience clients, friends, and other VIPs every Saturday morning. If you’re getting this, you’reeither one of those people or were referred to me by one of them. I always love your comments and feedback.