It was a dizzying week to say the least. It seemed like most of the research we did was a fire drill, trying to study things with only a few hours’ notice. Not my favorite kind of work but fun nonetheless.
Here a few of the timely things we saw this week:
As I alluded to last Saturday, economic sentiment slid rapidly after the failed ACA repeal efforts. The Conference Board’s report of a 17-year high in consumer confidence last week was stale before the ink was dry. Our latest reading showed the first decline in economic sentiment since early February, almost matching the low point for the year. Most of the decline came in the three days following the ACA debacle – all before the Conference Board’s announcement.
If Republicans dragged down consumer confidence numbers, they were reinvigorated by the recent missile strikes in Syria. In the first 12 hours after the strikes, public support for Trump’s decision was high – with over 60% of Americans reacting favorably. Even 33% of Democrats supported the action, which is remarkable in today’s divisive political environment. Incidentally, men and women were fairly divided on the issue.
Men and women are NOT divided – at least if they’re in a relationship – when it comes to Trump overall. I spent a few weeks working on a study for the Huffington Post about couples who disagree on Trump, and it was the most (work-related) fun I’ve had in awhile. Nine out of ten couples agree on Trump (my wife and I included), which is noteworthy given that we seldom agree on anything else. What shocked me the most? Somewhere out there, 2% of people are in a heterosexual relationship where the woman supports Trump and the man opposes him. Fascinating.
Bad news – er – bad advertising travels fast. Unless you were living under a recycling bin this week, you no doubt heard about the controversial Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner. In little more than a few hours, we saw Pepsi’s advertising awareness numbers jump 17% and their negatives almost triple – compared to the past 6 months. Even though Pepsi quickly pulled the ad and apologized, it wasn’t fast enough. I’m sure things will bounce back over time, but it’s still a cautionary tale. Negative reaction spreads like wildfire today. Be careful – and nimble.
I’m taking a week off for a Spring Break trip with my family. If you go into information withdrawal, we published a fun-to-read “eBook” containing 102 of the most interesting stats we’ve discovered lately. Did you know that people who drink wine twice a week or more are much more likely to be happy in their job? Did you know that I love my job?
Back again in a couple weeks.