1: Blowback From An Ill-Timed Ad Campaign– Case Study

On December 7th, 2023, popular fast fashion retailer Zara launched an ad campaign called “The Jacket.” The campaign shows a woman standing in a white studio, boldly dressed in black. The studio is in disarray, with dust, broken plaster, and ripped wall coverings.

  • The images were intended to evoke a sculptor’s studio mid-creation, comparing Zara’s clothing to art. Unfortunately, some viewers interpreted the images as an “insensitive” and “tone deaf” portrayal of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.
  • The retailer took down the campaign as calls for a Zara boycott popped up across social media.
  • Using data from QuestBrand by The Harris Poll, we evaluated how Zara’s controversial ad campaign impacted consumer brand perception.
  • After December’s ad launch, we see a steep rise in Zara’s negative momentum score. The uptick in negative momentum is especially pronounced among young adults (Millennial and Gen Z adults).

Consumers’ strong reaction to Zara’s campaign highlights the importance for brands to carefully consider both the content and the timing of a marketing campaign before launch. Download the case study to discover the The Jacket’s full impact on the Zara brand.

2: Super Bowl 2024 Commercials – What Viewers Do And Don’t Want – AdAge-Harris Poll

Super Bowl LVIII is only a week away. And whether you’re cheering for the 49ers or the Chiefs (or neither), there’s a good chance you’ll be tuning in. According to a new AdAge-Harris Poll survey:

  • National entertainment: Three-quarters (76%) of respondents plan to watch the Super Bowl this year. This is up from 63% in 2023.
  • Something for everyone: The Super Bowl is more than just a football game – 76% of respondents are excited for the game, but 64% want to see the ads. Young viewers are looking forward to Usher’s halftime show – Gen Z (85%), Millennials (74%).
  • Where are you watching?: More than half of viewers plan to watch the Big Game through the standard broadcast. Beyond CBS/Univision, 21% plan to watch the Super Bowl on Paramount+, and 7% want to check out the Nickelodeon simulcast.
  • Make us laugh: 69% of respondents said that they want this year’s Super Bowl ads to be funny. Half (51%) are looking for unique ads, and 43% want something lighthearted.
  • Show some fur: Half (47%) of respondents want animals to be cast in this year’s ads. See other casting preferences in the chart below:

Takeaway: “The Super Bowl remains a rare moment of lighthearted national unity for Americans, which explains why the number one attribute likely viewers want to see in Super Bowl ads is humor. Americans are excited for the gameplay, the halftime show and the ads, and they want the levity of their viewing experience to be reflected in the big game’s advertisements.” – Harris Poll Co-CEO Will Johnson

3: 2024 Home Buyer Report – NerdWallet-Harris Poll

Fueled with data from The Harris Poll, NerdWallet recently released their 2024 Home Buyer Report. With high interest rates, low housing inventory, and high costs, 2023 was a tough year to buy a house. Less than a quarter of US adults who started 2023 with the intent to buy actually purchased a home. Will 2024 be a better year for hopeful buyers?

  • Unrealistic expectations?: A fifth (21%) of Millennials and Gen Z adults plan to buy a house in the next year. However, 63% of US adults who plan to buy are hoping to spend $274,800 (on average). In reality, the median price of homes sold in November stood at $388,000.
  • Better start saving: Only a third (31%) of those who plan to buy a house in the next year have started saving for a down payment.

  • Pessimism abounds: 67% of US adults (74% of Gen Zers) say it’s never been a worse time to buy a house.
  • Don’t lose perspective: 66% of US adults believe that current mortgage rates (7.2% as of November 2023) are unprecedentedly high. Not so – mortgage rates reached 18% in 1981.
  • To buy, or not to buy: Less than half (45%) of US adults say buying a house right now is a smart investment.

Takeaway:2023 was terrible to home buyers, but 2024 will be better as mortgage rates fall and homes become more affordable. Actually, ‘less unaffordable’ might be a better way to say it. Buyers will likely struggle to find affordable homes in 2024, but the homebuying experience might not be as miserable as in 2023.” – Holden Lewis, NerdWallet 

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