Where’s the fun? Consumers want fun back in news stories, brand marketing campaigns

by | Jul 1, 2022 | Marketing, Public Relations

What’s the temperature of fun in brand marketing—how does that factor into purchasing decisions? New research from national PR agency BML Public Relations + Digital explores these questions, as well as the types of news stories consumers seek in the current media landscape.

The firm’s new study, conducted by The Harris Poll, found 85 percent of American consumers agree it is time for fun to return to brand marketing campaigns. More than three in five, or 62 percent, say humor in a brand’s TV, radio, online, social media and/or print presence makes them consider the brand “fun.”

Consumers also revealed the power of fun is good for bottom line, with 75 percent indicating they are more likely to purchase from brands they associate with being fun or upbeat versus from those they do not. Categorically, consumers identified where fun matters most when making purchasing decisions, with approximately 7 in 10 Americans saying it is important that hospitality/travel (72 percent), food & beverage (69 percent) and quick service restaurant (67 percent) brands are considered “fun.”

Where’s the fun? Consumers want fun back in news stories, brand marketing campaigns

“As an agency that heavily infuses fun in our earned, social and digital media campaigns, we wanted to understand where it currently stands with consumers in this challenging climate,” said Brian M. Lowe, founder, president + CEO of BML Public Relations + Digital, in a news release. “Our goal was to determine if consumers want brands to turn up the fun in their marketing—which was at significantly higher levels pre-pandemic—or, if it would be tone deaf considering the countless foreign and domestic issues that exist in the current the news cycle. We are excited to report consumers not only overwhelmingly want fun to return to brand marketing, but their spending habits heavily rely on it.”

More than just a pulse on fun, the survey also aimed to uncover the type of news stories consumers are seeking from media. Four in five, or 80 percent, of Americans say in these challenging times, they crave news stories that are more “fun” or “positive” than ”dark” or ”depressing” currently dominating the news.

Where’s the fun? Consumers want fun back in news stories, brand marketing campaigns

“Since the start of COVID-19, the news cycle significantly shifted away from a balance of hard news and fun to, in my opinion, overloaded negativity all the time,” said Lowe. “And, while that might generate ratings and clicks for outlets, this research shows consumers are exhausted by the level of negativity and crave a more balanced news cycle with some levity.”

Download the full report here.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of BML Public Relations + Digital from May 17–19, 2022 among 2,046 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter