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450 years since the birth of William Shakespeare, more than half of Americans surveyed (53%) think Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights of all time.  Shakespeare’s prodigious ability to pen memorable words and phrases is the reason 72% of Americans think that he is one of the greats.    Americans have more than a fleeting awareness of the playwright. Nearly half of America (47%) has studied a play by William Shakespeare at school or college, and more than a quarter (27%) have seen the live performance of a play.  College graduates (42%) and post Graduates (59%) are most likely ... read more


Teen retailers are far behind their general competitors in both parents’ value perception and purchase consideration. Of that struggling teen group, Forever 21 scores the highest on the two measures, followed by Aeropostale and American Eagle. But all three still come up far short of where more broad-based retail chains such as Walmart, Old Navy, Target, Kohl’s, and J.C. Penney score with parents. Given that purchase consideration is an indicator of potential sales, there may still be encouraging news to potential buyers for Aeropostale, which is heavily rumored to be on the block. The brand has seen its stock decline ... read more


Springtime is the nation’s most-loved season of the year, and now that it's sprung, Americans are most looking forward to the warmer weather, wildlife, and longer days – as well as beginning to think about spring cleaning and gardening – all despite the common gripes of hayfever allergies and erratic weather. Spring is favored by 27% of Americans, with summer (26%) and fall (25%) shortly behind – just 8% of Americans prefer the winter, although the season is favored by more men (12%) than women (5%). More women prefer waking up to spring (31%) than men (24%). Southerners are most ... read more


Half of Americans (50%) who are aware of advertising don’t trust what they see, read and hear in advertisements.  44% think that advertisements are dishonest.  A clear majority (58%) thinks that there should be stronger requirements for proving claims in advertising.  Trust in advertising is very much dependent on education.  65% of post grads think advertising cannot be trusted compared to 44% of those with a high school education.  35-54 year olds (58%) are more likely to trust advertising than 18-34 year olds and 55+ (48% of both groups think advertising can be trusted). How much do you trust the ... read more


The breakfast war is raging and it looks like Taco Bell is winning the opening battle for consumer perception battle over McDonald’s. McDonald’s general impression with fast food eaters has declined over the past two months – potentially driven by a combination of accusations of wage theft, a more expensive value menu, and uncertainty over the composition of the menu itself. Taco Bell passed it at the end of March. Since mid-March, when Taco Bell’s breakfast menu ad campaign went into full swing, consumer perception of the two chains have gone in opposite directions. Taco Bell has reached its best ... read more


As summer approaches, will Americans opt for a vacation or staycation? While 80% of Americans who plan on taking a trip this summer say they will take a break in the States, 7% plan on going abroad, and 13% say they will choose to vacate in the US and abroad. While most Americans will be tourists somewhere this summer, 40% of the nation says they will not be taking a trip for pleasure at all. The majority of lower earners – 54% of people earning less than $40,000 in a year – say they will not be going on vacation ... read more


“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” – Thus starts George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, set 30 years ago this April. Orwell’s work tackles issues still relevent today, from the dangers of a totalitarian state and concerns around surveillance, to rebellion against a regime at high personal risk, and even more basic human emotions such as love and betrayal. The Language Many expressions coined by Orwell are now part of our common lexicon. Asked which words or phrases they had heard used or used themselves, the majority (63%) of Americans had heard or ... read more


The relentless marketing battle between wireless carriers has recently pushed T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless into a virtual tie on value perception. Verizon Wireless’ “More Everything” plans launched February 13th with a blitz, touting more data for some customers, free international messaging and some free cloud storage. It would seem that their new plan and its campaign are not effective enough to blunt T-Mobile’s aggressive no-contract unlimited data promotions. T-Mobile’s value perception with consumers has been steadily rising since the beginning of the year. Their ‘Uncarrier’ strategy has seen them unbundle services, eliminate service contracts and phone subsidies and offer free ... read more


Abraham Lincoln may have led the US through its Civil War, but that hasn’t stopped more than half of Americans (53%) from saying George Washington would win against him in a fight. In the imaginary battle of the presidents, lower earners are evenly split over the outcome of a Lincoln-Washington fight, while higher earners are more likely to side with the Founding Father and army commander, George Washington. The majority (57%) of Americans living in the Northeast, however, are more likely to see Lincoln as the victor, while 60% of Southerners think Washington would win. Fictional characters are no less ... read more


Esurance’s recently-launched ad campaign mocking rival GEICO’s “15 minutes can save you 15% or more” tagline is helping Allstate’s online division to its highest consumer perception levels in over two years. The campaign has helped Esurance to narrow its perception gap with GEICO to its closest point in that two year period. Consumer Advertising Awareness for Esurance has risen from 15% back in mid-December to its present 25%. Despite the strides made by Esurance, GEICO still leads in this metric at 60%. GEICO is the only property & casualty insurance company that spends more than $1 billion annually on advertising. ... read more