A majority of marketers and customer experience executives say they are making their brand messaging more authentic, compassionate and transparent to improve their business performance. While these elements may be important to consumers, it turns out consumers are actually attracted to messaging that entertains them and makes them laugh. This is according to a recent report [download page] from Attest, which looks at what types of brand messages appeal to consumers and how consumers want to interact with brands.
The November 2021 survey of 2,000 working-age US consumers reveals that close to 6 in 10 (57%) find humorous brand messages most appealing at the moment. Although the report points out that only 4% of respondents from a similar survey in 2020 said they wanted brands to make them feel amused, research from several years ago shows that people find humorous ads enjoyable and memorable.
Alongside wanting to be entertained, close to half (47%) of consumers wanted to be motivated and inspired. However, fewer say that educational (34.5%), thought-provoking (34%) and reassuring (34%) ads appeal to them most at the moment.
It turns out that older consumers, in particular, want to be entertained by brand messages, with 66% saying as such. The report also points out that Millennials over-index in saying they want to see motivational and educational messaging.
Taking a Stand
Although only about 1 in 5 (18% of) respondents find brand messages that make them feel seen and included as appealing, they do appear to want brands to take a stand on societal issues. The largest portion of consumers want brands to take a stand on poverty and inequality and racism. They also want brands to speak up about climate change, women’s rights and animal welfare/wildlife conservation.
About one-quarter (24%) of respondents don’t want brands to be political at all. Moreover, earlier research from Sprout Social shows that more than half of consumers believe that brands take a stand for PR or marketing purposes, while others believe that brands are just jumping on the bandwagon.
Engaging with Brands
While marketers have increased the number of emails they send out, they may be cautious about how often they send them out. The largest share (26%) of respondents say they are happy to receive email marketing from brands they are interested in once a month. That said, more say they are happy to receive emails from brands either daily or several times a week than those who prefer to receive them once a fortnight (10%) or once a month (11%).
Beyond email, consumers are also following brands on social media, with many doing so to learn about new products or services and to stay up-to-date on company news. Attest’s data shows that not only do consumers spend 3 or more hours per day on social media, but the share of consumers who follow brands on social platforms also increased between 2020 and 2021. That increase appears to come from those who follow brands on TikTok, with one-quarter following brands on the platform in 2021, compared to 15% in 2020.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a November 2021 survey of 2,000 working-age US consumers.