Americans Are Generally OK with Companies Marketing Around Holidays, with Some Exceptions

August 2, 2022

Close to half (45%) of American adults say they find it appropriate when companies develop marketing campaigns or advertisements around religious holidays, while 29% don’t find it appropriate and the remaining quarter (26%) aren’t sure, according to a YouGov survey.

These sentiments are generally shared when it comes to cultural holidays, with slightly more finding related marketing campaigns appropriate (48%), the same percentage finding them distasteful (29%), and slightly fewer unsure (23%).

Interestingly, in each case, the percentage of respondents who find marketing campaigns and ads around religious and cultural holidays to be appropriate is higher among the oldest (65+) than youngest (18-29) age brackets.

As for awareness days for social causes, 44% find marketing or ad campaigns related to them to be appropriate, while almost a third (32%) do not, and a quarter (24%) are undecided.

There was far more variety in responses when a list of occasions were presented and respondents asked whether or not it’s appropriate for companies to market products tied to them.

The highest levels of agreement were for Mother’s Day (78%), Father’s Day (76%), Valentine’s Day (75%), July 4th/Independence Day (74%), Halloween (73%), Thanksgiving (72%) and Christmas (70%), with at least 7 in 10 respondents in each case agreeing that they think it’s appropriate for companies to market products tied to them. These occasions can be big business in the US: for example, retail spending around Mother’s Day this year was expected to reach a new record of $31.7 billion. Easter is retail’s second-largest single shopping day, per the NRF, though slightly fewer (64%) of the YouGov survey respondents believe it’s appropriate for companies to market products tied to Easter.

There are some occasions that don’t merit related products, per consumers. Only about 1 in 4 believe that it’s appropriate for companies to market products tied to Holi (25%) or Eid (26%). Likewise, only around 4 in 10 feel it’s appropriate for companies to market products tied to Juneteenth (39%) or World AIDS Day (39%). Other holidays that fewer than half feel it’s appropriate for companies to market products tied to include LGBTQA+ Pride Month, Kwanzaa, Patriot Day or 9/11 Remembrance Day, Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day, Passover, and Election Day. However, of all the occasions listed, Juneteenth is the only in which more respondents believe it is not appropriate (40%) than it is appropriate (39%) for companies to market related products.

For more, check out the topline survey results here [pdf].

About the Data: The results are based on a June 28-July 2 survey of 1,000 US adults (18+).

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