Hot Topics: United States April 2016

People in the US turned to Facebook and Instagram during the month of April to discuss topics of personal importance, focusing on everything from celebrating family-focused holidays to enjoying season premieres of TV shows and sports and honoring the life of a fallen American icon.

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Celebrations

Older women on Instagram and women of all ages on Facebook celebrated family in April. Talk of Mother’s Day was common on both platforms as people looked ahead to Mom’s special day in May. Younger women focused on a newer holiday—Siblings Day—established in 1997 in honor of founder Claudia Evert’s late siblings.

Women on Facebook and Instagram acknowledged a different kind of connection—to Mother Earth—in honor of Earth Day. The holiday marks the vernal equinox and encourages a deeper commitment to environmental protection.

In commemoration

Men and women reached out on both platforms to remember actor and musician Prince upon his passing. People mourned the artist in different ways: Older women on Facebook focused on his musical legacy, like rock-opera and album “Purple Rain” and Paisley Park Records, his personal label. And older men and women on Instagram and older women on Facebook led conversations about the man himself.

All together

People across ages and genders joined together on Facebook and Instagram to discuss abolitionist Harriet Tubman after the US Department of the Treasury announced she will replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill.

Intrigue and dragons caught the attention of men and women on both platforms. Young men and women on Facebook and men and women alike on Instagram allied themselves to talk about the hotly anticipated “Game of Thrones” Season 6 premiere. Readers of the “Song of Ice and Fire” book series—on which the show is based—will be joining viewers in feeling the suspense, as the plot of the show has outpaced the books.

Let the games begin

Men and women on Instagram talked about a lighthearted moment of great importance (at least to baseball fans): Opening Day. On Instagram, both men and women cheered for the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. And on Facebook, fans took a broader view of America’s pastime. Young men led talk of Major League Baseball itself and kept the conversation about the Red Sox going. They also chatted about the Chicago Cubs.

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What it means for marketers

Whether it’s teaming up to enjoy sports or coming together in mourning, people engage in and connect around conversations on topics that are important to them. Brands can speak to these meaningful connections by honoring family and international icons in their creative campaigns.


Hot Topics for Australia, Canada, the UK and the US

April’s Hot Topics show people in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US celebrating topics that originated in the US, proving that compelling stories and skilled artists can keep people talking, no matter where they are.

In commemoration

Across all four countries, men and women mourned Prince, an American actor and musician. Remembering the influential artist took unique forms in different countries, a fitting tribute to an artist celebrated for his individuality. In Australia, the UK and the US, older people remembered his iconic movie and album, “Purple Rain.” In the UK and the US, conversation also centered on his music label, Paisley Park Records.

Older men in Australia, Canada and the US also mourned the passing of American country singer/songwriter Merle Haggard, who was known for resonating with listeners by incorporating themes from his own life into his music.

Capturing the voices of young men

US basketball player Kobe Bryant sank his final basket in April, and young men in each country took to the court on both platforms to talk about his retirement. Young men also discussed “Dark Souls” after the release of the newest installment in the action-adventure video game series.

Promising premieres

People in all four countries talked about the return to the Seven Kingdoms, as “Game of Thrones” had its Season 6 premiere on April 24. In Australia and the UK, women led the conversation on both platforms. In Canada, women led the conversations on Instagram, and men guided the discussions on Facebook. In the US, men and women shared their thoughts about the Iron Throne on both platforms.

What it means for marketers

Cultural icons have the power to not just entertain but also bring people together. Whether it’s remembering influential artists who have passed or looking ahead to new releases, people love sharing things they’re passionate about. Brands can capture attention by creating content that fosters such passion and encourages a sense of community among fans.