Hot Topics: United States July 2016

Patriotism was top of mind in July, as Americans on Facebook and Instagram celebrated Independence Day and participated in discourse with an eye toward November. But politics wasn’t the only flavor of rivalry on display—good ol’ fashioned sports and gaming competitions, from Serena’s triumph at Wimbledon to the masses trying their thumbs at “Pokémon Go,” also got people poking, typing and swiping.

 

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Noise-makers

Older men and women turned to Facebook and Instagram to discuss the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, keying into convention highlights like Ted Cruz’s speech, the Wikileaks scandal and speeches from Melania Trump and First Lady Michelle Obama. Meanwhile, younger men focused on alternative party candidates like Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party.

 

In commemoration

Men and women, young and old, came together to honor those fallen in an attack that happened during celebrations of Bastille Day in Nice, France.

 

Celebrations

Facebook and Instagram were platforms to showcase patriotism this month, as women of all ages celebrated Independence Day and the song “God Bless America.” But women had another reason to celebrate: the emerging shopping holiday, Christmas in July, which has been embraced by retailers to draw in customers during a period that is often slow.

 

Gamers realm

Facebook and Instagram saw discussions from people trying to catch ’em all in July as younger men and women alike discussed the augmented reality game “Pokémon Go.” The location-based mobile game seemed to have triggered enthusiasm for all things Pokémon, with the original anime series and Pokémon Red and Blue (referring to the first two international Pokémon game releases on Game Boy) also popping on Instagram.

 

Let the games begin

Older women celebrated Serena Williams’s historic Wimbledon win on Instagram: her women’s single victory secured her a 22nd Grand Slam title, tying her with Steffi Graf on the all-time list. Meanwhile, younger men took to both Facebook and Instagram to track basketball players after the MLB draft: both Dwayne Wade, who moved to the Chicago Bulls from the Miami Heat, and Kevin Durant, who moved from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, spiked.

 

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What it means for marketers

Whether on the soap box or on the courts, this month showed that healthy competition gets people connecting. As the Rio Games begin and the election cycle heats up, consider how your brand can remain culturally relevant by tapping into fandom and rivalries. But always be sure to remain authentic and showcase your insider knowledge.