Hot Topics: United States September 2016

People said hello to Fall, with all its trapping and traditions, from welcoming seasonal sports (football!) to seasonal television (“American Horror Story”!) and seasonal movies (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”!) in September. Read on to find out what’s popping across genders and generations on Facebook and Instagram.


People gave a shout out to summer during Labor Day weekend on Facebook. But September was really about ushering in Autumn and, even though it’s still early, Halloween for younger women. Meanwhile, older men and women on Instagram talked Fashion Week. And International Coffee Day, only a year old, got younger female coffee lovers on Facebook and older ones on Instagram hyped up.

Let the games begin
Fall also means football. Younger men geared up for the NFL season on Facebook and Instagram and talked college football on Instagram. Colin Kaepernick, a San Francisco 49ers quarterback, also popped among young men on Instagram for the second month in a row. His protest against US race relations by kneeling or sitting during the national anthem each game seems to be gaining traction (and indeed, athletes across teams and sports have been joining in support).

Promising premieres
The start of Fall also signals the start of Fall TV. The release of the “American Horror Story” teaser trailer set its younger female fanbase on Facebook afire and ignited a slew of plot theories. Netflix’s drop of “Narcos” Season 2 got guys posting on Instagram about both it and Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, who’s featured in the series.

Older male political wonks took to Facebook to get in on the first presidential debate, putting moderator Lester Holt on the map. In music news, the tours of both indie band The Lumineers and country music star Garth Brooks got fans (younger women for The Lumineers and older women for Brooks) posting on Instagram. Young men on Instagram also followed award-winning RnB singer Trey Songz during his Nairobi tour, including his ride in a matatu, Kenya’s famed mode of transportation: private multi-passenger vans outfitted with stereos and TV screens.

Brand buzz
Nearly 20 years since J.K. Rowling published her first Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” young female fans turned to Instagram to post about about her first three e-book shorts in the “Pottermore Presents” series (each debuted in the top 10). In tech, iOS 10 revved up younger men and women on Instagram.


For the greater good
This September, the pope officially declared Mother Teresa a saint. 120,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pay homage to Saint Teresa of Kolkota, and many more gathered online to celebrate her, with conversations driven by older women on Facebook.

Marketer takeaways
September highlights how Americans transition from one season to the other, whether it be connecting to landmark holidays or getting into the mood through change-overs in Sports and Entertainment. Use Hot Topics to better understand what people are thinking about each month and create relevance for brand campaigns—especially now, as Americans start to dip their toes into the upcoming Holiday season.