Hot Topics: Canada April 2016

In April, Canadians on Facebook and Instagram got excited about tree-planting in celebration of Earth Day, mourned the loss of two influential musicians and cheered on Toronto sports teams with fresh enthusiasm.



April’s Earth Day—globally themed “Trees for the Earth”—had women branching out in conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Aiming to improve our planet’s health, global networks of Earth Day organizations pledged to plant a tree for every person on Earth by 2020 (that’s 7.8 billion trees!).*

In commemoration

April marked two sad days for music lovers, as the deaths of Merle Haggard (April 6) and Prince (April 21) played on the nation’s heart strings. The passing of these influential musicians created melancholy and nostalgia among older men and women alike.

Let the games begin

Toronto’s basketball and baseball teams crossed the generational plane on Facebook and Instagram, with younger men talking about the Raptors and Blue Jays on Facebook and older women talking about the Blue Jays on Instagram. We also saw men turn to both platforms to talk about the retirement of American basketball star Kobe Bryant and to Instagram specifically to discuss his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

World leaders

Joking publicly about serious issues brought leading Philippines presidential candidate, Rodrigo Duterte, into conversations with an older audience on Facebook this month.


“Ghostbusters,” “The Boss” and the “Gilmore Girls” revival had women sharing their love for Melissa McCarthy on Facebook, as the Comedic Genius Award winner stole the screen and the news spotlight this month.



What it means for marketers

April’s Hot Topics shows that both anticipated and unanticipated events can effectively capture people’s attention. Brands can participate in these moments and celebrations by planning as well as reacting in real time to reach the people who matter most.


* “Earth Day Toolkit” by Earth Day Network, Apr 2016.

Hot Topics: United Kingdom April 2016

Conversations across Facebook and Instagram during April were led by an older-than-usual group of men and women. Rumours of Prime Ministerial indiscretion and the passing of two entertainment icons dominated these discussions, while younger chatter was more concerned with Sports and Entertainment.


World leaders

Prime Minister David Cameron’s tax affairs in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal were the big topic on Facebook, particularly among older people. And Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday caught the attention of older female Instagrammers.

In commemoration

American musician and actor Prince and British comedienne Victoria Wood joined the roll call of beloved entertainers who passed away in 2016 and were mourned by a predominantly older group of fans.

Let the games begin

The launch of the sixth season of “Game of Thrones” was huge news for younger people on Facebook and Instagram, while a younger male-skewed audience on both platforms got psyched up for WrestleMania 32. The London Marathon also proved a popular topic, particularly for older women on Instagram.



Delve deeper into the topics of the day in the charts above, and check out Hot Topics from Facebook IQ every month to gain a deeper understanding of your target audiences, develop more relevant creative and plan media more effectively.

Hot Topics: Australia March 2016

Big-name companies and performers alike stole the show in March, connecting with Australians around a range of key moments, from film releases and festivals to holidays and causes.



Easter was the highest trending topic on Facebook and Instagram this month, with Good Friday in particular resonating strongly among women of all ages. Both Saint Patrick’s Day and Sydney’s Mardi Gras festival offered men and women alike a chance to let their hair down. Women of all ages rallied together on International Women’s Day to recognise achievements and champion gender equality.

Brand buzz

Holidays in March proved to be the perfect opportunity for brands to connect with people. Guinness went back to its roots on Saint Patrick’s Day, sharing a series of Instagram images celebrating Irish culture. And it was no surprise to see Australians discussing sweet treats over Easter, as both Oreo and Cadbury tantalised tastebuds with their seasonal content.


Legendary performer Madonna toured the country with her Rebel Heart Tour, making waves among a diverse audience on both Facebook and Instagram. Rapper Kendrick Lamar connected with younger males on Instagram during his Australian tour and performance at the Byron Bay Bluesfest.

Donald Trump continued to be a talking point for older males on Facebook, while Arnold Schwarzenegger got people buzzing on Instagram after attending a body building competition in Melbourne. People took to Facebook to discuss Kim Kardashian West’s selfies on Instagram. The shots created a bit of a buzz online and the images even inspired offline action, with Australian street artist Lushsux creating a series of large murals in the laneways of Sydney and Melbourne.


Following the release of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” young men turned to both Facebook and Instagram to discuss the on-screen battle between DC Comics’ biggest heroes. This group also used both platforms to pick a side in the UFC’s blockbuster clash between Irish fighter Conor McGregor and American challenger Nate Diaz.


What it means for marketers

This month shows the impact that brands can make when they connect with their audience around big events and holidays. Whether by joining in on a passionate discussion or inviting people to join a celebration, there are many ways that brands can be front of mind at the right time.


Hot Topics: Canada March 2016

In March, Canadians united to cheer on Prime Minister Trudeau as Washington rolled out the red carpet for his long-anticipated visit. Many conversations were geared around planning for Easter celebrations, while others continued to speculate on the ongoing tech rivalry between Apple and Blackberry.




In preparation for Saint Patrick’s Day, Good Friday and Easter, middle-aged women on Facebook traded favourite recipes and décor ideas to make these holidays extra-special for their friends and families. On International Women’s Day, this group also celebrated women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural and political spheres and made fresh commitments to work towards closing the gender gap.

Brand buzz

Speculating about the upcoming iPhone 7 continued to be a popular sport, as younger women on Facebook shared rumors and predictions. Similarly, on Instagram, younger men and women traded perspectives on Blackberry’s anticlimactic release of the Android-powered Priv hardware and lower-than-anticipated hardware sales.


Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford passed away this month, and older men and women on both Facebook and Instagram paid their respects.


In the music and entertainment world, Death Cab for Cutie’s cross-Canada tour captivated younger women on Instagram. Garth Brooks also filled stadiums across the country and was top of mind for younger women on Instagram.

Let the games begin

Also on both platforms, younger and older men alike tuned into and talked about the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which took place throughout the month.



What it means for marketers

This month shows that significant moments, holidays and celebrations capture people’s attention in many forms, whether we see it in a technology launch, political excursion or in international events and holidays. How can your brand be where life happens in order to make the most of your marketing spend? Tap into upcoming seasonal events by downloading our Canadian Seasonal Moments Guide to discover more about what people share and how to become a part of the conversation.


The Tender Side of Tech

Whether it’s a brother using a laptop to “blow out” birthday candles or a long-distance couple sharing a weekly virtual date, people are using technology in surprising new ways to nurture and share their bonds of love.

GIF04-Reinventing-Rituals-v05-250pxIn a study of how technology is reinventing rituals for people around the world, Facebook IQ commissioned insight and innovation experts Crowd DNA to consult experts, interview influencers and survey people in Nigeria, South Korea, the UK and the US (data are on average across the countries). In this second post in the Tech Transformations series, we focus on how technology is helping people create new and different expressions of love.

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Hot Topics: Canada February 2016

February was a time of major entertainment events and celebrations on Facebook and Instagram, as men and women across Canada united to share their excitement for the Super Bowl, the Grammys and Valentine’s Day.

This month, older men on Facebook sunk their teeth into American politics, particularly US Senator Bernie Sanders’s efforts to outperform Hilary Clinton in presidential elections and Donald Trump’s controversial comments.




On Facebook and Instagram, men of all ages rejoiced when Team Canada scored a victory against Team USA during the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto and indulged in one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the Super Bowl.

The Grammy Awards was a major point of discussion among older women on Facebook and Instagram, as was Lady Gaga’s latest single “Til It Happens to You.” This demographic also placed special importance on Chinese New Year, which happens to be the Year of the Monkey.




Younger women on Facebook celebrated the platform’s birthday on Friends Day and the return of Tim Hortons’ RRRoll Up the Rim to Win contest. They also shared their theories on the latest episodes of “The Walking Dead.”

Valentine’s Day captivated women of all ages on Facebook and Instagram, as different brands teamed up with Cupid to unveil their latest promotions.

Whether Canadians were excited for a new TV show or celebrating the victory of their favourite sports team, they shared their enthusiasm on Facebook and Instagram. Using these themes and insights to inspire future campaigns will help you deliver messages that will resonate with your audience.

Hot Topics: Australia February 2016

Despite fierce competition on the sporting and political field, love conquered all among Australians in February. On both Facebook and Instagram, Valentine’s Day was the most-talked-about-topic, particularly among women as they used the platform to share their special moments on February 14th.



Other causes for celebration included Chinese New Year, especially among an older audience, while younger women embraced Facebook’s Friends Day by sharing picture galleries created by Facebook. The nation looked ahead in anticipation of Sydney’s Mardi Gras coming up in March, with both the festival and LGBT communities trending with men and women alike. This discussion was further bolstered by Adidas’ ongoing campaign against discrimination towards LGBTIQ athletes.

A number of new films this month gave Aussies of all ages the chance to share their views on social media. Marvel’s “Deadpool” was released to rave reviews, trending on both platforms. On Instagram, “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds rated highly among men of all ages, while comedy actor Kevin Hart was popular after stopping in Australia to endorse “Ride Along 2.” The release of the second “Zoolander” movie also had people talking, particularly when its titular character was seen Down Under scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Australians were also glued to events on the sporting field. The American Super Bowl and its 2016 champions, the Denver Broncos, were widely discussed across both platforms, while the return of the Australian rugby season had people talking on Instagram.




A different kind of clash captured the attention of older males in February, as Australians followed the news of the US primaries. Both Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders trended on Facebook. On home turf, Australian politics were also a topic of interest among men and women of all ages. People turned to Facebook to share their views as Malcolm Turnbull considered the date for a national election, and NSW’s Premier, Mike Baird, was frequently mentioned in relation to Sydney’s controversial lock-out laws.

Whether people used Facebook and Instagram to debate politics, share film reviews, cheer on a team or celebrate a holiday, this month’s Hot Topics reminds us all of the power of the personal brand. While many of the actors, teams, sports  personalities and politicians discussed this month formed part of a wider event or discussion, their individual cause, viewpoint or persona was just as important—as was their ability to be distinguished from their competitors.

Hot Topics: Canada January 2016

During January 2016, people on Facebook and Instagram in Canada were winding down the Holiday season and looking forward to upcoming events like the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.



The month found older Canadians on Facebook and Instagram commemorating the passing of beloved entertainment icons, as men and women remembered David Bowie, Natalie Cole and Glenn Frey. Younger women in particular mourned the loss of Alan Rickman.

Champagne and board games like Monopoly and Catan were on the radar of younger women this month on Instagram, while an older female audience talked about the Fiesta Bowl and Japanese New Year.

The NHL Winter Classic and recent performances from the Toronto Maple Leafs were on the minds of younger men on Facebook and Instagram. And on Facebook, the older male audience was embroiled in discussion around Carlos Condit’s controversial UFC victory.

Across the genders and ages, the unclaimed Powerball jackpots from the January draw was also a topic of interest for people in Canada.




­­­­­­Leverage these topic insights to help connect your brand’s message with your target audience as they share what matters to them. Check out Hot Topics from Facebook IQ  every month to gain a deeper understanding of what people are thinking and feeling in Canada.

Hot Topics: Australia January 2016

The stars of the stage, screen and sporting field influenced Australians most in January, with men and women of all ages uniting to commemorate and celebrate across Facebook and Instagram.

The tragic passing of creative greats such as David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Eagles drummer Glenn Frey caused many to reflect on their astonishing careers on both platforms. These conversations were highest among older women, while younger women discussed new forms of entertainment, such as Channing Tatum’s Lip Sync battle with Beyoncé.




Despite taking down their Christmas trees, Australians weren’t ready to let the festive season end. On Instagram, big music events trended high—RL Grime’s headliner spot at Field Day, Gary Clark, Jr.’s performance at the Opera House and up-and-coming soul singer Leon Bridges’ first Australian tour. At the end of the month, the country came together to celebrate Australia Day across both Facebook and Instagram.

In sport, the “bite-sized” Big Bash League proved to be a popular event, with superstar Luke Wright winning over the men on Instagram by smashing out a century to seal a victory. It was a month of adrenaline-pumping action on the court at the Australian Open, as Novak Djokovic proved too good for his competitors and immensely popular with older women on Facebook. Tennis was a particular drawcard for the month with the Australian Open, the Brisbane International and the Hopman Cup all trending on Instagram.




Conversation also began to build ahead of the Super Bowl in February, but not just in anticipation of the action on the field. As brands unveiled their commercials ahead of the Big Game, Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” competition, inviting fans to submit their own commercials, was particularly popular among older women.

Whether celebrating a triumph, mourning a loss or rallying for a cause, Australians met on Facebook and Instagram in January to share their experiences and their passions. This presents opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences and find the “spark” that will unite them.

Unlocking the Mobile Opportunity in 2016

This past Holiday season showed us that the m-commerce dress rehearsal is over and mobile is now integrated into how people shop and buy. Indeed, Facebook data reveal that in Holiday season 2015 Millennials, Moms and Multicultural shoppers in the US collectively drove 81% of all mobile transactions.1 Read on to find out more about these shoppers and learn how brands can build on the momentum from the Holidays to further unlock the m-commerce opportunity in 2016.
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