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.

Hot Topics: Canada July 2016

In July, Canadians took to Facebook and Instagram to celebrate the country’s biggest annual festivity: Canada Day. They also cheered on major sporting events and fixated on the latest mobile gaming craze.

 

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Brand buzz

The Canadian release of “Pokémon Go” came with a widespread fascination with the gaming app, leading people to share their quest to catch ’em all on Facebook and Instagram.

July also hosted rumours around the upcoming release of the new Apple iPhone, as people on Facebook speculated on everything from its official name and camera to its home button, release date and more.

 

Entertainment

Canadian comedian Mike Ward dominated a big part of the Entertainment conversation on Facebook. The comedian, who was charged with a human rights violation over a joke he made about a handicapped performer, is crowdsourcing legal fees for his appeal.

People on Facebook also shared their reviews for one of the biggest summer blockbusters: the female-led “Ghostbusters” film.

 

Big wins

People on Instagram shared their photos from the Canadian Open in Oakville, Ontario, where Jhonattan Vegas took the top spot. People also showed support for Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic, who made it to the quarter finals in the Rogers Cup, hosted in Toronto.

Finally, Canadians joined the international conversation, sharing their excitement on Instagram for the Portugal National Football Team, the winners of this year’s Euro Cup soccer tournament.

 

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of July 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: United States June 2016

Americans on Facebook and Instagram found ways to persevere and celebrate in the kick-off month to summer, even amidst real-time reactions to news events like the nightclub shooting in Orlando and Brexit (the UK’s withdrawal from the EU).

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Celebrations

Everything from sharks and doughnuts to family, freedom and faith inspired celebrations in June. Father’s Day captured the attention of women on Facebook, as did Children’s Day and Independence Day. And the festivities extended in a more visual format on Instagram, adding Ramadan, Pride, Shark Week and National Doughnut Day to the mix.

Brand buzz

Younger women on Facebook reacted to a contest about Cheetos. Using the “what shape is that cloud” game as inspiration, Frito-Lay asked fans to submit photos of one-of-a-kind-shaped Cheetos and describe what they see. Judges will rate each submission through August 15, and the brand will offer the top 10 winners up to $150,000 in prize money.

And Taco Bell launched its first “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion during the 2016 NBA Finals, garnering the attention of younger women on Facebook who were especially excited to get a free taco after the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on the Cavaliers’ turf.

Gamers realm

While young men talked about E3, the annual trade fair for the video game industry, younger women grew the discussion on Facebook around arcade games.

In commemoration

People turned to Facebook and Instagram in June to commemorate lives well lived and lives lost too soon. Men on each platform mourned American Olympian, boxer and activist Muhammad Ali and Bahamian boxer and actor Kimbo Slice. And women on each platform mourned the Tennessee Lady Vols and most winningest NCAA basketball coach Pat Summitt and American “The Voice” star and singer-songwriter Christina Grimmie.

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of June 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: Canada June 2016

Canadians on Facebook and Instagram spent the month of June sharing their excitement over the summer holidays, their thoughts on major political events and support for their favourite musicians.

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Celebrations

Women on both platforms celebrated dads on Father’s Day with photos and kind words. Early Canada Day plans were also on their minds.

On Instagram, women shared their photos celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Younger women also celebrated their achievements during the graduation season.

In the news

Gay Pride was a big topic of conversation for men and women on Facebook and Instagram, as Canadians showed their support for those affected by the tragic nightclub shooting in Orlando.

People also discussed the potential economic impact of Brexit—that is, the UK’s decision to exit the European Union.

Let the games begin

Men on Instagram were caught up in the excitement of the ongoing UEFA Euro Cup soccer tournament. On Facebook, Canadian men discussed the controversial deal that saw Montreal Canadiens defender P.K. Subban traded to the San Jose Sharks.

Hitting the right notes

Women on Instagram shared their photos of major concerts taking place across Canada, as City and Colour, Mumford & Sons, Florence and the Machine, the Dixie Chicks and others made tour stops around the country.

In commemoration

Canadian men on Facebook and Instagram paid their final respects to The Greatest, The Peoples’ Champion: Mohammed Ali.

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of June 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.

Rio Welcomes the World: A Glimpse of the 2016 Games

Excitement about the Rio Games is running high, and this summer, people will channel it into mobile.

According to a Facebook-commissioned survey by GfK, an average of 72% of people around the world are enthusiastic about the Rio Games. And that number is even higher in Brazil despite mounting financial worries, political instability and the Zika virus.
Read more

Hot Topics: United States May 2016

With holidays scattered throughout the month, May was a time for Americans to pause and reflect on what matters. From Mother’s Day to Star Wars Day and games played on-court and on-screen, men and women of all ages turned to Facebook and Instagram to discuss the people and things they love.

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Celebrations

There were many reasons to celebrate in May, and younger women on Facebook and older women on Instagram did just that. With Mother’s Day and Día de la Madre popping for English and Spanish speakers alike, moms were at the center of many celebrations.

Women also turned to both platforms to post about Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that marks the Mexican Army’s victory over French troops in 1862 and is a time many people in the US celebrate Mexican food, culture and traditions.

On Instagram, we saw younger women mark and celebrate graduations. And as it did in May 2015, Star Wars Day (May the 4th) captured the attention of both women and men.

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Rivalries

Younger men on Facebook and older men on Instagram cheered the loudest during the playoff games leading up to the NBA Finals. Three of the four playoff teams—the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder—created significant buzz on both platforms. While the fourth playoff team, the Golden State Warriors, was a topic of conversation, it did not see a sufficient enough increase from the month before to qualify as a Hot Topic in May.

Gamers’ realm

Younger men on Instagram posted about two newly launched first-person shooter video games, “Doom” and “Overwatch.” Blizzard Entertainment, the game developer and publisher that launched “Overwatch” also caught people’s eyes, achieving a near-even gender split in conversations among young people on Instagram.

Internet famous

Now known as the “Chewbacca Mom,” Texas-based Candace Payne donned a Chewbacca mask and shared her infectious laugh through a Facebook video on May 19, launching Chewbacca as a May Hot Topic.

What it means for marketers

Whether it’s through holidays, graduations or sports and entertainment, the month of May offers brands a variety of opportunities to join conversations about topics people care about. Take part in the celebrations that happen every year, and understand what matters to your core audience so you can be what matters to them.

 

We present Hot Topics in sets of recurring categories that reflect the types of themes that pop in conversation topics on Facebook and Instagram month over month.

Hot Topics: Canada May 2016

For Canadians on Facebook and Instagram, May was marked by celebrating holidays, supporting favourite sports teams and performers and keeping up with current events.

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Celebrations

Women in Canada celebrated moms on Mother’s Day, sharing photos and engaging in conversations on Facebook and Instagram. Canadian men on Instagram, however, were more interested in Star Wars Day on May 4.

Rivalries

Canadian men took to Facebook and Instagram to cheer on the nation’s only NBA basketball team, the Toronto Raptors. There was chatter around DeMar DeRozan’s exceptional performance for the Raptors, who beat the Miami Heat but succumbed to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the semi-finals.

Noisemakers

Women on Instagram showed their love for popular female musical acts—Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood and Beyoncé—each of whom passed through parts of Canada on their respective tours.

In commemoration

The tragic news of Gord Downie’s terminal cancer diagnosis was a major source of conversation for Canadians on Facebook and Instagram, with many offering an outpouring of support. The Tragically Hip front man also announced the band’s farewell tour, which sold out in moments.

All together

Canadians on Facebook came together to offer support for those in Fort McMurray, who are still battling an enormous wildfire that prompted an evacuation, even in neighbouring towns. We also saw people come together on Facebook to collect supplies and donations for the Red Cross and WestJet, which flew in supplies and flew out evacuees.

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What it means for marketers

This month proved that people love sharing in good times, such as exciting sporting events, holiday celebrations and larger-than-life musical acts, while also leaning on one another for support in times of sadness. Brands can join the conversation by celebrating these happy events and sharing in the outpouring of support during the unfortunate ones.

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.

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.

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Celebrations

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.

Screen-stealers

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.