How to Target Shoppers Who Respond to Patriotic Messaging

BY Kathy Crosett
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We often refer to Labor Day as the last big patriotic holiday of summer. Your clients may be gearing up their promotions to connect with shoppers who respond to patriotic messaging on this holiday and beyond. But do your client know which generations are most patriotic?

Shoppers Who Respond to Patriotic Messaging

For many Americans, Memorial Day weekend of 2021 offered plenty of reason to celebrate. The pandemic restrictions had been lifted, the weather had improved, and we could finally go out to enjoy our favorite activities. Marketers joined in the celebration, and for the July 4th holiday, they ran promotions such as offering discounts on fireworks for shoppers who wore patriotic apparel. Advertisers touted specially crafted beer, cocktails and food for the holiday in an attempt to draw diners back into restaurants. Who should they target for Labor Day?

These types of promotions tend to be most effective with baby boomers. Around 50% of those consumers favor businesses that use patriotic messaging according to an Ad Age-​Harris poll. Members of Gen X aren’t far behind. 49% of Gen Xers “feel more positively toward brands who celebrate the U.S. in their advertisements.” 39% of millennials will also buy from brands that celebrate what the U.S. is all about. That statistic shouldn’t be surprising as many millennials came of age the huge surge in patriotism that took place after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Shoppers Who Respond to a Different Kind of Messaging

When it comes to patriotism, Gen Z consumers have developed new ideas. Researchers point that members of Gen Z range from 9 to 24 years old, but the survey focused on consumers who are age 18 and older. These consumers have come of age during a period of significant social turmoil. Social media has enabled the unbiased sharing of our country’s most divisive incidents such as the killing of George Floyd and left a big impression on younger adults. 

Gen Z consumers understand that one path to meaningful and lasting change takes place on a financial level. They expect brands to be “woke” and to take a stand on important issues. Brands that remain alert to Gen Z consumer wishes will be rewarded with higher revenue. Gen Z consumers will support brands that:

  • Take a stand on social justice issues: 54%
  • Support equality: 48%
  • Encourage open-​mindedness: 47%

Segmenting Audiences by Generation

Your clients can downplay factors like family and faith when targeting Gen Z consumers. In fact, faith, as a value, resonates with significantly fewer consumers than in the past. However, millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers and members of the silent generation do respond to ad campaigns that emphasize family. Harris Poll CEO Will Johnson, notes: "On the whole, we see that Americans value themes like family, equality and localism that tie into the Fourth of July holiday."

The most surprising outcome from this research is that marketers can segment and target audiences by age when developing patriotic campaigns. You can help your clients select the most effective media formats for their target audiences by checking the details on AudienceSCAN from AdMall by SalesFuel. This information will help marketers optimize spending for Labor Day and Veteran’s Day campaigns this year.

Photo by Edgar Colomba from Pexels.