Audience Intel Report 20

January 13, 2021

Industry Insights Marketing Tactics RCG News

This ongoing report on consumers provides valuable advertising and media news for marketers and advertisers. We curate stories of interest and insight. Use the button below to have each Audience Intel Report delivered directly to your inbox.

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Consumer Insights

Emotional ads in question. It’s an advertising truism that emotional appeals have a bigger impact on consumers. But, according to research out of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, emotionally arousing advertisements may not always help improve consumers’ immediate memory. The new paper, published in the International Journal of Advertising, cautions advertisers not to invest in emotion at the cost of real and practical relevance.

Goods up, services down. Holiday-season demand for imported consumer products pushed the November trade deficit in goods to a record. And consumer spending trends show sales of hard goods continue to outpace spending on services as buyers dedicate more of their income to items consumed at home.

Got gift cards? Here’s a made-up holiday but, for once, it’s not about buying cards, it’s about using them. January 16th marks the second annual National Use Your Gift Card Day. The reminder is timely, since the average shopper spent about 17% more on gift cards in 2020 versus 2019.

You Get a New Logo and You Get a New Logo and …

Following up a record year. Automotive brand, Kia, is following up a year of record sales in 2020 with a new logo for 2021. The new design is generating positive reviews and some that are critical of the semi-indecipherable type treatment. See what Kia says about it here.

Physician, heal thyself. The American Advertising Federation kicked off 2021 with a new logo and tagline for the 115-year-old organization. The group embraces a recent trend to simple geometry and lowercase type. You can see the full new brand design guide here.


A simpler burger. Burger King is rolling out its first major logo redesign in 20 year and, in a bid to simplify the visuals, it’s a throwback to a look from 1969. The 70s vibe will also infuse the brand’s packaging and other visual communication elements.

A prescription for modernization. After 70 years with the same basic brand look, pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, is breaking into 2021 by breaking up their logo into separate type and mark elements. The change transitions the brand from their blue pill motif to a helix more suggestive of the DNA-based development of modern medications.

Generally speaking. General Motors has updated its logo for the first time since 1964. The company says the new look is meant to reinforce the automaker’s commitment to electric vehicles.

The Shifting Sand of Online Tools

Facebook changes approach to Pages. Facebook officially announced changes to its approach to pages for organizations and public personalities. The main changes will be that the platform has removed the “Like” button in favor of making “Followers” the primary metric of a page’s success.

reCAPTCHA can be fooled by its cousin. Thousands of sites use Google’s reCAPTCHA to verify a user is not a bot. Unfortunately, researchers have discovered that Google also offers the means to fool the tool. Google’s own Speech-To-Text speech recognition tool can automated to listen to the audio option of reCAPTCHA and then translate the distorted visuals to clear text.


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