Republicans Seek Sports-Centric Entertainment, Democrats Gravitate to…

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Consumers who identify as Republican vs. Democrat have different tastes in terms of entertainment; BrandLink data clearly shows that while there is some common ground, there are also very different preferences between these two groups.

Political ideology aside, Republicans and Democrats share a lot of common ground in their entertainment choices, and they also have some very distinct differences, according to data from global information provider The NPD Group.

According to NPD’s BrandLink(1), the most popular movie genres, music types and video games are favored equally by both Republicans and Democrats. In addition, men of both parties favor celebrity athletes, showing that sports heroes transcend politics within the male gender. However, entertainment preferences of conservative vs. liberal-leaning women are notably different, with strong opinions held by women who identify as Democrats, introducing a wider variety of celebrities, video games and genres into the Democrats’ top-ranked lists(2).

In aggregate, Republicans are more avid sports fans than their Democratic counterparts. This affinity translates to strong admiration for athletes and is echoed in the celebrities whom Republicans “like very much,” particularly among Republican men. Eight of the 10 top-ranked celebrities are sports figures from football and golf. The connection to sports carries through to GOP consumers’ choices of video games, where two of the top three games played most are based in sports.

In contrast, Democrats’ top ranking lists are more wide-ranging, reflecting a broader set of celebrities and genres. Democratic women’s intensely positive ratings of TV personalities, actors, and musicians infuse a diversity of talent into the mix. Similarly, Democrats’ top ranked video games — an assortment of adventure, racing, role-playing, stealth and simulation genres — are linked to the popularity of these types of titles among female gamers.

Democrats exhibit an appetite for more genre variety in music and film as well, compared to their political counterparts. For example, Democrats show a stronger affinity for foreign and independent films than Republicans who are more likely to watch Westerns. In the musical realm, Democrats are much more likely to listen to indie rock, Latin and world music, in contrast to Republican’s more mainstream taste.

“Consumers who identify as Republican vs. Democrat have different tastes in terms of entertainment; BrandLink data clearly shows that while there is some common ground, there are also very different preferences between these two groups,” said Barbara Zack, vice president at The NPD Group. “These data demonstrate that it’s important for anyone seeking a celebrity endorsement – whether that’s a politician, or a brand — to have a nuanced understanding of the fan base that the celebrity will attract. For instance, Josh Groban is especially well-liked by conservative Republicans, and that may or may not be where his personal inclinations lie.”

(1)BrandLink identifies fan preferences to help marketers identify the celebrities and brands with which users are most likely to engage.

(2)Rankings are indexed to Total Respondents, from a selected list.


BrandLink® is a best-in-class data partnership between The NPD Group and GfK MRI, providing actionable data detailing precise connections between thousands of brands, thousands of media properties, and the individual fans of thousands of specific celebrities. The BrandLink database reflects over 90,000 consumer surveys.

This specific analysis is focused on respondents’ self-declared political party affiliation, defined as Republican + Very Conservative and Democratic + Very Liberal. Gaming results are based among 18-24 year olds, the most active gaming segment.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group provides market information and business solutions that drive better decision-making and better results. The world’s leading brands rely on us to help them get the right products in the right places for the right people. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, technology, toys, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup

About GfK MRI

GfK MRI’s focus on excellence has made it the leading producer of media and consumer research in the United States. GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer is used extensively by agencies and advertisers for their media planning, media buying and marketing. The Survey’s vast database of media usage, demographics, psychographics, and consumer behavior makes it a powerful resource for penetrating insight into the actions and motivations of adult American consumers. For more information, visit gfkmri.com, find us on LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter: @GfK.

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