A deep dive into the impact of politics on consumers and brands.

From Beyoncé and the NFL to the Brexit vote and the US political election, today’s consumers are more politicized than ever.

With public awareness of corporate political stances at an all-time high in 2016, brands stand to gain a great deal from effectively engaging with political issues. But in a rapidly shifting media climate, how can brands make an authentic contribution without getting called out?

Madame Tussaud's Trump and Clinton heads.

Our new trend report looks at the rise of The Political Consumer. We examine the factors shaping increased politicization, from demographic shifts to social media and livestreaming video. We also take a deep dive into the campaigns that worked: brands that leveraged the political climate to reach influential new movements, or call for unity across the aisle.


The Political Consumer includes 10 pages of data from a survey of more than 1,000 US consumers, conducted by SONAR™, J. Walter Thompson’s in-house research tool. Key findings include:

  • 60% of the public says they generally trust political content from brands on social media—far more than they trust online political content from celebrities (45%) and politicians (41%).
  • 39% of millennials say brands should play a larger role in politics, and 51% say they appreciate when brands take a political stance in their advertising.
  • Live video on social media, despite being a very new medium, comes in second in importance as a source of political news for younger demographics, at 51% for generation Z and 56% for millennials.

Refinery29's The 67% Project.
YouTube star Troye Sivan.

Topics covered include:

Celebrity activists. 

The personal brands that serve as a blueprint for how activism can raise a brand’s profile, connecting in an authentic way with the politically-inclined generation Z and millennials.

Kindness Campaigns

Brands that engage with politics in non-alienating ways, bringing attention to the partisan gap while finding creative ways to bridge it.

Made In X

A resurgence of interest in “made in” branding reflects stronger nationalistic ties, and challenges the increasingly global attitude of many multinational companies.

Download the full report here.