Continuing economic gloom, the threat of terrorism and increased tension in the Middle East could boost media consumption across the board, but it could spell doom for reality shows like The Osbournes and "in your face" films like Jackass, according to a new survey by Grey Global Group's MediaCom.
The survey, for which 600 people were questioned at random nationwide last month, found that 43 percent of respondents have developed a set of media viewing and spending habits that would likely be emulated by the population at large, said Russ Booth, director of Media Futures, New York-based MediaCom's research unit.
These "homefront consumers" cut across all demographic lines, but they skew slightly to a younger age range and a middle-income level and tend to be from the Northeast, according to Booth. In terms of media consumption, this group will tend to shun reality shows or heavy drama in favor of lighter fare, such as prime-time comedies.
Concern about the future is shaping homefront consumers' shopping patterns as well, Booth said. "If worry broadens among homefront consumers, fourth-quarter spending could be impacted by fewer big purchases," he said.
The best way to reach these consumers, the survey found, is to emphasize savings, such as coupons or discount promotions, with a strong reliance on traditional holiday themes, Booth noted.