Afternoon Men, Nighthawks, Etc.

Need we be surprised that people are divided on political and cultural issues when they’re split on something as basic as their favorite time of day? In a poll conducted for Adweek by Alden & Associates Marketing Research of Palos Verdes/Redondo Beach, Calif., no daypart came close to garnering a majority when adults were asked to pick their favorite one (see chart below). Young adults had an above-average propensity to pick night as their favorite; old folks were the most likely to pick morning. Married people were much more likely than singles to say morning is their favorite time of day. (Cynics will say it’s because morning is when spouses go their separate ways for the day.) The “morning person” enjoys a reputation as someone who’s full of pep, bounding out of bed to greet the new day. In his analysis of the data, Alden & Associates principal Scott Alden offers a different take on people’s preference for morning: “Does this mean that for over a third of the population, morning is as good as it gets?” Good question. If the day is going downhill for you after its first few hours, how upbeat can you be? People who like night the best are easily caricatured as pasty-faced depressives, but they are the ones who enjoy the day more as it wears on. Meanwhile, it’s clear from the findings that afternoon—which lacks the healthy sparkle of morning and the frisson of after-dark—needs a major rebranding.