Tag Archives: consumers

How Brands Cash In On March Madness

The Madness of March. Many sports fans claim the only thing that gets them through the tedious month of March, when spring is so close you can taste it, is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness. College basketball fans aren’t the only ones who get excited for the tournament, however. Due to the popularity of office brackets, even the most casual sports fan can get swept up in the excitement, in the hopes of bragging rights and a little extra cash. ESPN.com reports an estimated 70 million brackets were filled out in 2017, to a total of $10.4 billion overall in bets. Brands know they have an opportunity to reach a large audience, and spend the month engaging consumers via social media and advertising.

According to Kantar Media, $1.285 billion in ad revenue was generated during last year’s March Madness tournament, a 3.3% increase from 2016. Additionally, the 2017 NCAA Tournament was the most-watched in 24 years, with an average of 9,325,000 million viewers, up 10% from 2016 (8,513,000). With nearly one-third of the U.S. television audience watching at least six minutes of the tournament, it is a good bet for brands looking to reach a broad audience.

Companies pay big money to attach their names to the tournament, and Coca-Cola, Capital One, and AT&T are the three corporate “champion” sponsors this year, with an additional fourteen corporate sponsors. NCAA officials don’t disclose how much they receive for the partnerships, but according to marketing researchers, March Madness ranks with the Super Bowl, Olympics, and World Cup as one of the most valuable events in sports, due to the audience it attracts—younger males, who are traditionally a harder market to reach.

Brands like Wendy’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Powerade are utilizing the tournament by running promotions linked to March Madness. Wendy’s is running an interactive bracket on their social channels, with fans able to earn rewards and exclusive offers each week. Buffalo Wild Wings has billed itself the “Official Hangout for NCAA March Madness” and unveiled a variety of in-restaurant, online and on-site Final Four activations designed to reward fans. Powerade, who is the Official Sports Drink of the NCAA, debuted a new campaign, “That’s Some Kind of Power,” during the first four March Madness games. The campaign has evolved throughout the month with relevant advertisements and activations around iconic sporting events.

Not everyone makes money during March Madness, however. March Madness invades many workplaces, causing major distractions. According to WalletHub, unproductivity during March Madness amounted to an estimated $6.3 billion in corporate losses in 2017. In a survey of more than 400 managers and human resources specialists conducted by Seyfarth Shaw at Work, 30% said it was a major diversion at their office, with workers spending an average of 25.5 minutes per day monitoring the games.

Whether you’re an avid fan, or just hoping to make some money in your office bracket, advertisers are happy you’re tuning in.

How Mobile Apps are Changing Travel in 2018

Experts are predicting 2018 to be the year mobile technology officially takes over travel. Gone are the days of making blind booking arrangements and hoping for the best, or using a travel agent. Even sitting down at a desktop computer is no longer necessary. Today, 77% of Americans own smartphones and a recent Global Traveler study found that one in three travelers now books on a mobile device. Companies are using their mobile applications to reach the consumer directly, therefore eliminating the uncertainty that has existed when previously booking travel.

Mobile technology creates a completely different experience at the airport, for both the customer and airline. A good mobile app adds to the customer experience, and creates brand loyalty. Users are able to easily check in and be notified of any flight delays or gate changes. For the airline, apps make it possible to pass information to the traveler immediately, which ultimately eliminates confusion and makes the traveler’s experience less stressful. In addition to communicating with the customer, airlines use mobile apps to create an easy user experience for their customers, with the ability to manage your trips, check-in, and pay for checked baggage and flight extras such as wi-fi, all in one application. In 2018, it is expected that 79% of airports around the world will offer CRM tools in their mobile apps to help track customer behavior and improve personalization and brand loyalty, up from 30% in 2015.

Airlines are looking to extend the customer experience in 2018. They plan to evolve their apps to create a digital travel companion experience, rather than just taking the customer from point A to point B. By integrating third-party companies into their app, they can make the app a one-stop shop for customers. The recent JetBlue and Lyft partnership allows customers to earn JetBlue loyalty points when they use the ride-sharing service, and American Airlines and Grab Food partnered to provide customers with the ability to pre-order food at the airport.

Companies such as TripAdvisor, Expedia and Booking.com have utilized the benefits of mobile technology, using their respective apps to notify customers of deals and flash sales. In addition to booking travel, TripAdvisor expanded its services to let customers grade and review airlines. In 2018, the focus will be on using location, previous purchase history and demographic trends to push last minute offers to travelers while they are in destination, completing the full trip lifecycle.

Industry experts predict 70% of all booking transactions will be via mobile by 2020. As technology continues to evolve, so will the way consumers and businesses interact. It’s important for companies who are serious about mobile communication with their customer to listen to their demands. And it looks like in 2018, consumers will be getting what they want—mobile.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? Black Friday Shopping Is Near

The day after Thanksgiving first became popular among shoppers in the late 1920s, when Macy’s department store advertised holiday sales during their annual Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. This signaled the start of the holiday shopping season in the United States. Since then, it has evolved into huge sales in retailers across the country. It is an opportunity for retailers to create a sense of urgency by offering ridiculously low prices on certain items, offer special sales for limited hours during the day, or limiting the number of items available for purchase at the special price. Due to the high demand for hot “doorbuster” items, it is not uncommon for shoppers to camp out in front of their favorite stores in hopes of grabbing the coveted items.

Retailers capitalized on the increased popularity of online shopping and started marketing “Cyber Monday” deals. Cyber Monday has only been around since 2005, and legend has it, got its name because the average consumer had dial-up internet at home, and would wait to do their online shopping at work, where the internet connection was faster. While the deals on Cyber Monday might not be quite as good as those of Black Friday, more and more shoppers are taking advantage of the opportunity to stay in the comfort of their home the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, Cyber Monday surpassed Black Friday in terms of revenue—Cyber Monday sales reached $3.45 billion, up 10.2% from 2015, and just ahead of Black Friday’s $3.34 billion. This year, mobile sales are expected to make up 54% (45% smartphones and 9% tablets) of online sales, beating desktop for the first time.

Small Business Saturday, a recent addition to the holiday weekend line-up, was founded in 2010 by American Express in an attempt to support small businesses and communities around the country. While it has not yet grown into a mega success like Cyber Monday, 2.1 million small businesses and 112 million consumers participated in the event in 2016.

QuestionPro Audience conducted a study with its shopper panel to understand how consumers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend. Our research indicates that shoppers are looking forward to a vigorous holiday shopping season. Black Friday spending is always a good gauge on the state of the economy, and 37% of survey respondents indicated that they plan to spend between $250 and $750 this year on their Black Friday shopping. A whopping 61% are going to spend the same amount or more than they did last year, but only 19% of those surveyed plan to pay for their purchases with cash. As evidenced by recent Kmart and Sears store closings, e-commerce is taking away market share from brick and mortar stores. Online sites such as Amazon are where the majority of our respondents plan to shop. Although there have been predictions that mobile sales will be huge this year, only 11% of respondents plan to shop via mobile phone or tablet. 21% of those surveyed are looking to purchase clothing/apparel, followed by computers, TVs and cameras. Cyber Monday popularity is still going strong, with 47% of our audience planning to shop those sales as well, but only 32% plan to support Small Business Saturday. All in all, it looks like it will be a prosperous weekend for consumers and retailers alike.

 

The Force Behind the Retail Industry

In 1852, a dry goods store was opened at 137 Lake St. in Chicago, Illinois. This store later became the great Marshall Field and Company empire. Although Marshall Field’s was later acquired by Macy’s, the birth of the modern retail industry is commonly denoted by the humble origins of Marshall Field’s. Today the retail industry exist in multiple mediums outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar structure. Consumers are now shopping online, through mobile applications, and even on social media. Simultaneously to the growth of the retail industry, market research has also made innovative strides. The driving force behind the retail industry is the trends followed by the consumers. Market research is essential to track consumer behavior, investigate the consumers’ response to new products, and identify platforms for brand engagement. Retailers can utilize online research panels that include respondents ranging in interest level – from brand loyalist to infrequent shoppers. The data can be used to promote methods that can boost sales.

Consumer behavior is constantly changing, but retailers can keep up with the trends by surveying panelist about their shopping behavior. Conducting survey through online research panels can offer insight into the consumer shopping preferences. The panels allow access to consumers that are outside of the retailer’s reach. Retailers can collect data from non-customers to learn how to attract new clients and grow their brand. The panels can also help retailers understand the general consumers’ impression of the brand and identify key factors that can be revised to attract the targeted demographic. The research panel can also be used to identify customers that already frequently visit the store or shop with that brand. The data collected from that subset of respondents can pinpoint the areas in which the brand is performing well. The research collected can serve as the cornerstone of brand promotion and awareness.

In addition to using research panels to identify brand perception, retailers can also utilize panels to collect information that assists with product development. Collecting information from consumers during the infancy of product development can provide valuable feedback and foresight into the success of product sales.  Online research panels allow access to customizable audiences that align with the goals of the study. Retailers can survey the targeted audience to identify the consumer’s product preferences. This data can help product developers design product lines around the consumer’s needs and wants. Research panels can also help retailers identify appropriate price points for their products. In return, the data collected can assist product development and boost sales.

Another way to boost product sales is to use research panels to identify how the targeted audience engages with a brand. In today’s digital landscape people are shopping using multiple platforms. Research panels can produce a snapshot of consumers’ shopping behavior patterns. This data can show retailers the areas to allocate resources and capture the attention of their targeted audiences. This information can tell retailers whether they need to open a new store, redesign their website layout, boost social media efforts, and much more.

Ultimately, the retail industry is a fast-paced world that thrives due to trends and consumer behavior. Market research is essential for retailers to stay knowledgeable of shopping preferences and brand impressions within the market. Retailers that conduct research through online research panels have access to customizable panels that target audiences ranging from general consumer to frequent customers. The information collected through this research methodology can aid brand awareness efforts, assist product development, and identify key factors in brand engagement.

 

Alumni Series: Health Trends (Part 1)

qSample and Alumni Reader Panel conducted a survey to discover health related trends of alumni of top national universities (please refer to the previous blog post for details regarding demographics). The findings from this survey will be divided into two blog segments:

Part 1. Basic preventive health measures/healthy lifestyle

Part 2. Spending habits on healthcare

According to a 2016 study by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, less than 3% of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle”. In order to qualify as living a healthy lifestyle, following four requirements must be met: moderate or vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, a diet score in the top 40% on the Healthy Eating Index, a body fat % under 20 for men or 30 for women, and not smoking. Unfortunately, survey respondents were not aware of the qualifications set by Mayo Clinic, rather they were asked to answer best to their knowledge. Chart below reveals their knowledge and awareness of healthy lifestyle:

lifestyle

Average of 62.7% of the respondents either have some degree of expertise or are trusted from peers with advice on health-related issue. Moreover, in the survey, 74.1% agreed that they are constantly looking for new ways to live a healthier life. Following three charts confirm that majority of the respondents do indeed take preventive health measures (diet, exercise, and regular check-ups):

eatt habits

reg ex

reg check

In summary, 88.1% follow a healthy diet, 75.2% follow a regular exercise routine, and 84.8% visit the doctor for regular check-ups.

 

health


 

Alumni of top national universities: Buying Habits

A survey was conducted by Alumni Reader Panel and qSample to investigate the buying habits of alumni of top national universities. 1,964 respondents completed the survey. Universities represented in this survey are: University of Chicago, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Harvard,  Dartmouth, Cornell, and Brown. Succeeding three charts summarize the demographics of the respondents by each school:

age

gender

employ

In a bigger picture, 4.4% were Millennials, 23% were Generation X, 72.6% were a mix of Boomers and Silent Generation. In addition, survey respondents were predominantly males (66.5%). Prior to discussing the buying habits of alumni, an important limitation to acknowledge is that there is an insufficient amount of data to categorize the demographic of respondents from the results. For instance, if respondents were asked a question about brand loyalty and given four choices, the results were simply netted by counts. Thus, we could not identify what percentage of the total counts stemmed from which generation or gender. With that in mind, here are the findings (note: data are shown in average of eight schools as there were no significant statistical outliers – margin of error is approximately +/- 5%):

They are brand loyal:

brandloyol

91.6% of respondents agreed that when they find a brand they like, they will stick to it. Furthermore, 90.4% agreed that if a product is made by a company they trust, they are willing to purchase at a premium price. These two independent results revealed a correlation coefficient of 0.994. What this indicates is that brand loyal consumers become price desensitized, allowing the brands to obtain greater pricing power. In addition, 66.1% of consumers are aware that brand name is not the best indication of quality (see below):

QUALITY

Although the survey revealed that these consumers are highly brand loyal, behavioral data portion of the survey showed what might be advantageous to competitors with potential substitute products. 99.1% of respondents indicated that they value “curiosity wanting to explore and learn about new things”. Since a mere 25.8% agreed that they are one of the first among their friends to try new product, word of mouth (through peers) would likely be their most trusted source of advertisement.

They are willing to pay at premium for quality not image:

premium

Respondents were asked to answer the following: “I am typically willing to pay more for high-quality items” and “I would pay extra for a product that is consistent with the image I want to convey”. As there is no direct correlation between these two factor, the correlation coefficient is 0.224. Although we do not have to access to the respondents’ income distribution, as 88.7% of respondents are willing to pay at premium for quality, it may be safe to assume that price is not much of a concern as long the product quality meet their standards. Interestingly, even though only 42.8% agreed to buy products to convey self-image, a striking 65% had expressed that they buy from brands that reflect their style (see below):

styleTherefore, it is critical for brands to identify the lifestyles of their target audience to effectively form bonds and trust with the consumers.

They prefer American products:

america

60.5% of respondents agreed that purchasing American-made products is an important factor. “Made in America” label has its strong manufacturing reputation, and considering that majority of these consumers value trust and quality, they are most likely willing to pay premium price for American-made products. As a matter of fact, 82.9% agreed that their purchase decision is solely based on quality rather than price.

Moving forward, blog posts will focus on buying habits and decision factors in specific industries (technology, travel/hospitality, healthcare, etc.).

buying-habits

 

 

 

 

 

Mind Blowing Text Messaging Statistics [Infographic]

 

Social Media may rule our lives, as qSample has demonstrated. Yet when it comes to marketing or simply engaging deeply with our audiences, email is the king of all internet media (as our president Rudly Raphael proved in his article The Dominance of Email).

The queen might be text messaging. It’s often overlooked as an efficient form of marketing, according to Small Business Trends. Regardless, the relevance of text messaging as a medium is astounding. For example, check these statistics:

  Texting is the most frequently used app on smartphones–with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day.
  More than six billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day.
  People worldwide will send 8.3 trillion text messages in 2016 alone. That’s almost 23 billion messages per day or almost 16 million messages per minute.
  Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate.
  Over 80% of adults text, making it the most common phone activity.
  Text messages brag a 98% open rate, while email only delivers a 20% open rate.

For more context and awe, we present you our latest infographic (and please text your friends or colleagues about it; they’ll open it more than if you email them this data):

Mind Blowing Text Messaging Statistics

 

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10 Iconic Products Originally Invented For Something Insanely Different

Old coca-cola advertisement, promising body numbing

 

There comes the idea. There comes the vision. There comes the sound market research to ensure a virgin good takes its place in the hallowed pantheon of world-changing products.

Oy vey! There comes a product that ends up employed for something completely different from its original intention. The product still changed the world, people got rich, but what the heck…

More than a comedy of errors and that fool of fate vibe, we think you will find some powerful lessons from these products on determination, insight, adaptability and other vital characteristics of entrepreneurship.

 

1.   Coca-Cola

 

 

CocaCola-ad-from-1800s

America’s favorite soft drink started out as anything but soft. Coca-Cola’s original purpose was to combat anxiety, headaches and drug dependence. John Pemberton, a pharmacist and Confederate veteran suffering from morphine addiction, invented the primordial Coca-Cola in the late 19th century. He named the drink Pemberton’s French Wine Coca, and it started out a sweetened alcoholic beverage infused with coca leaves.

As it grew as a brand, Coca-Cola was gradually honed with carbonation and non-narcotic sweeteners to give the world its most famous soda.

 

2.   Kotex & Lysol

lysoldouche8_0

I place these two products together because they reveal the plight of women wading in the torrid currents of marketing. On one hand, Lysol began as a feminine douche and contraception, failing on both accounts and being downright dangerous to women’s health. Marketing campaigns even accused women of being deficient spouses if they didn’t use the product. Mercifully, research and politicking mutated Lysol into what it is today: a cleaning and disinfecting home product.

If you don’t believe me or the header graphic, check out this old ad found in Mentalfloss:

lysol advertisement

Sickening.

On the other hand, Kotex started out as a surgical dressing. Perceptive Red Cross nurses discovered another use for it due to its absorbent material: feminine hygiene. After the war, Kotex discovered a new market.

 

3.   Play-Doh

 

 

play doh

No, this product wasn’t created for your toddler to make your carpet crusty, even if it buys you a break. Soap manufacturer Cleo McVickers first invented this salty clay-like substance in the 1930s. Originally, McVickers believed he’d discovered the ultimate wallpaper cleaner. He didn’t get rich for this, but 20 years later his son Joseph remarketed the product for kindergarteners. The rest is messy history.

 

4.   Bubble Wrap

 

 

bubble-wrap-wallpaper

In 1957, engineer Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes thought they had a hit by designing the ultimate wallpaper—plastic sheets with air bubbles. Needless to say, the idea went over like a lead bubble. Fielding and Chavannes attempted to market their invention as a greenhouse insulation, and that approach failed as well. The product found its purpose (and was saved) by an idea from a marketer at Sealed Air, who used in 1959 as the wrapper for IBM’s 1401 computer. Is there anything computer technology can’t do?

The material was quickly dubbed Bubble Wrap. Today it’s a $4 billion a year in sales product. The home decorating industry is eternally grateful.

 

5.   Viagra

 

 

Viagra-heart-health-study

Not everything is about sex in society, and Viagra is a perfect illustration. At first, the med was conceived as a treatment for symptoms of heart disease. However, in Phase I clinical trials researchers discovered that the drug was a failure for its intended purpose. However (again), researchers noticed that male subjects were hardening not in the arteries but other places. Voila! A heavenly product “erected” from a failed drug, and now Viagra rakes in an estimated $1.9 billion dollars a year.

 

6.   Listerine

 

listerine-uses_5

Over a century ago, Listerine was invented as a surgical antiseptic. It didn’t quite catch with the medical community, and later was employed for these purposes:

–  A cure for gonorrhea
–  Treatment for sweaty feet, soft corns, and toe crust
–  An additive for cigarettes
–  Treatment for dandruff

Sometime in the 1920s Listerine found its destiny as a cure for stinky breath. Thus, if you’re ever booted from Shark Tank, know that you can come back many times with the same product and different marketing.

 

7.   Post-It Notes

 

Arthur Fry

Arthur Fry

Talk about the greatest failure becoming the greatest success. In 1968, Spencer Silver was working for 3M trying to create super strong adhesives for the aerospace industry. Instead, Silver created the opposite: an extremely weak, pressure-sensitive adhesive. Interestingly, the substance left little residue and could be reused several times. As with the other products mentioned, marketing and market research attempted to find a use for it to no avail.

Years later, another employee of 3M, Arthur Fry, used the adhesive simply to keep hymnal papers together when he was singing at church. One sticky thing led to another sticky thing, and the Post-It Note came to the market in the 1970s, floundered for a while, and finally became an American staple (or replacer) in the 1980s. And no airplanes had to fall apart either!

 

8.   St. Patrick’s Day

 

C253C146670788C8B09B0B2D378BA557

I know. It’s not a product, but it’s still is a brand. Moreover, St. Patrick’s day reveals that some celebrations are steeped in fiction and lies, but that doesn’t make them any less meaningful. As we reported, St. Patrick’s Day was originally a day of devotion lacking in parades where the government outlawed liquor consumption in pubs; and that American activism and thirst for equality is what truly inspired the holiday’s modern variation.

Oh, and leprechauns aren’t real either, if you were wondering.

 

9.   Super Glue/Krazy Glue

 

soldats-americains-guerre-vietnam1

Everyone’s favorite repair hack was once utilized as an emergency wound-sealer in combat situations, specifically the Vietnam War. That’s not how it started, though. These glues are composed of a substance called cyanoacrylate. Harry Coover invented cyanoacrylate in 1942 for Kodak Laboratories—in an attempt to create a special extra-clear plastic suitable for gun sights. That intention didn’t work, and neither did other uses such as plastic for airplane canopies. After years of tweaking, cyanoacrylate found a temporary home on the battlefield as makeshift would sealer that prevented soldiers from bleeding to death before being taken to the hospital.

The invention saved many lives, but the Food & Drug Administration never allowed it for the general public. This version of cyanoacrylate made its way to consumers for home repair, although some variations are employed in orthopedic surgery and dental procedures.

 

10. Saccharine

 

Süßstoff_Saccharin_Zucker-Museum

This product was a joint stumbling of both men and women. In the late 19th century—around the time Pemberton was getting high on Coca-Cola—chemist Constantin Fahlberg thought he had almost perfected a coal tar derivative. During that discovery time, when at home after work, he noticed that his wife’s biscuits tasted much sweeter than usual. Fahlberg discovered that the reason for those sweet-ass biscuits had to do with him not washing his hands after work and getting the residue of the coal tar derivative on the food.

Sometimes bad hygiene can lead to vast riches, as well as pink packets on every restaurant table.

 

Conclusion

 

 

As you can see, the line to success is rarely straight, and often seeming mistakes can be transformed into vast opportunities—just as good intentions and aggressive marketing can cause massive damage (as with Lysol). Also, what starts as something base can evolve into sophistication for consumers. The key with these inventors and entrepreneurs is that they kept their eyes and ears open, accepted failure as a bridge to triumph, and simply never gave up…stoned out their minds or not.

 

old advertisement

 

 

6 Lies About St. Patrick’s Day You Foolishly Believe

Group celebrating St. Patrick's Day in leprechaun costumes

 

Perception is reality, but often both perception and reality are not based on fact. Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb and eight glasses of water a day are not necessary for good health. The Big Bang Theory is not funny.

This St. Patrick’s Day there will usher merriment, but also a plentitude of wrong facts. We’ll get to these commonly-believed myths quickly and briefly. We know your email or social media feed is being bombarded by an avalanche of St. Patrick articles from Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and that annoying cousin who has to share everything with you.

The truth might not be pretty, but as someone with Irish heritage, it’s never an excuse miss out on the day’s merriment (even if they’re fictional).

 

St. Patrick was Irish

 

 

He was actually born in either Wales or Scotland, in the 4th century, from a wealthy family who for some reason never invested in maps or GPS. In those days, the Romans occupied the British Isles. Therefore, St. Patrick was probably a Roman, although no records exist naming him a citizen of the empire. He wrote in Latin, according to the two surviving documents bearing his name, and signed his name Patricius.

Hey, when it Rome can mean have a green beer!

 

Green is the national color of Ireland

 

 

Traditionally, it’s blue, something like a sky blue. It seems green became culturally adopted in the 20th century mainly because of soccer. It’s a bit more complicated, and wearing blue on St. Patrick’s Day probably won’t save you from being pinched.

It’s Paddy and not Patty. Patty is short for “Patricia.” Paddy is short for the Irish male name deriving from the Latin Patricius, which is Patrick as we just saw. In any event, Paddy in many contexts is considered a racial slur. Only the Irish can use the “P” word freely.

Oh, and please no ordering Irish Car Bombs at bars this year, while we’re on the topic of political correctness.

 

St. Patrick was a Saint

 

 

I’m not saying I’ve got TMZ information on St. Patrick’s weekend adventures, but that he was never formally canonized by the Catholic Church. His title simply was woven by folklore. On the topic of folklore, legends state St. Patrick drove out the snakes from Ireland, but since the country still boasts politicians the story is likely a fable. In reality, there were never any snakes in Ireland to drive out in the first place.

 

St. Patrick’s Day started in Ireland

 

 

That’s like saying fajitas started in Mexico, even if they’re popular now in that country. The truth is that the holiday—as we know it—began late in the 18th century in Boston and New York when Irish immigrants marched against American racial prejudices against them. The event gradually evolved into the drunk fest we have today, and then made its way to Ireland.

Sure, March 17 has long been a day of devotion in Ireland, with pubs not even allowed to open. Only in the 1970s did the Irish start taking St. Patrick’s Day as a cultural celebration. And man, those pubs stayed open…

 

Most Irish are Catholic

 

 

Okay, they are, but the reality is that most Irish American are Protestant. The main reason, it appears, is that during colonial times Irish immigrants arrived from Protestant regions of Ireland like Ulster. My father, for example, was a proud Irishman who was raised Lutheran (and later became an atheist, probably to fully celebrate St. Patrick’s Day).

 

Keep in mind and other than that…

 

 

Just so you know, Leprechauns were originally lecherous, drunken elves rebranded by American marketing; and that the luck of the Irish makes no sense at all considering history’s ass kicking of the Irish. But it was Tennessee Williams who said, “Luck is believing you’re lucky.” I’ll leave it at that.

It is sensible to assume that St. Patrick was indeed captured by Irish slaves as a child, spent seven years in brutal bondage (forced to listen to prehistoric U2, perhaps?), converted to Christianity, and then returned home only to go back to Ireland to become a bishop.

Between leprechauns and St. Patrick’s history, however, I think you can find the essence of what is an Irishman: life is fiction, history is harsh— so you might as well believe you’re lucky and make your personal history an enjoyable fiction, full of oppression and liberation. Or should I say Irishperson, as I rail against saying Paddy or ordering Irish Car Bombs?

 

Please enjoy our infographic:

St. Patricks Day Infographic qSample

 

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