The Cost of Living Crisis has rendered traditional demographic-based targeting ineffective and caused a dramatic divergence in consumer attitudes within age and socio-economic groups thanks to the phenomenon of ‘Audience Whiplash’, as identified in new research from THE FIFTH and MAD//Fest.

The Cost of Living Crisis: How 'Audience Whiplash' Is Driving the Misdirection of Marketing Spend’ report reveals that brands in the UK are failing to adapt to the wild fragmentation of the national psyche and increasingly nuanced attitudes, leading to misaligned campaigns, brand damage wasted spend.

Based on THE FIFTH’s quantitative research, social media analysis and real life case studies, the research - available FREE HERE -  identifies three key emergent demographics - Gen Z, Middle Income No Dependents (MINDs) + Anxious Hedonists - and significant challenges for non-essential categories such as streaming services, beauty and travel.

Other findings include:

  • The importance of using social listening to keep abreast of volatile consumer trends
  • The advantages of shifting to a flexible ‘psychosocial’ model to define audience categories + avoid the risks of a ‘one size fits all’ approach
  • Why brand content should be searchable on the platforms where your target audience interact + the phenomenal rise of TikTok as a search engine for Gen Z

"The worst creative strategies we see in the wild today are naively intended to align with the mindset of an entire generation, and in turn, completely misunderstand the nuance of thoughts and feelings of people within those groups,” said Jordan Carroll, author of the report and Innovation Director at THE FIFTH.

“This has reached an absolute fever pitch since the Cost of Living Crisis reared its head. We hope this research shows you can limit your budget wastage through investing in audience insight, to better align your activity with how people are really thinking within consumer groups."”, he added.

CLICK HERE to download the full free report.