Industry Insights
by: Lois Fearne
Dec 05, 2023
6 min read

What got Americans Pulsing…

Before we call time on 2023, it’s time to stroll down memory lane and revisit the moments that made 2023 stand out…

Before we call time on 2023, it’s time to stroll down memory lane and revisit the moments that made 2023 stand out for the US. So, snag something cozy (or maybe some eggnog, ’tis the season!) and come along as we check out the highs and not-so-high moments of the last twelve months…


The year started with the news that Twitter will reverse its 2019 ban on political ads as Elon Musk seeks to grow revenue, even though 74% believe political ads should be banned on social platforms. Meanwhile, Disney’s CEO wanted everyone back in the office, but more than half of American workers say they get more done at home. And a sober curious movement was sweeping the states. Fun fact time, the community would find it harder to give up cheese than alcohol


Heineken made a non-alcoholic touchdown at the Super Bowl (66% of you tuned into) with a superhero assist from Marvel’s Ant-Man. Yet, 60% haven’t quite leapt over to the non-alcoholic brews. Over in the music world, the 65th annual Grammy Awards saw famous faces shining bright, and, no surprise, you crowned Taylor Swift as the best-dressed female. And… in the sky, 74% were hooked to the headline, wondering what those mysterious balloons were up to – a sky-high mystery!


Out with the extra shots, cream, and syrup at Starbucks because, surprise! Olive Oil swooped in as the new ‘it’ thing. 66% weren’t quite ready for this bold and flavorful combo. Meanwhile, at the White House, the government dusted off the threat to ban TikTok (once more!), with just 32% believing it’s actually possible to pull off. Then, TSA threw a curveball, claiming peanut butter is a liquid, not solid. But hold onto your PB jars because 2 in 3 % stand firm that it’s not a liquid.


Apple and Goldman Sachs joined forces to unveil the long-awaited Apple Card savings account, gathering interest from 66%. In the world of retail, Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy, a moment that rocked the 52% who have trusted the retailer for their most cherished life events, from college to marriage, setting up new homes, and welcoming babies. And Levi’s strutted into the spotlight by announcing they’re going high-tech with AI models to flaunt their denim. 1 in 4 are optimistic the change will be a fashion-forward win for inclusivity. 


While 57% voiced their disapproval of Joe Biden’s presidential performance, the 2024 elections were already in full swing. Then, Netflix brought out the caution tape, declaring account sharing is now off-limits for anyone not under the same roof. A tough choice: cut off friends and family or shell out an extra $8 per month. 41% decided shedding a few ‘streaming buddies’ was the way to go. And a report revealed that it’s taking young Americans longer to fly the nest and tie the knot. Almost half of the Zillennials have put their dreams of home ownership and starting a family on hold, finding young adulthood in the US a real ‘struggle.’ 


It was Grimace’s Birthday, and McDonald’s whipped up a shake to mark the occasion. Things took a sinister turn with a TikTok trend where people faked passing out after a sip. While it made 21% laugh, 38% labeled it stupid. On a different note, for the first time in three decades, not a single hip-hop tune or album claimed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 or Hot 100 charts, Pulsers say the lack of originality (49%) and lyrics with zero depth is to blame. On a more somber note, a tourist submarine meant to explore the Titanic’s depths vanished. Despite the dire situation, 34% clung to optimism, hoping for good news when they first heard it.


It was truly a girl power summer, with Musk’s Twitter to X rebrand (69% disapprove) and Zuckerberg’s Threads (only 27% got excited) just tagging along for the ride. Back to the leading ladies, 43% donned their best pink attire and headed to the theaters to watch Barbie, and Beyoncé and Taylor Swift made waves big enough that USA Today had to hire a Swiftie and Bey reporter. Talk about fan power – 68% of the community proudly claim the title of ‘Swifties’!


TikTok moved into e-commerce with TikTok Shop, drawing the excitement of 27% eager to shop for fashion and clothing through the platform. In celebrity ventures, Gwyneth Paltrow put her California guesthouse up on Airbnb, capturing the interest of 13% who were VERY intrigued by the idea of getting the full Goop experience. On the fashion front, Birkenstocks and Crocs staged a comeback, boasting high revenue and value. Despite their resurgence in popularity, 40% still view these iconic shoes as a bit ‘meh’. 

September added 566 new words and updated definitions of 2,256 words to stay in step with the ever-evolving English language – 68% hit up Google when it’s time to expand their vocabulary.  Trump was found guilty of fraud -but 47% still think we’ll see him as President again one day. And The Sphere that’s transformed the Vegas Strip left 69% in absolute awe at how mesmerizing this venue is.   


Cozy season had arrived, and with it, Fat Bear Week’s much-anticipated return! 2 in 3 view this week as a joyful celebration, embracing the fun, while a more cautious 13% hold concerns about it. On the pop culture front, Taylor Swift hit billionaire status and created a buzz by being spotted with Travis Kelce for the first time. One in three Swifites couldn’t help but gush over the sighting as ‘cuuuuuute!’ And just in time for Christmas, Toys R Us announced they’re staging a comeback with 24 flagship stores. Despite the comeback, 82% plan on doing their majority of shopping elsewhere. 


Humane’s AI Pin was so hot, it got 1 in 3 people dreaming of a world where their hands double as information screens. Meanwhile, TikTok convinced 10% of us that microwaving parmesan cheese rinds is the new gourmet popcorn. Meanwhile, in the Marvel universe, 55% were giving Disney the side-eye, wondering if they’re overloading us with superheroes faster than we can say ‘assemble’.


Thanksgiving bowed out, allowing Pulsers to hit the Christmas accelerator! 40% were captivated by the Rockefeller Tree, casting its sparkles across the night sky. While the echoes of a cost of living crisis linger, a resilient 49% remain undeterred and are on a  mission to have an epic Christmas despite financial hurdles. Meanwhile, the mischievous Elfie (AKA elf on the shelf) made his annual return, earning a sceptical side-eye from 55% of parents.

What a year it’s been, full of twists and turns, debates, and surprises. Here’s to another year of Pulsing, and who knows what stories and insights it will bring next!

Why wait to hear what your customer is thinking?