National Study “Mood of the Nation™” by Protobrand Spills the Truth on Social Media Users

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Metaphor of the Month™: Social Media is “The Punch Bowl”

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Social media is more than a mere watering hole, but rather an ecology filled with resources, dangers, and emotions, all bound together with the potential of addiction.

Protobrand, a research and branding firm headquartered in Boston, MA, released results today of their recent study examining the metaphorical frames people use to approach social media. The Metaphor of the Month™ expressing the thematic metaphor for social media is “The Punch Bowl.”

“In addition to providing insight into the national mood, Mood of the Nation™ allows us to examine topical or interesting subjects, such as the role of social media,” explains Phil Granof, CEO of Protobrand, “Mood of the Nation provides a complete picture of how people feel, providing the ‘why’ behind traditional quantitative approaches to consumer insight.”

“As we approach the Super Bowl, we were interested in exploring how social media changes the way brands and customers interact,” says Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Chief Strategist at Protobrand. “Our research revealed a range of complex and hidden relationships that people have with social media, reminiscent of the way people relate to alcohol. ‘The Punch Bowl’ metaphor reveals social media as more than a mere watering hole, but rather an ecology filled with resources, dangers, and emotions, all bound together with the potential of addiction.”

Six different Meta-types, or metaphor based archetypes, were uncovered as they relate to the social media Punch Bowl: “The Comfortable Partygoer,” “The Party Planner,” “The Punch Spiker,” “The Designated Driver,” “The BYOB,” and “The Teetotaler.” Each meta-type maintains a very distinct relationship to social media that savvy marketers need to take into account.

About Mood of the Nation™ and Meta4 Insight™
“Mood of the Nation” is a pulse check of a nationally representative sample surveyed through Protobrand’s online metaphor elicitation tool Meta4 Insight™. Meta4 Insight™ builds upon decades of academic thought and scientific research into the workings of the human mind. Metaphor elicitation is a well-known technique among market researchers for tapping into consumers' deep-seated feelings and underlying motivations. Ensuring data saturation, Meta4 uniquely conducts this technique in an online setting, using a proprietary image database to reveal people’s unconscious minds.

About Protobrand Sciences, Inc.
Headquartered in Boston, MA, Protobrand is an independent research and branding agency driven by consumer insight. By uncovering the rich, unseen motivations behind human behavior, Protobrand develops strategic and creative solutions that result in emotionally resonant brand relationships. Clients include global and nationally recognized brands such as Lee, Ocean Spray, Taco Bell, Nivea, Bank of America, Reebok, Toyota, and Wrigley.

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Phil Granof
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