See Dick and Jane Sleep, Work, Watch and Buy
By George Anderson
According to the greeting card wisdom of the good folks at Hallmark, we know a few things about dads. Among these insights is the knowledge “that naps can happen almost anywhere.”
Based on numbers from the American Time Use Survey put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dads are not the only ones who know the simple pleasure of gazing up at the inside of their eyelids. Americans, on average, spend more time sleeping than engaged in any other activity.
The average person living in the U.S.A. spends 8.6 hours a day sleeping. Even during the week, Americans are getting more than their eight hours of beauty rest but where the waking-challenged really excel is on weekends where we send nine hours sleeping on Saturday and 9.6 hours making Sunday a day of rest.
It appears as though Americans need their sleep to help recoup from all the time spent working. Women spend seven hours a day on average working to bring home an income and then spend more than four times as much of their free time doing chores around the house. Men work about an hour more a day than their female counterparts and then go home to, as the numbers point out, do something other than household chores.
Perhaps, men are actively engaged in the important activity of television watching. According to the government, watching TV is the only thing Americans spend more time doing than sleeping or working.
Taken as a whole, Americans spend 11 percent of their time with eyes focused straight ahead on whatever is being broadcast into their home. As would be expected, those with the most time on their hands, the young, spend more time plopped in front of the tube than those working adults who pay the cable or satellite television bill every month.
With so much time spent sleeping, working and watching television there is little time for other pursuits such as reading. Again, age has a bearing with older Americans reading more (doesn’t count time spent on the Internet) than kids and young adults.
The government’s numbers are supported by the recent announcement by the Newspaper Association of America, which reported that paid circulation for major U.S. dailies was down 1.9 percent as of March.
One thing Americans do find time to do is shop. On the average day, 40 percent of Americans go shopping. Saturday is the day devoted most to shopping with the average consumer spending 42 minutes in pursuit of whatever. Women spend about twice the time men spend shopping.
Moderator’s Comment: Considering how Americans are spending their time, do retailers need to alter their advertising strategy? Are there any companies
that have made course corrections that illustrate how to respond to market events and/or consumer behavior in a way to more effectively drive sales?
A piece on this topic by Ad Age “why many retailers are fixated on Sunday newspapers, arriving after the big shopping day”, which research indicates is
As for course corrections, the most recent and obviously successful example was Wal-Mart’s reaction to its bad start over the Black Friday weekend during
the last holiday season. The company changed its media mix and focused on highlighting items with very low prices to overcome an early momentum gained by competitors. –
George Anderson – Moderator
- How U.S. Consumers Spend Their Time – AdAge.com (free reg. required)
- Newspaper circulation down 1.9% in half-year – Chicago Sun-Times