Pop Culture Survey, a poll of advertising professionals conducted on AdAge.com last month. The survey queried more than 300 agency executives and marketers on topics ranging from indispensable tech tools to trendy fashion and food.
Some 20.9% of respondents named their PDA as the tech tool they couldn't part with, while 16.8% said their cellular phone was more important. In addition to Palm Pilots, people named Visor Edges from Handspring and iPaqs from Compaq Computer Corp.
Other tech toys included Research in Motion's BlackBerry; Handspring's Treo; laptops with fast Internet hookups; Apple Computer's iPod and iBook; TiVo; and a Sony Microportable projector.
Apple's Power Mac G4 won as the favorite tech tool of creatives, with almost 30% of respondents voting for it. This group was particularly passionate about their tech toys.
More New Yorkers filled out this survey than any other city dwellers, but it also drew heavily from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Minneapolis. Smaller markets voiced their opinions from places such as Chattanooga, Tenn.; Mason City, Iowa; and Lansing, Mich. From outside the U.S., responses came from locales as varied as Bucharest, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.
Aside from the standard advertising trade publications, reading material ran the gamut from Maxim, Shape and New York Magazine to Brain Surgery for Suits: 56 Things Every Account Person Should Know, by Robert Solomon, and The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell.
When asked to name their favorite snack food, survey respondents revealed a host of chocoholics. Some 14.3% of all respondents named chocolate alone or as an ingredient in a favorite snack. Meanwhile, 10% opted for fresh fruit or vegetables. The rest of the choices spanned the food pyramid: ice cream, pretzels, cheese, sunflower seeds and beef jerky, to name a few.
When it came to sampling new packaged goods and grocery products, Vanilla Coke topped the list, with 7.7% of respondents saying they had tried it. Soy products were also high on the list, with 6% of people saying they had sampled a soy product, ranging from Soy Crisps and soy milk to miso dressing and soy cheese. Sharing top billing were Crest Whitestrips, Naked Food-Juice, Swiffer and Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Overall there seemed to be a split between trials of healthy and/or organic products and convenience products.
When asked which fashion label they aspired to wear, Armani (8%) was the clear winner, followed by Ralph Lauren (6.1%) and Prada (5.6%). Other top brands included BCBG, Dana Buchman and Kenneth Cole. However, not everyone in advertising is eyeing to expand his or her wardrobe. Many replied that it didn't matter, or as one 27-year-old account exec from Dallas put it, "I'm not a slave to labels."
Perhaps one New York account exec best summed up fashion in light of the past year's events: "Already wear too much Prada and Helmut Lang; will most likely be trading down if this recession keeps up much longer."