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Google Search Trends Insights February 2021

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for February 2021.

Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month.

What Drove People To Search In February 2021

With record cold in parts of the country and a pandemic still raging on, it was clear from Google Trends that we were staying home and watching TV. Looking back at the month, we saw many of the phrases that made the daily top 3 were geared towards learning more about programming on our home screens. Bookended by the Super Bowl and the Golden Globes, there was a large percentage of phrases in our collection that were categorized as Entertainment keywords.  Sure, there were some phrases related to holidays, politics, and stocks, but it was mostly about what we wanted to watch or had just watched. 

Here are the top Google Trends keywords of February 2021, as analyzed by AMP Agency.

The Ten Million Plus Club

The number of phrases that drove over 10 million queries was more modest in February as compared to January 2021. 

  • Super Bowl 2021 - 2/6/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • NFL - 2/7/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Valentine’s Day - 2/13/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Tiger Woods - 2/23/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries

As is typical for any year, the Super Bowl drives a large amount of search activity. The first two phrases in the list occurred during the weekend of the big game. We’ll examine the rest of the phrases that made the top 3 that were related to that sporting event in the next section.

Google posted a Doodle for Valentine’s Day and every click on it was recorded as a query of “Valentine’s Day”. As we have seen before, the dates sometimes shift for holidays/Doodle due to how Google Trends reports the data. Lastly, Tiger Woods was in a car accident and people sought more information about it. Let’s hope for a quick recovery. 

Super Bowl Weekend and The Popularity of The NFL

When we first started collecting Google Trends data on a daily basis back in 2019, we noticed early on that the Super Bowl was a topic that garnered a large number of queries. Most of the interest was about the game itself, but there’s also search volume for related events like the halftime show. Outside of the phrase that made the 10 million plus club, these are the top queries from Super Bowl weekend in the order they were reported.

  • Super Bowl time - 2/5/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Puppy Bowl 2021 - 2/5/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Shailene Woodley - 2/6/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Aaron Rodgers - 2/6/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • The Weeknd - 2/7/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • CBS - 2/7/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries

Although the game has been played at the same time for as long as we can remember, people do search to make sure it hasn’t changed. Certainly the Puppy Bowl is very important to learn more about as the query volume shows. We’re taking a little bit of liberty with the inclusion of Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers in this list since they weren’t a part of the “Big Game”, but after Aaron thanked his fiancée in his NFL MVP award acceptance speech, Google search was set afire. We’re not sure if the announcement of his engagement was planned to be a part of his speech, but Aaron’s good about being a part of the conversation during Super Bowl weekend even if he isn’t playing in the game. Finally, on the day of the game, people sought more information about The Weeknd because of his performance during the halftime show and, for some reason, the network that carried the game.

Now that the NFL season is over, we thought we’d look at the search popularity of the league as compared to previous years. The pandemic reduced the sports audience’s search interest in all major sports leagues, but the NFL seemingly fared the best based on what we see in these charts:

NFL 5 years

In the 5 year timeframe view, the 2020-2021 season looks more like the 2018-2019 in terms of search volume.

NFL 12 years

In the 16+ year view, you can see that the peaks are different. With no pre-season, the buzz was dampened at the beginning of the season, but the playoffs drove a slightly larger peak of search volume as compared to the one seen in early 2019.

 

The Other February Holidays

Besides Valentine’s Day, there were other holidays in February that people were compelled to use Google to conduct searches.

  • Groundhog Day - 2/1/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Groundhog Day 2021 - 2/2/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Lunar New Year - 2/11/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Ash Wednesday 2021- 2/16/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries

Clearly, a large number of searchers believe that a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil can really predict the weather as seen by the 2 day query volumes. Lunar New Year showcased as  a Google Doodle this year (Happy Year of the Ox) and Ash Wednesday 2021 made the top three on Fat Tuesday.

Impeachment Trial and Politics-Related Keywords

January 2021 had more keywords related to politics with the Capitol riot and the Inauguration being the biggest drivers. We still had an impeachment trial and a weather emergency to stoke search interest in February: 

  • Liz Cheney - 2/3/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Impeachment trial - 2/8/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Ron Wright - 2/8/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Stacey Plaskett - 2/9/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Stacey Plaskett - 2/10/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Ted Cruz - 2/18/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries

Liz Cheney and Stacey Plaskett were queried because of their involvement in the Impeachment trial. Ron Wright, the US representative from Texas, died of COVID-19 and Ted Cruz, a senator from that state, made the news because of his trip to Mexico while the majority of his constituents were dealing with a power outage and freezing temperatures. 

More Stock Market Phrases

With the meme stock movement that hit a peak last month, AMP has started a new keyword category called “Stocks”. Here are the 3 most popular terms from last month:

  • Tilray stock - 2/9/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Bumble stock - 2/11/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • GME - 2/24/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries

Tilray is a Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company that got a boost in its stock price with the deal to import and distribute medical cannabis in the UK. The company behind the dating app Bumble went public and GameStock was back in the top 3 most queried terms on the 24th with more support from Reddit users. 

Stay Home and Watch Something

During the pandemic, the number of phrases making the daily top 3 that are related to television shows and movies increased. February 2021 had a long list of phrases:   

  • Firefly Lane - 2/3/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Malcom and Marie - 2/5/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • Britney Spears documentary - 2/8/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • To All The Boys I Loved Before 3 - 2/11/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Judas and the Black Messiah - 2/12/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Cruella - 2/16/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Nomadland - 2/19/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home - 2/23/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Golden Globes 2021 - 2/26/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Tom and Jerry - 2/26/2021 - 500,000+ queries
  • Golden Globes 2021 - 2/28/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries

The AMP team wholeheartedly believes the popularity and financial success of a TV or Film production can be predicted by its search interest. Did any of the shows or movies that you streamed last month make this list? Are you excited about any of the upcoming films that had a trailer drop (Cruella) or a title revealed (Spider-Man: No Way Home)? If so, you’re part of a large group.

 

Phrases related to a particular Disney+ show made the daily top 3 numerous times in February.  Due to the show’s mysterious nature, it was a good fit for Google as viewers went to the search engine to learn more (Warning: spoiler-ish phrases ahead).

  • WandaVision episode 5 - 2/4/2021 - 200,000+ queries
  • Agatha Harkness - 2/18/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Scarlet Witch - 2/25/2021 - 500,000+ queries

Hopefully soon, we won’t be cooped up in the house too much longer. Warmer weather and a larger vaccinated population should help.

Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.

Until next month.

 

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Women Want More Diverse and Intersectional Representation Over the past decade, there have been some incredible pushes towards more diverse representation of women in advertising — from The National Lottery’s uplifting & inclusive “This Girl Can” campaign to this amazing photo of Black transqueer lesbian model Jari Jones popping open a bottle of champagne in front of her larger-than-life Calvin Klein ad. Most of the women we spoke to in the industry mentioned that they’ve seen more diverse representation in recent years: more interracial couples, more body sizes in the fashion world, more stay-at-home dads, and fewer blatantly sexist ads. Still, only 29% of American women believe they are accurately represented in advertising, according to a recent study by data intelligence company Morning Consult. (The same study found that 44% of American men believe women are accurately represented.) 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Promoting women to leadership positions adds diverse perspectives to our teams and brings more female insights into how women want to be represented.   How To Give Women What They Want There are so many ways organizations can tailor their branding, advertising, and marketing efforts to better address the desires and expectations of women. They can engage with the conversation on social issues and gender, complexify female roles in their campaigns, and offer more diverse and intersectional representations of women across the board. They can also enrich their internal teams by hiring women, and promoting them to leadership roles. The goal isn’t for every brand to try and address all the desires of every woman on the planet, but to make efforts day by day where you can. For example, if parents make up a large percentage of your target audience, you might consider how to bring intersectional, complex representations of moms to your ads. Think of where it makes sense to engage authentically with your customers. Insights from Women Who Work in the Industry To get a better idea of how the marketing and advertising industry is currently addressing female wants and expectations from the inside, we interviewed some of the women we know. The responses below come from people who have worked as interns, freelancers, and full-timers — at agencies and in-house — with experience ranging from 3-10+ years in the industry. Q: What do you want from the ads and marketing tactics you see in the world? A: “I would like to see more representation throughout ad campaigns. It would be nice to see people who look like me and the people around me, and not just the same famous people.” “I've seen companies attempt to be more socially aware (or "woke," if you will) but sometimes it backfires. I want advertisers to stop trying so hard in their marketing tactics or do a better job of reading the room.” “I always respond to authenticity, self-awareness and especially humor — the Ok Cupid "DTF” campaign is a great example. As a consumer, I do not respond well to feeling shamed or condescended to.” “I want to see all types of women doing all types of things. I also would love for brands to call out censorship, double-standards, or gender roadblocks in their ads directly.”   Q: What are your expectations for the campaigns you yourself put out in the world?   A: “To cast women in unexpected roles. Conversely, to not only show moms as caretakers and nurturers.” “I do my best to make people think about the thing we're advertising in a new way, whether that means showing them a way our product can add something new and positive to their lives, or just causing them to stop and laugh at an interesting image or headline. I also feel a pretty heavy responsibility not to add to any of the toxic stereotypes or standards that we're all — but especially women — constantly bombarded with.” “What an incredible responsibility we play as women in the biz. It's frustrating to see the same narrative about the same woman over and over. And it's a true challenge to bend that narrative into one that's more truthful of our experiences. But it's a fight worth fighting, and I think having women in leadership roles in advertising is greatly improving this issue.”   Q: How are women portrayed in advertising? Do you predict this changing in the upcoming year?   A: “Over the past ten or twenty years, we've gone from a total proliferation of the same cookie-cutter image to the slow, incremental appearance of more diverse, ‘real’ images of women. As we've seen more and more brands jump on that bandwagon, I can't help but feel a little cynical. Pop feminism and ‘girl power’ have become just another sales tool... it's still so much about making women feel like they need things to be fully realized. It's just gone from, ‘Buy this product and you'll be beautiful’ to, ‘Buy this product and you'll be empowered.’” “My wife and I have both been hyper-aware of the significant increase of interracial couples featured in ads, which is very exciting. For 2021, I'd love to see more of this, and a lot more queer women of all races, ages, body shapes, and ethnicities. I have seen lesbian couples here and there, but I haven't seen many lesbian parents.” “I think there's still an absence of women who are 40+ in the advertising I see. Middle age isn't what it used to be and it would be great to see the modern, mature woman portrayed more in advertising that is not related to medications.” “One thing I hope would change is the Instagram fad of everyone looking like a Kardashian. Influencers are such a huge part of advertising, and we know how harmful those unrealistic depictions of beauty can be.” “For the most part women have been either hyper-sexualized or seen as arm-candy to sell a product. There are more conversations and actions happening in recent years to represent women in less hyper-sexualized roles. On the other hand, I do not have a problem with women being portrayed sexually. Especially in fashion and art. I think there has to be care in not being over-sexualized, where the woman then becomes an object of desire.”   Q: Do you feel satisfied with how you see women represented in advertising today?   A: “Satisfied would sound like there is not room for improvement. I think it’s much better than it was 10 years ago and hope it keeps evolving.” “One thing that bothers me about the way Black women are represented in advertising today is that there is still a bias toward light-skinned Black women or women who look mixed race. Obviously this is an old issue, but it still persists and needs to change.” “I think so… It is encouraging to see women of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and identities in ads these days… depicted as funny, strong, silly, beautiful, smart, and all of the ways you can be depicted. However, I do think we still need to come up with more ways to flip the script.” “I don’t know if I’m satisfied with how women are represented in advertising yet. I think having more women in advertising and higher positions would change the outcome of some campaigns. There can’t be representation properly done without real women’s voices.” Q: How does it feel to be a woman working in this industry? A: “I’ve been fortunate to work in an environment where I haven’t felt treated differently for being a woman.” “A lot of days I don't think about it too much, but it probably informs everything I do.” “There’s always room for improvement. There's no better time to be a woman in history than today, and hopefully thirty years down the line, a woman will say the same thing. We should always be striving for better.”

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