(WASHINGTON) — Trying to escape the partisan bickering and political pandering that is dominating this election season? Those party lines may extend much farther than you think.
From choosing where to get that morning coffee fix to which car you bought to get you there, your political party association may be driving those purchase decisions.
Republicans, for example, are more likely to head to Dunkin’ Donuts for their daily cup of Joe, while Democrats are more inclined to get their caffeine fix from Starbucks, according to a study released this week by the neuro-insight firm Buyology.
When choosing a car, Democrats were more inclined to favor Jeep while Republicans preferred BMW, according to the online survey, which used responses timed to the millisecond to determine more than 4,000 respondents’ gut reactions toward a brand.
Spokespeople for both BMW and Starbucks said their customer’s political persuasions are not a factor when deciding how best to advertise to them.
“Politics never enters into our advertising decisions,” said Kenn Sparks, a spokesman for BMW of North America. “Our customers are as diverse as our global company and people from every demographic group tell us that BMW is the brand they aspire to own. We’re delighted to have them all!”
While most mega brands, like Allstate or Progressive insurance, do not take a stand on political issues, they may make a play for people’s emotions in much the same way politicians do, said Vanitha Swaminathan, an associate business administration professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
For example Allstate, which was favored by Republicans, has an advertising campaign that centers on fear, telling viewers “Mayhem is everywhere.”
The Republican Party uses a similar fear-based tactic, telling voters that four more years of President Obama would be a disaster for the country.
It is a similar story for fast food restaurants. Subway was the chain of choice for Republicans, a party whose platform revolves around individual freedom. On the other hand, Democrats, favored Wendy’s, which can be seen as more democratic because they offer pre-fixed solutions to your hunger.
But not all brands divided down party lines. While Democrats and Republicans disagree on so much, they did agree on Google, Visa, Apple and Coca-cola, the study showed.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal