MarketCast Sources of Joy 2021 Report

Finding Joy in 2021

Every year, MarketCast’s Real-Time Analytics team looks to identify the things in life that brought us joy and happiness. Through our analysis of millions of social media conversations and published articles, we discover the consumer products, services, and life experiences that people talked about most during the year.

In this year’s Sources of Joy Report, we found that the spring and summer drops in COVID cases (before the winter surge) meant people had a chance to experience in-person events, sports, movie theaters, and holidays again. At the same time, they continued to embrace quarantine conveniences, like working-at-home, subscription food and wine services, and learning online. Our report spotlights the following:

  • Kitchen: The rise of the at-home barista
  • Clothing: Athleisurewear gets comfy
  • Work-at-Home: Building the very best “Cloffice”
  • Self-Improvement: The joy of online learning
  • Timeout: Exploring local
  • Must See TV: The return of appointment viewing

Complete the form below to download the full report. We hope you enjoy!



The MarketCast Winter Playlist

As we settle in for the winter, let’s take a look at what MarketCasters are digging into the most. In their own words, here is what they are watching, listening to, and playing:

TV Series

Jen Handley, SVP & GM, Real-Time Analytics

Succession

Every line of dialog is rewind-worthy gold. The stories are Shakespearean, the characters are both reprehensible and lovable, and each episode leaves me cackling. 

Jessica Yang, Senior Analyst, Custom Research

Insecure

Entering its last season, Issa Rae’s heartfelt and hilarious series just got even more personal. Its farewell tour has characters make up, cut ties, and self-reflect in the deepest and most superficial ways. Zooming out, it explores the complexities of representing one’s community… while still being FUNNY AS HELL, OKAY?! 

Julia Fletcher, Research Operations Support

Only Murders in the Building

“It brings me back to my childhood, seeing Selena Gomez, a favorite Disney star, team up with Steve Martin and Martin Short. These new three amigos blend together with a common interest and lead you into a plot with suspense and humor like Knives Out. It should be inviting to crime show and comedy lovers!”

Arden Ash, VP, User Experience Design

Dope Sick

It’s one of those shows that leaves you thinking, ‘Oh, that’s how that happened.’ Think of all the years of opioid headlines. This series tells parallel and interweaved stories of personal ambition, unchecked greed, corruption, and a nation in search of a solution for pain – and the possibility that none of it would have been possible without a relaxed label by the FDA. 

Jerome Quartey, Director of Marketing

Money Heist

This Spanish series is built off the most ambitious of plans, I mean, what can go wrong trying to rob a bank? If you enjoy action, thrillers and strategy, then I’d suggest you give this a watch through winter. The finale doesn’t disappoint. 

Andy Princep, Data Scientist

Arcane

“It’s packed with thoughtfully paced action, vividly realised characters, a compelling narrative, stellar voice-acting, and a soundtrack that will stick in your head for weeks. It’s natural to worry that you’ll be out of the loop if you don’t already play League of Legends, but this show focuses on the origins of some of the franchise’s most beloved characters and serves as a fantastic introduction to a surprisingly complex and detailed universe!” 

Movies

Nicholas Hall, Business Analyst – IT

Dune

Visually stunning, must go down as one of the great visual epics, certainly of the 21st century. Intrigue, drama – we all want to see what happens in part 2! 

Andrew NguyenAssociate Director, Brand & Event Analytics 

Last Night in Soho

Last Night in Soho is another great film from director Edgar Wright. Full of twists and turns that tells a story about the dangers of nostalgia, but still being relevant and timely to today’s issues. 

Briawna Gillespie, Senior Analyst, Custom Research

House of Gucci

“This movie genuinely moves you in an unexpected way. I found myself wanting to learn more about the tragedy and restoration of the Gucci brand and how it has evolved to where it is today. This true story of love, greed and family feud makes you see this iconic brand in a new light.” 

Music 

Casey Murphy, Senior Analyst, Custom Research

Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)

Red successfully takes us on a journey through the vibrant spectrum of emotion. The lyrical masterpiece that is the album transcends any one genre and combines elements of music into a cohesive and beautiful storyRed is now and forever will be an album for the ages — whether you are experiencing it for the first time as a 19yearold girl or again 9 years later as a 28yearold woman. 

Emily Drabik-Stevens, Marketing Enablement Specialist

Adele – Adele 30

“We all knew it was coming and yet Adele still found new ways to emotionally destroy us with another brutally honest, simply beautiful album. Her song-writing skills have only gotten better – I’ve listened to it 5 times all the way through and discover something new each time.” 

Danielle Waggoner, Director, Entertainment, Real-Time Analytics 

Tick, Tick… Boom! Soundtrack

The Tick, Tick…BOOM! soundtrack is a beautiful homage to Jonathan Larson’s legacy, and ‘Sunday’ a particularly emotional tribute to Stephen Sondheim and the Broadway community. The album will no doubt resonate with all the former theatre kids out there and anyone who has ever enjoyed getting lost in the sounds of musical theatre. 

Logan Dodd-Frio, Senior Director, Entertainment, Real-Time Analytics 

Lana Del Ray – Blue Banisters

“I love all shades of Lana and her Blue Banisters release is easily a close second of my favorite albums. Her diary-like songwriting style and rich vocals come through the speakers like a delicate stream of consciousness. The title track (“Blue Banisters”) and “Beautiful” both beg to be taken in. They highlight the healing that comes from female friendships and how sorrow can only breed deeper connections to beauty. Beauty in life, in art, and of course, in love.”

Eric Marturano, Director, Brand & Event Analytics 

The War on Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore 

“It’s the sort of record that makes me proud to be from Philadelphia. Introspective influences of Bruce Springsteen are apparent and the subtle-yet-warm soundscape on this album brings to mind the joy that is often felt wandering a street and ducking into a friend’s house or bar for a low-key drink and welcome conversation.” 

Giles Cottle, VP, Data Science Services

Self Esteem – Prioritise Pleasure 

Rebecca Taylor is ready for her close-up. Categorically Britain’s best pop star (sit back down RIGHT now, Ed Sheeran), her Prioritise Pleasure album is packed full of wit, Fleabag-like brutal honesty, pathos and soaring pop tunes. Fans of lyrical zingers will also find plenty to enjoy here. 

Podcasts 

Ryan Hulse, Product Manager

Not Just Bikes

A channel delving into urban planning with special focus on bad examples in the US and Canada. It’s super fascinating with lots of examples of poorly designed city areas with zoning laws that create car-based communities, boring vanilla housing developments, and retail zones that are hostile to any pedestrian activity. 

Alexander Oldring, Director, Brand & Event Analytics

The Guardian Football Weekly 

“Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning and company provide analysis, insights, and a good dose of light heartedness in this must-listen to football (soccer) podcast that keeps me company on my commute.”

Teresa James, Senior Analyst, Custom Research 

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

“It’s a digestible version of her course at Yale University called “Psychology and the Good Life,” where she explores the science of happiness. I always love hearing the latest research exploring why we as humans think and behave the way we do and the fact that it’s also helping me become aware of my own cognitive biases and giving me tips and tricks to help me live a happier life is just the cherry on top of the cake.” 

Video Games

Matt Buckley, Junior Data Scientist

Halo Infinite 

The original Halo trilogy games are classics, and Halo Infinite is a breathtaking love letter to these games. Set in a massive open world, Infinite keeps the traditional Halo feel whilst introducing new features and free multiplayer for playing with friends! Bringing fresh life to a story and characters two decades in the making, this is the game Halo fans have been waiting for. 

Ivana MoranSenior Analyst, Custom Research

Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0

“Having played Animal Crossing: New Horizons to the point where it seemed like there was nothing much new to do on the island, the new DLC brings some fresh air and new options for creative projects I am excited to dig into once again!”

Martin Eichholz, SVP & GM, Tech & Gaming

Far Cry 6

‘ll admit it... I’m a sucker for Far Cry.  Loved the IP since Far Cry 2, which is still one of my all-time favorites. Far Cry 6 looks simply fantastic, and with Giancarlo Esposito in it, what’s not to like?  I look forward to 100+ hours with stunning graphics, fun gun fights, racing around icars, and it’s totally okay if it’s all a bit predictable.