In the face of the prolonged recession, there are worrying conclusions to hard questions. More than two-thirds of American men (70 percent) think society is moving in the wrong direction, and many (64 percent) think Americans aren't willing to consider other people's points of view. On the other hand, almost two-thirds of American men (63 percent) think the recession has reminded people of what's important in life. And a large minority of American men (44 percent) are actively trying to figure out what makes them happy.
This data is among the results of a survey by Euro RSCG Worldwide of 752 American male adults. (The larger survey, which polled 5,700 men and women in seven markets around the globe, reveals how changes in consumer consciousness are driving people toward a more mindful approach to living and consuming.
"We've all become aware of how our nation as a whole has recently been evolving, but this data sheds light on how the American man is thinking about those changes and how they're affecting him," says Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR and a renowned trendspotter who was among the team that popularized the use of metrosexual. "There are also notable cultural signs that point to how men see themselves and others, their present and their future."
The influential business icons, especially for men, for instance, are no longer in finance but in tech. Entertainment icons have gone from the strong, romantic Clark Gable in the 1930s to the versatile, ironic Johnny Depp in the 2000s. The hot car has moved from Hummer to Tesla and its electric Roadster. In terms of money, the sweet spot for American men is identifying how they can make a good living in ways they can feel proud of and be respected for in the post-bust, newly mindful era. ERWW PR even devotes a chapter of "Male in U.S.A." to "Mad Men" character Don Draper because of his many similarities with men today - "a modern man in a period of transition, a complex figure for complex times when men are pulled in many directions by inherited values, new values, urgent desires and vague longing."
The white paper touches on a variety of other topics important to the American male today. Here are a few of the paper's conclusions:
- On the surface, American male icons lag the demographics, but mentally they're more multicultural.
- Success is important, and money is still a key indicator of success in a rainbow nation.
- Technology is one of the crucial common denominators of American men.
- Keeping it real is an attractive principle but a challenge in a media-mirror world.
- American men want to change and do better, but on their own terms, at their own pace.