Ever wondered why people who listen to Bastille are all unbearable humans? Well now you can find out. Online research specialists YouGov have made a tool which analyses data from 190,000 of their UK members to help you profile people with what they call “a greater granularity and accuracy than ever before.” So now you know that the average Bastille fan is a right-wing woman in her 20s who works in marketing and describes herself as "kooky". Suddenly it all starts to make more sense.
Essentially, this is supposed to be a tool for brands, so that they can determine things like whether getting Meghan Trainor to advertise their latest electronic toothbrush is a good idea if they are targeting it at 18-21 year olds in Hull. But what is supposed to just be a commercial tool is actually an addictive application for determining how true most stereotypes are across the board.
The in-depth categories of research are split into demographics, lifestyle (food and hobbies), personality, brands, entertainment, online activity and media (what papers they read). This isn’t just like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s like finding out the needle reads the NME, tweets about Karl Marx, banks with Natwest and eats onion bhajis.
The problem with this YouGov tool is that most of the sample sizes are so small that the resulting statistics veer between surely incorrect to just mad as shit. A lesser publication might use these tiny samples to make some pretty disingenuous claims - like how the 185 candidates who said they enjoy Noel Gallagher are extremely right wing fashion designers who look like this.
Or how even though Urban Dictionary defines a Belieber as “between the age of 10-15,” YouGov informs us that they are actually powerful and rich young business women based in London.
But that’s not us, and there are decent sample sizes within the tool if you look hard enough, and analysing those results is much more fun, because not only are the reflecting statistics really fucked up, they are also probably quite true. Here are the findings from our entire night playing with this stereotype slaughter house.
Most Lana Del Rey fans are young, horny men
Majority of the Born to Die stans are dudes who are interested in sex, enjoy the macho appeal of boxing, have a fair wedge of spare cash, and get their clothes from Urban Outfitters. So basically, all the people who like Lana Del Rey are people who think she might possibly date them.
Cliff Richard is the soundtrack of right wing politics
We all knew it, but now it’s right there in statistics. The middle of the road skiffle tinged contemporary Christian pop of Cliff Richard is the most favoured music of fans of the Conservative party (2820 sample size), UKIP (8020 sample size) and Daily Mail readers (10,712 sample size). In fact, it’s hard to believe how well the UKIP entertainment preferences play perfectly into stereotypes: Dad’s Army, Jeremy Clarkson, Zulu and Mike Read? Perhaps surprisingly though, in the far-right BNP, they prefer their hate thought to be soundtracked by Black Sabbath and 50 Cent.
Morrissey fans are not hypocrites, but they are insufferable.
Meat is murder etc etc, and it seems that Morrissey fans are happy to follow their dour overlord into a life of being a nuisance at dinner parties and unwanted flatulence. They rank vegetarian sausage rolls, vegetarian haggis and satay tofu as their top foods. They also cement their status as people you’d least want to hang out with, describing themselves as misanthropic, alternative types who prefer Fanta to Coke and part with their cash on Indie GoGo, presumably so they can support start-up cradle-to-grave llama farms.
Drake fans aren't much for outdoor pursuits.
One area of the YouGov tool is called “Personality”, and seems to base it’s finding on common statements amongst those candidates. This research for Drake is pretty much dead on.
Oasis vs Blur was about politics and class.
The stats suggest that the 90s “Battle of Britpop” didn’t just boil down to whether you preferred Damon Albarn’s coiffed fringe over Liam’s wanker swagger. It represented opposites throughout your entire way of life. The archetype Oasis fan - according to YouGov - is a right-leaning, Sun reader from the North, who works in construction, gorges chocolate fudge pudding and watches Family Guy. Whereas model Blur fans are London based office workers who lean left, read The Guardian and play Scrabble. Worth noting that Blur fans second most favoured band is Pulp, whereas the second most popular band amongst Oasis fans? Blur.
Older Women Are the Driving Force of Mainstream Music
You may have suspected that fans of Coldplay, Ellie Goulding and Pharrell would be females in their 40s who work in law, health care or retail, and shop at Iceland or Asda. But Kasabian, the Tuborg soaked beacons of lad culture and football sync deals? Apparently so. Dear Kasabian, statistically, most people are probably enjoying “Club Foot” with a glass of cheap red and a defrosted prawn ring. At least we now know where Serge gets his hairstyle from.
Radiohead fans are as boring as you thought they were.
They work in IT, shop at Nisa, watch Formula 1, drive Fiat cars and own cats.
Fox's Party Rings are the EDM fan's biscuit of choice
British society is built upon broken biscuits, so what do the sweet and crunchy miracles say about British music? Well, if rave culture’s lingering death knell is now EDM, then it looks like our ravers have replaced ten pound pills with lavish iced biscuits, because Calvin Harris dominates the favoured music of those who devour Fox’s Party Rings. At the other end of the space-time-biscuit continuum lies McVitie's Rich Tea. It seems quite a few people like to kick back, put on some Elton John or Celine Dion, dunk a Rich Tea and think about how immigrants are stealing British jobs.
And if you've ever wondered why decent popstars rarely win the X Factor
You can follow Joe on Twitter: @cide_benengeli