Trendlines Superlatives


Here we are at the 20th edition to round out 2020.


Although there may not be much to look back on this year outside of work, we wanted to bring back some of our favorite stories for a little preemptive pandemic nostalgia.


Our very first story. Ever.

Remember Bernie Sanders and his so-called threat of socialism? Although only one of those made it to Election Day, our very first Trendlines story hit inboxes in February showing that Amerians actually have a soft spot for socialism — so long as it’s not called that.


Our silliest story.

With a few strong contenders, including analyses about the most preferred Halloween candy and stadium concession snacks, the silliest story examined personality differences between cat and dog people. Granted this was six weeks into the pandemic and it appears we became a little neurotic — not unlike cat people, it turns out. 


Our story with the best visual.

What’s good data without captivating visualizations? A .csv file. If you haven’t noticed, we love using our ggplot palette to produce above-the-mantle-worthy visuals. Here are our favorites from this year.

Starting in June and continuing every month, we asked respondents how many months it would be until the economy and normal activity would resume and when they thought a vaccine would become available. Looks like Americans were feeling extra hopeful around Thanksgiving (with good reason).



Switching gears to cars, our itch to get out of the damn house got the best of us so we decided to go vicariously car shopping — which in normal times is the most hated task ever — with our respondents. The results gave us all FOMO so we asked Santa for an SUV this year.



Our hardest story to write.

Vulnerable moment here: we really struggled to write the Brands Talk the Talk story. The intention of this story was to test how different actions taken by brands against police brutality and racial institutional racism are perceived through a survey experiment.

Not only were the results challenging to interpret, but we also wanted to balance acknowledging the role that brands can (or should) have in contributing to the very powerful narrative around race in this country — even if our results found that for some brands, staying silent was the right business move for them.


Our story with the best title.

We strongly encourage you to judge a story by its title. Sometimes landing the title is the hardest part of the process. With a strong field of contenders, our proudest hang-on-the-fridge titles are:

Major Regrets

WFH = Work from Home or Work from Hell?