WERE THE '90s THE LAST GREAT DECADE?
New Survey from National Geographic Channel and Kelton Global Survey Timed to the World Premiere Miniseries Event THE '90s: THE LAST GREAT DECADE?
Finds That It (Almost) Was, Along With Other Surprising Revelations
About News Events, Entertainment, Culture and Celebrities
Americans Choose Clinton (Bill that is) Over Obama;
Whitney Houston Over Nirvana;
"Seinfeld" Over "Friends";
Brad & Jenn Over Brad & Angelina; and
"Forrest Gump" Ties "Titanic"
The Three-Night Miniseries Event, Narrated by Rob Lowe,
Premieres Sunday, July 6, 2014, at 9 PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel
(Washington, D.C. - June 25, 2014) Sandwiched between the Cold War and the war on terror, the '90s were a decade that gave us grunge music, reality TV, the Internet, multiple national tragedies, a tumultuous presidency, a booming economy and Viagra. But was it the last great decade? Nearly a quarter of the nation (22%) thinks that it was. This is just one of the many revelations in a new National Geographic Channel (NGC) and Kelton Global survey seeking to answer that question and to gauge Americans' affection for the 1990s, timed to the global premiere of The '90s: The Last Great Decade? a three-night, six-part event narrated by Rob Lowe on Sunday, July 6, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
It would seem that the 1990s were the last of the good old days - but not the best old days. The 1980s were selected by 24% as the last great decade, followed by the '90s with 22%. About three in four (77%) believe that as a nation we were better off in the '90s than today, and that we were safer (74%) during that decade than today. If you're a GOPer, those numbers are even more skewed: 87% of Republicans say we were better off (vs. 68% of Democrats), and 83% say we were safer (vs. 66% of Democrats).
As for the rest of the survey results? Here's all that and a bag of chips:
Politics - Bill Clinton As Popular As Ever
Among the survey's most interesting revelations is that if an election were held today and the candidates were Clinton v Obama (this time, Bill Clinton), almost three in four people (74%) would vote for Clinton. Perhaps forgetting the standoff that shut the government down for 27 days in 1995, 90% of Republicans would choose Clinton over Obama, compared with 61% of Democrats. This could also illustrate the fact that 61% of Americans think that the government was better overall in the '90s.
News Events - OJ Found Guilty
The O.J. Simpson double-murder trial was selected as the No. 1 news event of decade (23%) and, as we previously announced, 86% believe "The Juice" was guilty.
The death of Princess Diana (16%) finished second to the O.J. Simpson trial for newsworthy moment of the decade. Moreover, nearly half (47%) believe that there was a conspiracy at play in Diana's tragic passing. Her legacy lives on though, with 65% believing her to be a bigger style icon than her would-be daughter-in-law Kate Middleton. This is especially startling when you consider that only a quarter of the nation (25%) say fashions in the '90s were better than they are today.
Movies - King of the World or Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Though it spent 15 weeks at No. 1 at the box office, is No. 2 in overall domestic grosses, and won 11 Academy Awards, "Titanic" (21%) finished in a statistical tie for best movie of the decade with everyone's favorite underdog, "Forrest Gump" (22%). The survey also revealed some good news for Hollywood film studios: 59% think movies are better today than they were in the '90s.
Television - Is Nothing Really Better than Something?
Were television shows better in the '90s? - 53% think they were. But when asked to pick their favorite show from the decade, the nation proved divided. The "show about nothing," Seinfeld, narrowly took first (18%), followed by the "show about aliens," "X-Files" (17%), and the "show about friends," "Friends" (15%). But don't be too sad for the Central Perk gang: Joey Tribiani's (Matt Leblanc's) classic pick-up line "How you doin?" (24%) was selected as the '90s TV line people are most likely to quote and Ross & Rachel (32%) were selected as the nation's favorite TV couple of the decade (beating out Mulder & Scully from "X-Files" at 23% and Kelly & Zack from "Saved by the Bell" at 13%).
Music - I will always love you
Turns out that we will always love Whitney Houston, as her cover of "I Will Always Love You," from "The Bodyguard Soundtrack," easily took the title for the decade's top song at 32%, beating out Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at a distant 17%.
Celebrities - Rachel Green Carries the Decade
Three in 10 men (30%) chose "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston as the most crush-worthy '90s celeb, narrowly edging out Christina Applegate from "Married With Children" (27%). On the flip side, our hearts went on for Leonardo DiCaprio (28%), who is joined by John Stamos (23%) and Mark Wahlberg (16%) as the male icon women most had a crush on.
And finally, sorry Angelina: 35% of the nation chose Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt as the '90s celebrity couple they most wish was still together. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman finished a distant second with 13%.
Overall, the survey revealed that millions of people long for many of the trends and pop culture aspects of the 1990s. From politics and news events to movies and TV shows, Americans can't resist a healthy dose of '90s nostalgia injected into their days.
This survey was conducted by Kelton Global between May 30 and June 5, 2014, among 1,019 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over.
The '90s: The Last Great Decade?, narrated by Rob Lowe, revisits the ten years between the ColdWar and the war on terror through 120 original interviews with newsmakers, major entertainers and thought leaders. The three-night event premieres Sunday, July 6, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel. For more information, visit www.RuleThe90s.com or use #natgeo90s on Twitter.
ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in over 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
ABOUT KELTON GLOBAL
Kelton Global is a research, strategy and design consultancy that works with many of the world's largest and most recognizable brands to help them better understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly customized qualitative, quantitative, innovation and design research for a wide variety of companies across multiple sectors. For more information about Kelton Global, please call 1-888-8KELTON or visit www.keltonglobal.com.