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MILLENNIALS TO CANDIDATES: HUMOR ME 60% OF MILLENNIALS SAY THEYLL VOTE ACCOUNTING FOR AN ESTIMATED 50 MILLION VOTES COMEDY IS THE

MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO REACH THEM RESEARCH FINDS NEW YORK, October 18, 2012 Here's a fact that should interest President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, and anyone else with even a passing interest in the outcome of elections: there are 80 million Americans in the Millennial generation, ages 16-32. To put that number in perspective, there are just as many Millennials as Boomers and twice as many as Gen Xers. And 60% of Millennials say that they are extremely or somewhat likely to vote - thats almost 50 million votes. Leading up to the 2012 election, COMEDY CENTRAL partnered with TRU Insights and Insight Research to conduct an extensive research study seeking to define, frame, and understand what role humor plays in Millennials political beliefs, behaviors and capturing their vote. Key findings include: Do not underestimate Millennials: they are very aware of whats going on in politics. And they are involved and influential. When it comes to political comedies, they dont watch to get informed; they watch because they are informed. What a candidate thinks is funny tells Millennials who they really are. Politicians must leverage humor to connect with Millennials: this generation needs humor, and theyre saying it will shape their votes. Engaged and Optimistic, Despite Real Concerns 68% agree the 2012 Election results will have a long-term impact on the direction this country goes in with 62% saying that they are extremely or somewhat likely to vote. Only 15% claim it doesnt matter who wins. Todays economic condition continues to take a massive toll on their age group in particular.

Millennial unemployment remains stuck at 12.7% (August 2012) Student debt tops $1 trillion
52% have been personally impacted by economic downturn 26% have had a close friend/family member to lose their home 21% have lost their own job in the past four years only 34% agree that the American Dream is alive and well

And yet, we see resilience from this generation. 6 in 10 agree theyre generally optimistic about their future, regardless of party affiliation. In other words, they are not turning into Gen Xers. But despite their optimism, two-thirds agree the current political system is broken and have concerns about todays political landscape, with the majority of Millennials expressing a desire for the two parties to put ego aside and learn to work together and for there to a be the creation of a third, more moderate party. Being group oriented from birth, Millennials believe that their generation is uniquely positioned to reach across the aisle. They crave a middle ground, are looking for less talk and more action and while on 22% believe theyd make a great President, most believe that when they run the Government they will be able to

COMEDY CENTRAL TEAMS UP WITH BONNAROO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL page 2 set partisanship aside and come together to compromise and make the hard decisions that move the country forward. (more)

Millennials, who have inherited a deep-seated activist mentality from their Boomer generation parents, believe the best way to achieve social change is through digital efforts. 53% of Millennials think its their responsibility to bring about change in the world 68% of Millennials believe that their generation have the most power to effect change 66% agree it is possible to create the most change by spreading the world online than standing on the street, rallying and protesting 63% would rather protest online than protest in person

And, without a doubt, their wevolution mindset is the foundation of their new consciousness. When asked if their decision on who to vote for in the presidential election is more about how it makes the world on a whole better or how it makes my situation better, 73% chose the former. Humor Me Politicians who want to court the vote of this increasingly important generation must use their sense of humor to appear more authentic, more relatable, and more likable. Not only will this drive the Millennial vote towards them, not doing so will drive votes away from them. Candidates who refuse to turn on their sense of humor, do so at their own peril as 4 in 10 Millennials are less likely to vote for a candidate who lacks a sense of humor and/or is unable to poke fun at him/herself. 62% like it when politicians use their sense of humor 54% say politicians need to loosen up 55% want politicians to show their sense of humor more often 54% agree the funnier a politician, the more likeable he/she is

But candidates must leverage the power of humor carefully. Non-stop, over the top humor, can back-fire and make it hard to know when someone is being serious and isnt befitting of the political office. Millennials want candidates who recognize the boundaries of where their humor can and cannot go. Show Them the Funny A candidates sense of humor and tastes in comedy is important in fostering a connection with Millennials. When candidates visit late night talk/political satire shows its as though they are throwing away the teleprompters and talking points and showing their real personality. In doing so, they provide an opportunity to be seen as real, relatable and more authentic. In turn, this can increase Millennials interest in learning more about the candidate and listening closer to their message. Exhibiting a sense of humor increases their likability. Between two politicians who had similar views and experience, Millennials would likely vote for the funnier, more relatable candidate. If I could only know one thing about a candidate, it would be: 40% their favorite comedian 33% their favorite band 27% their favorite sports team And there is no better venue for Millennials to get to see this trait than through interviews with a comedian, which they feel present a more honest view of candidates and is far and away the best way to really get to know them. If I really want to see a candidate being himself/herself, I would look at: 33% interview with a comedian 14% live speech 8% formal debate 8% interview with a news anchor 7% Facebook pages/updates 7% official web sites (more)

MILLENIALS AND THE 2012 ELECTION page 4

MILLENIALS AND THE 2012 ELECTION page 5 Millennials Political Decoder Ring As learned from a prior COMEDY CENTRAL research study (In the Tastes of Young Men, Humor Is Most Prized, a Survey Finds, The New York Times, 2/12/12) comedy is in the Millennial generations DNA. They use comedy to define themselves, to make friends, to meet the ladies, and to help make sense of the world. Humor is their primary coping mechanism and allows Millennials to remain resilient and optimistic in the face of these difficult times, and it certainly helps them to decode the tangled web of politics. Its difficult to overstate the role of humor in the lives of Millennials and how it unites them across party lines. By nearly 2 to 1, humor bonds friends in a way politics doesnt. Democrats and Republicans can be friendsas long as they can laugh about it. All/Most of My Friends 86% Laugh at the same things 82% Share a similar sense of humor 45% Share same political beliefs Humor provides Millennials with perspective and serves as a decoder ring, of sorts. Most say that they get facts and insights from a variety of mainstream news sources; however Millennials are going to political comedies/satires to gain perspective on the issues. While conventional media continues to play an important role in keeping Millennials informed, fully half say they frequently use political satire shows to follow politics and the election. When it comes to political comedy/satires, Millennials dont watch to get informed; they watch because they are informed. Frequent Sources of Election News: 68% Network News 58% Online Aggregator (Yahoo!, Google) 56% Cable News 52% Facebook or Twitter 50% Political Satire Shows (The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Weekend Update) 50% News Website 44% Newspaper 37% Late Night Talk (The Tonight Show, Late Night) Research Methodology Leading up to the 2012 election, Comedy Central sought to define, frame, and understand what role humor really plays in Millennials political beliefs and behavior. Comedy Central partnered with TRU Insights and Insight Research to conduct an extensive research study. Research methods include: Conducting a 1 day nation-wide app exercise with Millennials exploring what types of political humor are resonating with them Meeting with 10 groups of friends (35 in total) across 3 markets to understand their views on humor, politics, and the upcoming election Travelling to the Tampa and Charlotte during the conventions to interview Millennials on the street in order to hear their take on the election, their favorite political joke, and how theyd fix the political system Fielding an online 25 minute survey of 1,020 Millennials to assess key political and social issues, voting attitudes and behaviors, media consumption, humor attitudes and preferences Additional context and insights were provided by The Intelligence Groups Cassandra Report. # CONTACT: Steve Albani # #

212.767.8695

steve.albani@cc.com