From: Plymouth Marketing Associates Inc.
To: Gov. William Bradford
Re: ”Thanksgiving” (working title)
Focus groups on the proposed holiday (”Thanksgiving”) were held in the Plymouth area over the past two weeks. The holiday tested in the ”weak” category across all demographic groups, especially among younger participants.
In particular, teens and ”tweens” indicated that unless significant improvements are made to the holiday, they would be unlikely to come to the table.
Participants found the story of ”Thanksgiving” dull and unappealing, and some found it confusing as well. Several wondered why the Pilgrims appeared to be in uniform, and one male in the 18-to-34 age group theorized that ”maybe they were cops.”
Miles Standish received extremely low scores, especially among women, who described him as ”stiff” and ”passive.” In the words of one of the women in the 18-to-34 age group, ”He reminds me of my first husband — loser!” In all demographic groups, participants found Mr. Standish’s hat ”geeky.”
To counter Mr. Standish’s lack of appeal, some participants responded favorably to the notion of enlarging the roles of other characters in the ”Thanksgiving” story. Squanto received the most votes, with one male in the 12-to-18 age group suggesting that Squanto be endowed with super powers or, failing that, martial arts skills.
As for the proposed holiday meal, turkey, dressing, yams and pumpkin pie all tested in the ”weak” category, with participants indicating a ”very low” intention of going back for seconds.
Only cranberry sauce performed in the ”moderate” category, suggesting that the meal might be restructured to give cranberry sauce (or cranberries themselves) a more prominent role. Some participants suggested that the entire meal could be replaced with lighter fare, such as sushi or tapas.
Finally, the premise of the holiday itself — the idea of ”giving thanks” — had only limited appeal to those in the younger demographic groups, who called the premise ”bogus” and lacking an ”edge.”
With few exceptions, they felt that the holiday should be more interactive and provide the chance to air grievances and pet peeves. By a wide margin, they responded favorably to the proposed name change, ”Complaining Day.”