ITV is the beating heart of mainstream British culture. Our superpower is our popular appeal, with programming that reflects not only the core values, but also all the eccentricities that unite this diverse nation. Whether you’re from Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland, our content gets Britain talking...
We worked with Crowd DNA, a cultural consultancy, to uncover the evolving codes and customs of Britishness today, revealing what unites a nation in 2023. We used a blend of cultural analysis, qualitative and quantitative research to gather perspectives from a broad swathe of the British public and define five main codes of our shared cultural DNA.
Our findings in a nutshell
The people of Britain find unity in their social graces, a desire to keep up appearances and stay close to particular codes of etiquette. As such, British people know their roots, but this appreciation of heritage is always curious, creative and adventurous. This contributes to a uniquely British proud resilience, a belief in internal strength, the power of community and perseverance through adversity. But the people of Britain also dream big - they love the plucky underdog, who’s full of imagination, the guy or girl who carves their own path, a rags to riches tale. And most of all, Britain is a place of everyday magic, where banter, playfulness and giggles shine through the drudgery of normal life.
Let’s take a look at the standout code
“We’ll giggle at silly things that really aren’t that funny but the one thing that gets us nurses through is laughs and banter.”
- Shanice, 28, Birmingham
A sense of everyday magic is a fundamental part of British experience today, with 74% of the people seeing this sentiment as helping to unite the nation. Britain’s deep attachment to this value means we can expect it to influence its culture for years to come. At ITV, we’re all for it!
What exactly do we mean by everyday magic?
Everyday magic is that ability to find an authentic sparkle in day-to-day life. It’s that oh-so British irreverence that helps us power on when the going gets tough. Everyday magic is about getting stuck in, embracing ourselves and the people around us. In this way, it gives us the confidence to live in the moment, but also the strength to embrace change.
This value is composed of smaller cultural trends underway at the moment in British culture.
Mainstream Britain is making increasing room for people to speak freely from the heart. Around half (48%) of the people we spoke to associated everyday magic with improved mental health. And a similar proportion (40%) felt that mental health should be the nation’s top priority. At a time of social polarisation, it has never been more important to enjoy meaningful conversation and feel comfortable being honest about our emotions.
“I feel the need to be spontaneous or cause mischief when life gets dull. You need variety to make things more exciting!”
- Antwan, 34, Birmingham
Everyday magic also taps into the amazingly communal power of letting go, cracking jokes and kindess. For the British, there’s no greater joy than putting a smile on a friend’s face, whether it be by goofing around, a water fight or dancing around the kitchen like there’s no tomorrow. The playful whimsy that comes with riotous entertainment and showmanship means of everyday magic is a social glue, with fifty-six percent of the public associating it with social connection.
What would Britishness be without self-deprecating humour? We love to poke fun at the sillier (and sometimes surreal) parts of life to keep us grounded - these banal but brilliant moment of everyday life.
Everyday magic keeps us humble, while healing us through comedy. The majority of the nation (3 in 4) feel they have a great sense of humour.
Ultimately, everyday magic offers a chance to recover after a difficult time. As people emerge from the shock and hardship of the pandemic, now is the time for support, tolerance and kindness within our communities. Fifty-three percent of the people we spoke to connect everyday magic with kindness.
We find everyday magic on ITV almost everywhere:
Everyday magic in numbers
74% 74% of our respondents feel that everyday magic is what unites us as a nation.
56% 56% associate everyday magic with social connection.
53% 53% see everyday magic as a form of kindness.
48% 48% think everyday magic improves our mental health.