National survey: Canadians relate more to underachievers than athletes

TORONTO, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - A national survey conducted by TELETOON at Night and The Strategic Counsel* suggests that Canadians may have more in common with under-achieving cartoon characters such as Bender, Stan Smith and Hank Hill than the athletes, actors and romantically successful individuals dominating headlines this month. The survey, completed by 1182 Canadians, reveals that along with feeling like underachievers in sports and exercise, Canadians are largely not confident about their romantic abilities. Respondents consider themselves to be overachievers when it comes to their careers and may be deluding themselves about their achievement in personal hygiene. In the month of the Super Bowl, Valentine's, award shows and the Olympics, TELETOON at Night offers an alternative to overachievement with Overachieving is Overrated, nightly themed programming to celebrate the most prolific underachievers amongst us.

Underachieving in Exercise and Sport

Similar to the athletically-challenged Hank and Peggy Hill in King of the Hill, two thirds of those surveyed (67%) believed that they are underachievers when it comes to exercise and sports. 60% of Canadians admitted they found it difficult to get regular exercise, with those who did no exercise at all stating a reluctance to give up time that could be spent on relaxing as the main reason (67%). Respondents also preferred milk shakes (69%) to protein shakes (31%) and they would choose an extra hour of sleep (61%) over an hour of exercise (39%). Canadians would also prefer to watch a game of hockey on TV (63%) than play a game themselves (37%) and, like the gang on King of the Hill, are content to watch the Super Bowl with friends (70%) rather than be one of the football players taking part (30%).

Over three quarters (76%) of those surveyed are planning to watch the Olympics. Canadians can empathize with their athletes, stating that they believe loss of time spent with family and friends would be the single most difficult thing about training (30%). Many Canadians also chose sticking to a tough diet and exercise program (22%) and injuries, aches and pains (20%) as the single most difficult thing about training for the Olympics.

Underachieving in Romance

When it comes to romance, Canadians may be too hard on themselves with over half of those surveyed believing they are underachievers in romance (55%). However, Canadians fare better than American Dad's Stan Smith or King of the Hill's Dale Gribble with 42% of those people in relationships doing something romantic for their partners at least once a week. The survey revealed that along with cooking a meal for a partner (80%) and saying 'I love you' (78%), Canadians also considered spending time with a partner's family and friends (64%) and letting a partner choose the television channel (42%) a sign of love.

Whereas Canadians as a whole might consider themselves to be underachievers in romance, more than half of the Quebec respondents answered that they are overachievers in romance (59%). In the rest of Canada only 40% believed they were more romantic than the average.

Overachieving in Personal Hygiene?

Even though 86% of Canadians believe that they are overachievers when it comes to personal hygiene, they are actually more like Fry from Futurama with close to three quarters of respondents (74%) admitting to sniffing an item of clothing to see if it was clean enough to wear. 71% have eaten food that has fallen onto the floor. Only 27% of Canadian women have re-worn dirty underwear due to a lack of clean pairs compared to almost half of Canadian men (47%). Canadians also don't floss their teeth as often as they should with only 27% of those surveyed saying they floss daily.

Overachievers in Career

59% of those surveyed believe that they are overachievers when it comes to their career. Unlike iconic TELETOON at Night characters such as Futurama's Bender and Fry and Stan Smith, Canadians aim to be productive. Among those who are employed 86% responded that they spend their time at work trying to be as productive as possible. Career overachievers are almost as likely to have taken a sick day when they were well (50%), as people who think of themselves as underachievers (52%).

* The survey was commissioned as part of TELETOON at Night's special Overachieving is Overrated programming and took place between December 3 and 7, 2009. The Strategic Counsel is a national market research and public opinion research firm with offices in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.

From February 12 to 28, Overachieving is Overrated emphasizes the adequate and celebrates the mediocre with themed episodes of Futurama, King of the Hill and American Dad every night from 9 pm. Viewers can tune in to watch Fry, Bender, Hank and Stan navigate life, avoiding the pitfalls of overachievement in areas such as work, relationships, politics, education and sport. Full episodes listings are available on Also online, fans can read daily Overachieving is Overrated blog posts and discover which TELETOON at Night character they most resemble. Visitors can also enter to win a day off in the Overachieving is Overrated contest.

TELETOON is where cartoons live - all day, every day. Available in both English and French in 7.7 million Canadian homes, TELETOON brings kids, youth and adults the best in animated entertainment. After 9 pm TELETOON at Night offers smart and topical comedy shows aimed at teen and adult audiences. TELETOON is also available on as well as On Demand, on Mobile TV and iTunes. Founded in 1997, TELETOON Canada inc. is owned by Astral Media Inc. (50%), and Corus Entertainment Inc. (50%)

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/


For further information: For further information: or visuals, please contact: Kate Dickson, Communications Supervisor, TELETOON Canada inc., (416) 956-5443 or

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