For the last month, JWT’s AnxietyIndex has been navigating consumers’ sentiments around Ebola in an effort to help brands navigate consumer behavior in these times of heightened anxiety; tracking levels and intensity of consumer anxiety as well as the drivers of anxiety, both from a macro and micro perspective. Utilizing SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary research tool, we conducted an extensive quantitative study, sampling 500 adults 18-plus in the U.S.
What has culminated is a thought-provoking look at what consumers’ general anxieties are as of late, attitudes toward the Ebola disease and issues at hand, as well as brands’ overall role in prevention and the conversation itself.
While Americans largely remain anxious in 2014 about one thing or another, overall anxiety has declined over the past two years—especially since the high-anxiety days of the U.S. recession.
- The current Ebola outbreak has raised the level of anxiety about global pandemic diseases significantly.
- While Americans are very anxious about the possibility of a widespread Ebola outbreak—both in the U.S. and around the world—very few adults believe they are likely to actually contract the disease. As a result, relatively few are taking active precautions.
- Certain brands can credibly communicate about Ebola: Consumers indicate they would welcome messages from travel and health care brands, as their messages would reassure Americans of their safety. Ninety-two percent of respondents admire companies that are taking action to help stop the spread of Ebola; however, not all brands have consumers’ permission to inject themselves into the conversation.
- In fact, brands that do not have what consumers see as a direct role in minimizing the crisis—like sanitizer brands and OTC cold/flu medications—run the risk of appearing as though they are trying to exploit the situation.
To download the full report, click here.