Trends and Research
This AnxietyIndex study explores consumers’ sentiments around Ebola—in an effort to help brands navigate consumer behavior in these times of heightened anxiety—and tracks 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. from Oct. 28-30, 2014.
AnxietyIndex: 2013 Global Report
Our largest AnxietyIndex study to date, this report examines the levels, intensity and drivers of anxiety across 27 markets in Western Europe (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.), Eastern Europe (the Czech Republic and Russia), the Middle East and North Africa (Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa), North Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea), South Asia (Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand), North America (Canada and the U.S.) and South America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico).
Data was collected from Oct. 1-10, 2012, using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online research tool. We polled 225 adults aged 18-plus in each market. Data is weighted by age and gender to census figures in each market, except where Internet penetration is less than 40%. Low-penetration markets (Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa, China, India, Indonesia and Thailand) are weighted in accordance with the Internet population in these markets.
This AnxietyIndex study highlights findings from our second round of quantitative research in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Omitting areas affected by the disaster, this survey polled 500 Japanese adults aged 18-plus from Sept. 9-13 to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers. In the months following the disaster, anxiety has risen, with 46% of Japanese indicating feeling “very nervous/anxious”—up 16% from our April 2011 survey. Japanese citizens continue to worry about the government’s ability to lead them through the crisis and the further impact of the crisis on the economy, while remaining concerned about deeper issues facing the country, apart from the disaster.
This AnxietyIndex study highlights research in Pakistan conducted in August 2011. The baseline survey, which polled 590 Pakistanis aged 18-plus across socioeconomic classes, found that Pakistan is among the most anxious countries we have studied, with 89 percent reporting that they are nervous or anxious. This is just a few points behind Japan, which ranks as the most anxious market.
This AnxietyIndex study highlights quantitative research in the U.K. conducted in the wake of the riots there in August 2011. The survey, which polled 290 British adults, examines their anxiety levels and drivers, both broadly and as they relate specifically to the riots. It also looks at whether the riots have changed perceptions of those brands that were affected by the looting and that aided in the cleanup, and points to how brands might help to address the root cause of the problem.
This AnxietyIndex study highlights findings from our first round of quantitative research in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Omitting areas affected by the disaster, this survey polled 502 Japanese adults aged 18-plus from April 11- 22 to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers. As one might expect, nearly everyone in Japan is feeling anxious. While anxiety has been pervasive in the country for at least the last two years, things that once made people anxious (such as the cost of health care, crime and the cost of living) seem less worrying today—instead, Japanese citizens are most concerned about the government’s ability to lead them through the crisis and the further impact of the crisis on the economy.
AnxietyIndex: A Cross-Market Look
This cross-market look at JWT’s AnxietyIndex compares the levels, intensity and drivers of anxiety across the U.S., U.K. and Canada. It is based on data collected from adults age 18-plus through online surveys conducted in 2010. Data are weighted by age, gender and household income based on government population statistics.
AnxietyIndex: United Arab Emirates
For this AnxietyIndex study, JWT focused on the United Arab Emirates. Using an online quantitative survey, the study collected data from 508 adults aged 18-64 to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers. While anxiety levels have declined since 2009, a majority of Emiratis continue to report feeling anxious, with concerns centering on unemployment, gasoline prices and unemployment rates.
AnxietyIndex: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
This installment of AnxietyIndex focuses on The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Using an online quantitative survey, the study collected data from 484 adults aged 18-plus to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers. Concerns about unemployment rates and food prices rose significantly over 2009 levels.
Fielded in November 2010, this survey of 580 adults found Egypt to be among the most anxious countries JWT has studied. Respondents’ concerns centered around the state of the economy and the cost of living, specifically unemployment rates and food prices. Political instability/government also ranked among respondents’ key drivers of anxiety. The study also found a general sense of hopelessness, with high levels of pessimism about the future.
AnxietyIndex: A Closer Look at the U.S. Midterm Elections
This installment of AnxietyIndex, fielded Oct. 18-25, surveyed 519 Americans aged 18-plus to examine attitudes and behaviors in the run-up to the midterm elections, looking for variations by political affiliation. The study looks at how anxiety levels and drivers have changed since the presidential election, sentiments about the Tea Party and the tonality of the campaign, and people’s perspectives on whether things will change for the better or worse if Republicans assume control of Congress or Democrats maintain the majority.
This installment of AnxietyIndex focuses on Colombia. Using an online quantitative survey, the study collected data from 1,253 adults aged 25-plus to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers—specifically, concerns about crime, the state of the economy and the impact of global warming. The study also takes a closer look at how Colombian brands can capitalize on the crisis.
For this AnxietyIndex study, JWT focused on Mexico. Using an online quantitative survey, the study collected data from 296 adults aged 18-59. Mexico is one of the most anxious countries in the world, with concerns centering on unemployment, food prices and the state of the economy and rising frustration and pessimism toward its current government.
For this installment of AnxietyIndex, JWT focused on Argentina. Using an online quantitative survey, the study collected data from 328 adults aged 18-59 to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers—specifically, concerns about cost of living, food prices and the state of the economy. The study also takes a closer look at Argentines’ concerns on crime and changes in their social behavior.
AnxietyIndex Quarterly: The Recession Handbook: Brand Lessons From the Great Recession of 2009
Over the past year, our AnxietyIndex.com site has tracked nearly 400 brand responses to consumers’ recession-related anxiety in 27 markets. At the same time, our seven-year-old proprietary AnxietyIndex has quantitatively measured the levels and drivers of consumer anxiety in 13 markets.
In so doing, we have built a database of knowledge from around the world on consumer behavior and brand strategy in the Great Recession. As we begin to enter a recovery, we’ve reviewed this database, summarizing what we’ve learned and making recommendations for marketers that we believe will stand the test of time. Our hope is to provide a primer for future downturns—a guide that goes beyond simply making the case for maintaining or increasing brand spend during a recession.
In our fourth AnxietyIndex Quarterly, we highlight key brand lessons from the Great Recession (accompanied by examples), which we believe will hold up in recessions to come.
AnxietyIndex: United Arab Emirates
For this AnxietyIndex study, JWT focused on the United Arab Emirates. Using computer-assisted telephone interviewing, the study interviewed 503 adults aged 18-64 to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers—specifically, concerns about the economy, food prices, cost of living, health care and the impact of global warming. The study also takes a closer look at retail, finance and investment, and travel in the UAE.
AnxietyIndex: Saudi Arabia
For this installment of AnxietyIndex, JWT focused on Saudi Arabia. Using computer-assisted telephone interviewing, the study interviewed 484 adults aged 18-49 to examine their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers—specifically, concerns about unemployment, cost of living, health care and disease. The study also takes a closer look at the economy’s effect on retail, travel and other major industries.
AnxietyIndex Quarterly: The Best Brand Responses to the Recession
After almost a year spent surveying brand and consumer response to the recession through our AnxietyIndex.com, we found that only a handful of the 350 examples we collected across 24 countries truly stood out. Creating innovative work isn’t easy in any economic climate; it’s even harder when marketing budgets are low and risk aversion is high.
Our AnxietyIndex Brand Hall of Fame salutes 10 of the most notable responses to the recession that we’ve seen. We believe these will hold up in years to come as case studies of work that transcend typical approaches to a downturn. Our third AnxietyIndex Quarterly explains why we think so.
AnxietyIndex: A Cross-Market Look
This cross-market look at JWT’s AnxietyIndex compares the levels, intensity and drivers of anxiety across 11 markets: the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Japan. It is based on data collected from adults age 18-plus through online surveys conducted in 2009. Data are weighted by age, gender and household income based on government population statistics.
AnxietyIndex Quarterly: What Hope-Fueled Markets Can Teach Brands
Our latest AnxietyIndex Quarterly—a report that addresses a major theme we identify through our research each quarter—focuses on hope- and fear-fueled brands.
In analyzing 10 markets so far this year, we found that they tend to fall into one of two buckets: fear-fueled and hope-fueled. The hope-fueled markets comprise what are considered the emerging economies: Brazil, India and China. These mind-sets are manifesting themselves in brand behavior.
We argue that brands in established, fear-fueled markets must be more positive, optimistic and aggressive—taking a cue from hope-fueled brands—and we offer recommendations on how they can do this.
The Recession and Its Impact on the Environment
This wave of the AnxietyIndex looks at how concern for the environment and for the economy overlap—or diverge.
In partnership with Penn, Schoen & Berland, JWT surveyed adults 18-plus in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and the U.K. The study examined their safety, security and economic anxieties, as well as their concerns about environmental issues and the recession’s effect on their “green” behaviors. Areas explored include:
- The perceived effect of the recession on the environment
- Adoption levels and drivers of environmentally friendly behavior
- Which environmental issues are causing the most anxiety and whether people think these issues will get better, worse or stay the same
- Consumers’ understanding of the terms “environmental,” “sustainability” and “going green”
Click here to download the Australia, Canada, Japan, U.K. and U.S. results, which are now available.
For this iteration of the AnxietyIndex, JWT partnered with Millward Brown ACSR to focus on several cities in China. Using computer-assisted telephone interviewing, the study interviewed 500 adults aged 18-50 in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Yantai and other cities. The study examined their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers—specifically, safety and security concerns such as crime, the economy, the cost of health care, the cost of living and job security. The study also looks at how the economy is changing consumer behavior, consumer attitudes toward brands and car-buying behavior.
For this installment of the AnxietyIndex, JWT partnered with Millward Brown to focus on three major cities in India. Five hundred adults aged 18-49 from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore were interviewed face-to-face about their anxiety levels and anxiety drivers. The study examined safety and security concerns—the threat of terrorism, military hostilities, crime, etc.—and economic worries such as the cost of health care, the cost of living and job security. The study also takes a closer look into how different categories are being affected by the recession, including FMCG, consumer durables and services.
AnxietyIndex Quarterly: The Genericizing of Brands
More than a hundred blog posts on AnxietyIndex.com and mounds of research and trends data later, we are introducing our inaugural AnxietyIndex Quarterly. This publication seeks to contextualize the content we published in the past quarter, presenting a major theme that has emerged.
The first quarter’s theme: The Genericizing of Brands. While many brands are predictably focusing on price and value messaging, this is an area of marketing where, historically, normal branding rules have not applied. In this paper, we argue that tactics must be approached in a branded way, and we offer recommendations on how marketers can address this challenge.
AnxietyIndex: The Recession and Its Impact on the Youth Market
For this AnxietyIndex study, JWT focused on the recession’s impact on the youth market, specifically teens and twentysomethings—the age cohort that is often referred to as the Millennial generation or Gen Y. Areas the research explored include:
- The anxiety levels and anxiety drivers of young adults and teens as compared with the general population
- What amenities youth would be most reluctant to forego if money becomes tight
- The perceived effect of the recession on twentysomethings’ lives
- Where teenagers are getting recession-related information
- How parents are handling the economic crisis with their teen(s)
- Brands that teens perceive as providing better value
Click here to download U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and Brazil results from the multi-market study, which are now available.
AnxietyIndex: Straight from the Consumer
As a qualitative complement to our AnxietyIndex surveys, our bloggers asked people from their respective countries what they thought about the recession and its impact on their lives. Our research included both online and offline interviews with adults of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. We also partnered with ExpoTV.com, a video-based community of consumer reviews, to collect video confessionals from people online. This presentation outlines key themes from the research.
AnxietyIndex: A Cross-Market Look
The 16th installment of JWT’s AnxietyIndex—which tracks the levels, intensity and drivers of consumer anxiety—polled 1,065 American adults, 1,004 Britons, 992 Canadians, 500 Brazilians, 983 Australians, 203 Spaniards, 205 Russians and 500 Japanese online. Data are weighted by age, gender and household income based on government population statistics.
AnxietyIndex: A Cross-Market Look
The 15th installment of JWT’s AnxietyIndex focuses on data gathered from online surveys of 500 American adults, 564 Britons and 500 Canadians. JWT first launched the AnxietyIndex in February 2003 during the run-up to the war in Iraq.
The AnxietyIndex tracks the levels and intensity of consumer anxiety and, importantly, the drivers of anxiety. It examines safety and security concerns—the threat of terrorism, potential and current military hostilities, crime, etc.—and economic worries such as the cost of health care, the cost of living and job security.
Marketing in a Recession
This paper—a short audit of existing thinking on the topic of marketing during a recession—is a synthesis of historical and current material published by ad organizations, marketers, journalists and research and consulting companies based on findings from past recessions. It highlights key recurring ideas about why marketers should continue to spend during down times and strategies for how best to go about it.
Weathering the Storm: The Financial Crisis
Amid the financial crisis hitting Wall Street, JWT conducted a large online survey of more than 1,000 American adults to understand its impact on their attitudes and behaviors. The study was carried out September 18-23, the period between the downfall of Lehman Brothers, the $85 billion federal rescue of AIG and the government proposing a massive bailout plan.
The quantitative analysis includes detailed findings on consumer anxieties, changes in their behavior, and their current confidence and trust levels toward financial brands and institutions. We looked for variations by gender, age, income and political affiliation.