14th March 2020

Wave 1: Americans want brands to help amid coronavirus

Mindshare's weekly POOL survey examines how COVID-19 is impacting Americans' lives. We surveyed over 1300 about the coronavirus outbreak awareness, perception, and behavior changes in media, spend, and content.

Wave 1 - W/C March 11th - showed five key highlights:
  • Consumers are not reporting any major media behavior changes yet. Most behaviors or media channels reported usage as 50-60% “roughly the same” as before the virus. However, things are changing so rapidly that media consumption could switch overnight.
  • There are slight changes to personal time spent and shopping behaviors, but again no major shifts yet.
  • There is a wide information gap about the virus between affluent and lower-income Americans, as the sources they use to gain information and the sources they trust differ between the two groups.
  • At the time of fielding, 41% of Americans are worried about the virus, but only 23% feel prepared.
  • Most people think it’s appropriate for brands to help with the current situation, except luxury brands or auto brands. Healthcare, personal care, and travel brands top the list of who Americans think are appropriate to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Stopping the spread of misinformation is a key area consumers would want brands to help with.
Further insights from in this article from Campaign US, which looks at both Wave 1 and 2 (W/C March 17th):

Excerpt: More people want brands to step up amid the COVID-19 crisis and help, according to adland’s most comprehensive study since the outbreak took hold of America.

Basically every industry has seen a jump in want from consumers to do something coronavirus-related in the space of one week.

"No matter what, brand agility is now more important than ever. For some brands, they’re exploring donating their media to organizations like the World Health Organization. For others, you have to look at if there’s another type of service or message that they can provide to support others."

Alexis Fragale, Director of Consumer Insights

Mindshare surveyed more than 1,300 people on March 11 (the same day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and prior to Trump declaring a state of emergency) and again on March 17 when Americans were in full isolation mode.

There has been a significant increase in those thinking companies in sectors including health care, food and utility services should stand up and offer aid. Auto, luxury and candy brands are low on this totem pole, but have still seen a jump. 

As more realize the severity and impact of COVID-19, Americans want brands to donate and help communities taking the hardest hit, such as those unemployed, on low income, homeless and elderly. Sixty-seven percent think companies should donate supplies (a hike of seven percent in one week). The biggest increase is in those who think brands should donate money (+11 percent from 43 to 54 percent). Meanwhile, 13 percent want to see firms create humorous content to watch or read (an increase of four percent). 

Read more about our research, including commentary from Alexis Fragale, our Director of Consumer Insights, in this extensive piece from Campaign.

Mindshare USA
    Mindshare USA