Two-thirds of Canadians are weary of COVID-19 info

New IMI research also shows which events Canadians are eager to attend once the pandemic eases.

man-sitting-and-closing-eyes-on-teal-bench-1076999With curves beginning to flatten in some places, consumers are getting weary of COVID-19 messaging, according to the latest research by IMI, which also finds that there are differences between Americans and Canadians when it comes to propensity to socialize once the pandemic eases.

The latest wave of IMI’s ongoing tracking of consumer sentiment during the pandemic included a poll of 5,000 global respondents on April 21 on their sentiment towards receiving more information about the virus and the pandemic.

Two-thirds reported that they are “tired of COVID-19 information and data,” with Canada being right in line with the global average at 66%, slightly ahead of the U.K. The report also found Portugal, Japan and Australia to be the most tired of COVID-related messaging, with Hong Kong, Singapore and France being the most receptive to information.

Because of this, IMI caution brands that are delivering COVID-19 related messaging, saying there should be “a clear tangible benefit to the consumer.” Brands need to ensure that consumers can easily find their pandemic protocol information if they want or need to, but actively communicating it may not need to be a priority. With respect to the broader conversation surrounding COVID-19, IMI warns that if a brand is not already fully engaged, it should exercise caution entering the discussion late, so as not to appear inauthentic. Ultimately, brands need to consider the end consumer and if they are actually offering something that is of value to them, or is better or different from competition.

“Today, it’s better to do nothing than to feel pressured to act without value,” the report notes.

IMI-COVID events

Among the survey’s other findings, the willingness to attend future public events varies in North America. IMI surveyed 1,750 people in Canada and the U.S. on the kinds of live events they will attend “when the coronavirus is no longer a concern.” It found that Canadians show a far greater hunger for live sport and outdoor events than their American cousins, who show far greater reticence when it comes to attending events based on the sheer number of attendees.

Based on this, IMI suggests brands proactively communicate audience size, crowd control and other measures to address these concerns.

A frequent part of IMI’s ongoing research has been tracking consumers’ biggest fears during the pandemic, specifically when it comes to their health and finances. Among Canadians, 54% say their biggest fear over the next three months is personal health and 21% say personal finances (numbers that have each dropped by 3% since March 24). However, when looking only at Gen Z and Millennials, 60% say personal health is their greatest fear (up 6% over the last month), with 18% saying personal finances (which has gone down by 11% over the last month).

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