Consumers more concerned about inequality than health

IMI's latest wave of pandemic research shows more people think social unrest is the biggest issue facing their communities.

While Canadians still have concerns about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been replaced in the forefront of their minds with the social unrest caused by protests and racism.

That’s according to the latest wave of IMI’s ongoing survey of consumers, which polled 77,000 people in 39 countries over the last three weeks.

A major change since IMI’s last wave of data is the fact that social unrest and diversity have supplanted health and finances as the main concern of consumers in most countries. In Canada, 34% of people say social unrest, diversity and inequality is the biggest issue facing their communities today, compared to 20% who said health issues, 17% who said finances and 28% who said there were “no issues.”

The report notes that while women and those under 35 are more likely to be concerned about social unrest and inequality, the topic is still the biggest concern across demographics.

From a marketing perspective, IMI notes that powerful responses to protests and those against racism and police brutality have had a positive impact on brands. Nike tracked a 42% increase in brand favourability following its “Don’t Do It” ad, as well as a 28% lift in consideration, 52% lift in people saying the brand is better than the competition and 62% of people saying they are likely to purchase from the brand. L’Oreal’s new “Worth It” ad starring Viola Davis earned it a 47% boost in favourability, 33% increase in consideration, 51% lift in people saying it is better than the competition and 62% of people saying they are likely to purchase one of its products.

Since peaking at the end of March, the number of Canadians worried about the impact the pandemic will have on their finances has decreased; 52% are concerned (down by 33%), with only 15% saying they are “severely” concerned (down by 42%). Finances are the “greatest” fear in the next three months for 26% of Canadians, with 51% saying their greatest fear is their personal health.


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