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Begin forwarded message:

> From: Salim Virani
> Date: Tue Apr 15, 2003 3:54:33 PM US/Pacific
> To: Ian Bell
> Subject:
>
> You might find this interesting…
>
> http://www.jwt.com/
>
> 18 Mar 2003
>
> Proprietary Study Reveals Americans’ Purchasing Behaviors Based on
> Level of Anxiety , Not Attitudes Toward War
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> Anxiety Affects Consumers’ Feelings About Ad Messages
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> NEW YORK, March 18, 2003 — Are Americans as anxious as the media
> portrays them to be? According to a new study commissioned by J.
> Walter Thompson, and unveiled today by JWT North American President
> Bob Jeffrey, the answer is a resounding “YES.”
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> So much so, that American companies may need to employ radical new
> strategies – both in marketing current products and in inventing new
> ones – to win the hearts, minds, and wallets of a fearful consumer.
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> The proprietary study, called AnxietyIndex from JWT, probes consumers
> on various topics that may influence purchasing behaviors “during
> times of national crisis.” The Study will continue every eight weeks
> for the next six months to help corporate marketers assess the impact
> of heightened states of anxiety on marketing messages. (For complete
> data, please visit the “Data” tab at http://anxietyindex.jwt.com;
> Username: survey; Password: findings.)
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> Mr Jeffrey said, “The AnxietyIndex Study offers irrefutable evidence
> that marketers today face an increasingly fearful audience whose
> purchasing behaviors are influenced, not by consumer attitudes toward
> war or political affiliations, but by their levels of anxiety during a
> time of crisis.”
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> Data Yield Metrics to Gauge Consumer Sentiments Toward Ad Messages
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> The current AnxietyIndex is 233. In terms similar to those of the
> Department of Homeland Security, an index of 233 represent a Code Red
> state of alert in terms of consumer behavior. Portraying consumers in
> a state of anxiety unprecedented in recent memory, the AnxietyIndex, a
> benchmark of consumer sentiment, is calculated by asking, on a scale
> of one to ten, about levels of anxiety. If an equal number of anxious
> and not-anxious consumers exist, the index reading is 100. If the
> index measures below 100, consumers are in a state of low anxiety. If
> the index is above 100, consumers are in a state of high anxiety.
>
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> Anxiety Mounts, Consumers Expect Long-term Impact on Purchasing
>
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> Most consumers (52%) are not anticipating a “Desert Storm” style war
> that is over quickly (e.g., 1 month or less). 42% believe it will be
> more than 3 months before their lives return to normal, a significant
> source of anxiety and strong indication that their purchasing behavior
> will change.
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> Categories most likely to be negatively affected by America’s
> heightened sense of anxiety are the ones with larger ticket items such
> as, New Cars (-28%), Jewelry (-27%) and Appliances (-23%), as well as
> Travel (international, -43%).
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> Familiar, American brands with established history have a distinct
> advantage over newer or imported ones. The majority of consumers (63%)
> feel they would prefer to hear advertising messages about American
> products versus 15% who are open to hearing about or purchasing
> imported products and brands.
>
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> Aid Recovery: Consumers Want Facts Over Messages of Heritage
>
>
> During a national crisis, the majority of consumers surveyed look to
> advertising for reassurance. Few (11%) feel that advertising is
> inappropriate. Over half (51%) cite advertising as indication that
> life is returning to “normal.” The “anxious” consumer values humor and
> escapism in advertising, as long as it is done “with sensitivity to
> others’ feelings.”
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> Although consumers prefer to purchase brands with a known history,
> they prefer that the brands’ advertising messages focus on day-to-day
> needs – security, hope, family, patriotism, news, facts – rather than
> on history, heritage, user imagery or innovation.
> Additionally, consumers note an increased value of content. The
> “anxious” consumer is looking for truth from advertisers, not opinion
> or hyperbole. Consumers will welcome advertising that includes facts
> and information about products. The study reveals that for advertising
> messages to cut through the “anxiety filter,” they must put the
> wants/needs/desires of consumers first.
>
> Connection without leaving home will be increasingly important:
> socialization at bars/restaurants (-13%), movies/theatres (-12%).
> Therefore, advertising messages related to “staying at home with
> family” (46%) were considered especially appropriate versus ones
> related to “going out/socializing” (19%).
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> Of all media, the profile of print readers will see the most drastic
> shift (need stat about younger demo). Young people will increase their
> news media consumption more than any other group, creating new
> opportunities for advertisers to reach this audience.
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>
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> AnxietyIndex from JWT: The Methodology
>
>
> initial wave of AnxietyIndex data was compiled the weekend of
> February 15th, 2003 with an on-line survey (Insight Express) of 500
> consumers, age 18 and over, across the United States. The statistical
> reliability is +/- 3.7%. The AnxietyIndex survey will be conducted
> every eight weeks for the next six months. For more detailed data,
> particularly as it relates to varying categories, please visit
> http://anxietyindex.jwt.com
>
>
>
>
> About JWT,
>
>
> J. Walter Thompson, an agency of WPP, (NASDAQ: WPPGY), ranks as the
> fourth largest advertising agency in the world and the second largest
> in the United States.
>
> # # #
>
>
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> ANTICIPATED CHANGES IN PURCHASING/BEHAVIOR
> Information (Newspapers/Magazines/TV) 36%
> Communication (Telephone/E-Mail) 25%
> Revisiting Investments 10%
> Purchasing Staples (Groceries/HBA/Drugs) 9%
> Purchasing Gasoline -7%
> Purchasing Fast Food -10%
> Purchasing Alcohol Beverages -11%
> Purchasing Cosmetic/Beauty Items -14%
> Going Out (Movies/Theater/Bar/Restaurant)-16%
> Purchasing/Shopping for Electronics/Appliances -23%
> Purchasing/Shopping for Jewelry -27%
> Purchasing/Shopping for a New Car -28%
> Traveling Outside the US -43%
>
>
> DURING A NATIONAL CRISIS…
> I appreciate a little humor in commercials 67%
> Commercials need to be sensitive to what people are feeling 62%
> Ads showing American patriotism make me feel better about sponsor
> 52%
> Commercials need to acknowledge the current crisis 31%
> I get angry with the sponsors of commercials 18%
> Commercials make me feel like everything will be OK 17%
> All advertising is inappropriate 11%
>
>
> News release index

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