The findings on this site are based on a mixed-method research approach: 1) social listening; and 2) quantitative online survey.

Method 1: Social Listening

Objective: This research method will uncover the ongoing COVID-19 conversations taking place online across the nation in order to identify the areas of greatest need and hone in on shifting social trends.

Details: Online conversations are captured on a weekly basis, starting on January 1, 2020, by way of Talkwalker, a leading social listening and analytics platform. Through a weekly review of query topics defined within the areas of focus, the ongoing analysis seeks to uncover the sentiment and expressions behind American needs and interests.

Method 2: Quantitative Analysis (Online Survey)

Objective: This research method is designed to identify the areas of greatest need as expressed by a panel representing the American public. This phase was also designed to validate findings from the social listening phase by clarifying the correlation and connection between the social conversation and the real needs of the American public.


Week 1 and 2 Report:

In partnership with C+R Research, a leading independent full-service marketing insights agency, the Ad Council surveys a nationally representative population of 1,000 English-speaking adults ages 18+ across the United States each week, and to date has fielded waves among non-overlapping samples from April 3 to April 5, 2020 and April 10 to April 12, 2020. This study was conducted to measure Americans’ perceptions and needs as it relates to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The 10-minute survey was administered online, and the age, gender, ethnicity, region, household composition and income of respondents were matched to U.S. Census statistics. (Note: The margin of error for a sample of 1,000 respondents is +/- 3.1 percentage points at 95% confidence).

Demographic Profile: N= 1000 respondents

N= 1,000 respondents

The subgroups are targeted at:  

  • 48%: Male
  • 52%: Female
  • Age 18-24: 8%
  • Age 25-34: 17%
  • Age 35-44: 18%
  • Age 45-54: 17%
  • Age 55-64: 17%
  • Age 65+: 23%
  • South: 38%
  • West: 22%
  • Midwest: 21%
  • Northeast: 19%
  • White/Caucasian: 66%
  • Hispanic: 15%
  • Black/African American: 9%
  • Asian: 7%
  • Other: 3%
  • Children under 18 in household: 28%
  • No children under 18 in household: 72%
  • Less than $50K annual income: 39%
  • $50K - $99.9 annual income: 34%
  • $100K+ annual income: 26%

Special Report:

The Ad Council then surveyed a second, non-overlapping sample of 1,000 adults from April 10-12, 2020. From April 10-12, 2020, the Ad Council also surveyed oversamples of n=100 African-American adults 18+ with household incomes (HHI) under $50,000, and n=100 English-speaking Hispanic respondents with HHI under $50,000, to augment existing sample of low-income African-American and Hispanic respondents already present in the general sample. Net base sizes for low-income African American and Hispanic respondents totaled n=173, for each group.

Demographic Profile: N= 1,000 respondents (per week); plus augment interviews of n=100 African-American adults 18+ with HHI under $50,000, and n=100 English-speaking Hispanic adults 18+ with HHI under $50,000.