Forethought Mind and Mood Pulse – June/July 2021
Forethought has been observing the increasing stability of Australian’s sense of Normality since March 2020 and hypothesising that we had achieved ‘The New Normal’, when the NSW infection rates started to climb rapidly.
OUR SENSE OF NORMALITY FALLS 19% TO LOWEST POINT SINCE OCTOBER 20 AS NSW LEADS US BACK INTO LOCKDOWNS
Earlier this week, Forethought went into field to track the changes in the mind and mood of Australians as we all watched the worsening situation in NSW (and now in Victoria). To be frank, we are staggered at the magnitude of decline in our sense of Normality. From March through to late June 2021, in a period relatively free of lockdowns, we have been tracking at over 80% Normality. But overnight as Sydney moved from light lockdown to tighter lockdown our national sense of Normality has plummeted to 66%. We haven’t seen this low a score since the mid 2020 when Victoria was in extended lockdown.
In this second year of Covid it is becoming clear that it is the impact of lockdowns on our lives that is the most important driver of both mind and mood. In the first year we had clear concerns and anxiety about the nature and impact of the disease itself. Our governments, both Federal and State, were very successful in providing the necessary health and economic tactics to help us to reorient ourselves to a way of life that supported both Lives and Livelihoods. And this worked.
Our longer term hope was that vaccination would enable us to re-open both national and international borders. So far this hasn’t been achieved and with the emergence of new and more infectious forms of Covid our lives continue to be rudely interrupted by sudden and unpredictable lockdowns.
Consequently, we also saw that Australians now feel that life is worse than it was a year ago. The exception was Victoria which may relate to the different lockdown experience in that state. We also observed a significant increase in anger in this read. We are still anxious but are now increasingly feeling angry at the situation. And our distrust of the Federal Government continues to decline and is now equal to our distrust of the Banking sector during the Hayne Royal Commission.
For businesses this means being very alert to this mood in the community – in our workplaces as well as our market places and ensuring that our actions and communications are empathic and useful.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING
In this environment the Federal Government has released three advertisements to catalyse action on vaccination. Two of the three (Nick Coastworth Two Shots and Arm Yourself) failed to elicit even a flicker of the emotional stimulation required to trigger behavioural change. However the third advertisement, Intensive Care Unit, activates a primal dread with significant activation of anger, anxiety, shame and sadness. Which was the right outcome, as NSW respondents viewing that ad had a 24% increased likelihood of booking a vaccination. However, 76% of these same respondents did not believe that they could access a vaccination. So the Government has triggered action but is not able to provide the solution – they have no supply.
The question now is where will people direct their unresolved anger?
To find out more, download the full report above.