Ciceron Brief 5.16.20: Wave 2 of Resonate American Sentiment Research; Entertainment Industry in Flux

May 15, 2020

As anyone who’s worked with us for any amount of time knows, our nerd-to-cool kid ratio is pretty evenly split. I’d say the left and right brains have excellent representation. So when you give us a little extra time where we’re no longer on the road meeting with outstate clients or attending conferences, the researchers are gonna research. And the creators are gonna create.

Another thing you know about us is that we’ve hand selected a few data partners as our go-tos. One such partner is Resonate. Around six weeks ago, they issued the results of their first study into the American population’s sentiment towards a wide range of topics, from media usage to politics to economic trends and so on. They’ve just released their second wave of that research to benchmark changes in America’s hearts and minds. (As you may know, Resonate is a database of over 200M Americans who are surveyed continuously across a wide spectrum of topics. We use this data for modeling and driving our media segmentation and creative work at Ciceron.)

The second wave is interesting in many respects. First and foremost, from a media standpoint, the largest increase between Wave 1 and 2 is the doubling of growth in people’s adoption of streaming video services, from 9% to 18% over that short time period. As I’ve written ad nauseum on these posts, that’s created an advertising dynamic that is unique specifically to the pandemic — the increase in advertising inventory with not enough dollars flowing into them because of retracted spending. In fact, as I’ve also noted before, we predicted nearly a year ago that any upcoming retraction of the economy (at that time, we predicted a trade war would be the culprit) would accelerate the growth programmatic streaming video and audio, and that has in fact been the case, without question. The recommendation from us remains the same: IF you are comfortable with investing in media, the market for video (connected TV and the like) continues to be ripe for the taking.

The second insight into the Resonate research is that, despite the government’s keen interest in reopening the economy, people are simply not ready. No cajoling on the part of politicians will force people to take unnecessary risks. Digging one level deeper, Americans are much more trusting of their local government than the Federal government’s approach. Perhaps — and I’m just spitballing here — people can see through Washington’s desire to bolster their own election chances vs. the health of the population. To their credit, it’s certainly easier to talk wildly about reopening Main Street when you have no real plan for an existential health crisis. Again, just wildly speculating here.

Please DOWNLOAD the entire report. It’s fascinating stuff. I think you’ll take much away from it.


We’ve gone deep into consumer research into several key industries where our clients are well represented. Last week, Julie Verhulst, VP of Strategy, issued her first report on the health of the financial services market, and Friday, my crack entertainment team developed an excellent report on the entertainment industry, with a focus on music, gaming, and events. Both are great reports that synthesize research from a variety of credible sources, and I encourage you to read them whether you are in those industries or not. They’re quick reads that illuminate consumer behaviors that can be applied to your businesses everywhere.