Crisis Tracker: Ukraine

22 April 2022


The events of 2020 made it clear that there is no longer such a thing as an “isolated crisis.” Deeply interconnected and in constant communion, different countries’ exposure to social, economic, and political challenges is no longer limited by borders or local institutions. Instead, crisis seems to flow between us in a cascade of interlocking emergencies, from public health to political conflict, from rising mental health issues to economic inequality and beyond.

In response to the current events in Ukraine and Russia, McCann Worldgroup’s Truth Central has launched a new research methodology called the Crisis Tracker. This first tracker aims to provide some guidance for brands on how to best respond to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Its aim is to provide brands with a deeper understanding of what it means to be human in the face of crisis, how they can show up for people, and ultimately, what role they can play in offering relief or solutions. They have identified a series of roles that brands can play in moments of crisis, providing marketers with a roadmap to resilience, recovery and renewal.

Preliminary findings from the first wave of the Crisis Tracker (fielded between March 8-14, 2022, in US, UK, China, Brazil, India, Mexico, Germany, Poland, and Romania) reveal some key themes:

Is “Crisis” the New Normal?
Crisis no longer feels like a discrete, one-off state. A cascade of intersecting crises just as the world begins to rebuild from the pandemic has left many feeling that there is no end in sight.

The Role of Crisis in Bridging the Empathy Gap
From the depths of crisis, we see a rising galvanizing energy around actions which seek to bring people together and bridge divides of conflicts past.

Navigating the Human Phases of Crisis
Introducing the Crisis Index Model to help us understand how people in individual countries are advancing through a cycle of behaviors and emotions triggered by the current crisis in Ukraine.

We’re (Mostly) Screwed, But I’m (Mostly) Fine
Globally, people are far more optimistic about their personal lives than they are about the mood of the world, and this dichotomy has only become more pronounced in recent weeks.

The Great Reappraisal
In states of crisis, trust in institutions rapidly deteriorates. All over the world, people are reconsidering what matters to them, how they feel about others, and what they’re willing to fight for moving forward.

The Age of Reassurance
In a world that feels increasingly chaotic, people are turning to brands for both reassurance and meaningful ways to “do their part,” often simultaneously.

The Cancel Culture Industrial Complex
Far beyond economic sanctions, countries around the world are waging a war of cultural exclusion against Russia whose consequences—particularly for Russian civilians—are yet to be fully understood.

Caught in the Content Crossfire
Many have professed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “the first war fought on social media.” As the information war continues, social media has evolved into a crucial battle ground that invites participation from users all over the world.

The New Gratefulness
Paradoxically, it is often in the face of unspeakable conflict and destruction that gratitude is most pronounced. Could this powerful emotion be the key to inspiring collective action?

Other Ways to Help
Included is a list of IPG vetted organizations if your teams or clients wish to make contributions.

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About Collective Intelligence

Collective Intelligence works closely with strategists, planners, creatives, media and engagement professionals, delivering research and thought leadership that helps IPG and its agency partners put creativity and human connections at the center of their work.

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