We are living in uncertain times, but one thing is certain: the better we understand audiences, the better we can serve their needs and wants as marketers. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Nine has launched and conducts a fortnightly consumer sentiment poll to understand how we can help brands connect with our audiences in 2020.  

Nine. Where Australia Connects. 


Consumer Pulse is undertaken via short online surveys conducted fortnightly with Nine’s audiences - across linear television, 9Now and digital properties (and network sites), plus readers of news mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review (print + digital) and listeners of Nine Radio stations (2GB, 3AW, 4BC, 6PR, 2UE, 4BH, 6GT and Magic).

Capturing the mood

Week 23 - commencing October 13, 2020

Headline Sentiments

“Very much a roller coaster. Sometimes an antidote is close and then it’s a year away.”

“Just saw the budget report. Seriously?”

“I am still feeling cautious about the virus. We will not dine out until vaccines are available.”

“Hopeful that borders will open again across Australia.”

This week's hot topics

Tile_1_Financial Review

Extending the deficit

87% of Financial Review readers agree with the decision to extend the deficit to aid Australia’s economic recovery.


Lift from recession

52% of SMH readers think the federal budget did not include enough measures to lift Australia out of recession (18% agree).

Rugby Championship

Life unchanged

68% of 9Nation viewers feel they personally fared the same in Tuesday night's Federal Budget (15% felt worse off, 17% better off).


US developments

41% of The Age readers think Donald Trump’s offhand response to contracting COVID-19 will affect his chances of being re-elected.


Footy finals

68% of 3AW listeners say they are still following the AFL finals even though they’re not in Melbourne.


Queensland election

78% of 4BC listeners say economic management is the most important issue at the State election.

Concern falling, slight wobble in mood

The national mood has been trending upward for the last five weeks but saw a small drop this week, with hope and optimism receding slightly. Recurring outbreaks, continuing economic impacts and uncertainty about restrictions and border closures appear to be tempering the mood. Despite this, concerns regarding the COVID-19 situation continued to decline.  

Mood tracker: Net positive vs net negative mood

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Concern tracker: Percentage feeling 'very / extremely concerned'

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Positive sentiment remains strong across a large portion of our audiences, with many looking forward to reuniting with family and friends and being able to regain some normality once COVID is under control: 

“Hopeful to begin travelling again, within Australia first, then to NZ or Norfolk Island or both, then within a year holiday overseas.”

“I am optimistic about keeping my job after the budget.”

“That there will be more people realising that doing the right thing will bring COVID-19 under control”

“That I might be able to see family members interstate, hopefully in the next couple of months.”

However, while many are optimistic, reservations remain: 

“I feel hopeful that a semi-normal summer is possible. I feel hesitant that after almost two weeks of no cases in NSW we have a sudden spike again. I really hope this is not another wave and I can feel comfortable living a sensible but regular existence.”

Increasing appetite for finance content

The change in weather is bringing about changes in behaviour:  

  • More than 1 in 4 are spending more time outdoors 
  • More than 1 in 6 are doing more exercise compared to last month 

At the same time, audiences continue to make the most of their time at home – top activities being done ‘more than last month include cooking, watching streamed and broadcast TV, using digital services and doing DIY projects

Activities done more in the last week vs last month

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Spending considerations: Rationalising purchases

We asked audiences about their approach to spending decisions and top considerations. There were some common themes across audience groups – key considerations include:

  • Rational, budget-conscious drivers of value, price and replacements (acknowledging that “value” holds different meanings for different people)
  • Supporting Australian businesses
  • Improving life, cheering up, treats and rewards


However, some considerations were more common to specific audiences:

AFR readers are more likely to mention “long-term value/investment” and “high quality”

SMH/Age readers are more likely to mention “sustainability/environmentally sound”

Nine Radio listeners are more likely to mention “Australian-made or owned” and “comfort”

9Nation viewers are more likely to mention “cheapest price” and “on sale/discounted”

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Other differences in considerations include:

  • Males: more likely to consider high quality, short-term/immediate needs and long-term value/investment 
  • Females: more likely to buy for others/to make others happy, consider sustainability/environmentally sound and cheer myself up 
  • 18-34s: more likely to look for cheapest price, purchases to improve physical or mental wellbeing 
  • 35-54s: more likely to consider value for money and Australian-made or owned 
  • 55+: more likely to support regional/rural areas, purchase for short-term/immediate needs and consider sustainable/environmentally sound purchases 

Contact your Nine advertising representative today

to hear how Nine’s marketing solutions can help you engage Australian consumers like never before.