SXSW 2022

Using Agile Research to Move the “Movable Middle”


“Polarization” is core to many current news narratives, which focus on how Americans retreat to like-minded “tribes," people ensconced in bubbles with their own set of “facts.” While polarization is real, it's misconstrued. It’s not half of the American public versus the other half. It’s 20% of vocal advocates on both the left and right. In between are the “moveable middle” majority. Identifying and communicating to the “movable middle” is at the heart of what the Ad Council does to move public attitudes and behaviors at scale on critical social and health issues, including controversial ones like welcoming immigrants, LGBTQ acceptance, and COVID vaccine confidence. Agile, empathetic, actionable audience research is key to enabling campaigns to drive social impact.

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  1. Understand how the Ad Council defines the “movable middle” and why and how to move them on issues.
  2. Hear how the Ad Council uses agile research platforms to inform and refine creative and messaging with this specific audience.
  3. Learn from specific campaign case studies how insights gained from rapid iterative testing allowed the Ad Council to pivot quickly for greater impact.


  • Rachelle Reeder, Vice President, Strategy & Evaluation, The Ad Council
  • Catherine Chao, Vice President, Strategy & Evaluation at Ad Council, The Ad Council


Anastasia Goodstein, SVP, Digital Product Management, The Ad Council

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Presentation
  • Track: Advertising & Brand Experience
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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