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Ad Council Research Institute
Ad Council Research Institute
Brands, nonprofits and government agencies come to the Ad Council for our knowledge, expertise and assistance in communicating the right message by the right messengers through the right channels to ignite public action in this ever-changing climate. The core tenet of our work is and has always been research, as it’s vital to first understand the public’s knowledge and attitudes in order to move them to act.

Our Focus

Building upon years of research expertise, ACRI works with brand, corporate and nonprofit partners and clients in four ways:


We conduct research to gain a deeper understanding of the public’s perceptions, attitudes and willingness
to act on key social issues.


We develop and test messaging and narratives for social good campaigns and corporate philanthropic initiatives.


We help build new knowledge on the role influencers or trusted messengers (such as online ambassadors, athletes, artists, celebrities, faith and community leaders and content creators) can play to move the public to act.


We identify key performance indicators for communications initiatives, and the tools through which to measure, assess and optimize them over time.

Signature Public Study

Time to Talk Study

Brands have the platform and reach to play a helpful role in generating broader mental health awareness … but should they?
July 12, 2024

Our 2024 Research Agenda

Each year, ACRI defines areas of clear need for communications research. This agenda reflects key topics and issues affecting Americans and where deeper insights on target audiences, communication and messaging, and trusted messengers would help marketers at brands, causes and government agencies excel in their work. These areas also reflect our focus in the coming year beyond ACRI’s public and private studies with partners.

Within our agenda, we envision creating action-oriented communications insights, reports and toolkits with recommendations for the field, including:

  • Knowledge benchmarks by target audiences
  • Beliefs, bias and attitudes to address
  • Individual, family and peer engagement approach
  • Messaging do’s and don’ts by topic
  • Persuasive message frames, phrases and terminology
  • Motivating calls-to-action by population segment
  • Sentiment and perception analysis of climate actions and impact
  • Trusted messengers and most influential in nudging the public to act

For recent examples of our work, see our studies on Extreme Risk Protection Orderssubstance use disorderstrust in the voting process and more.

Signature ACRI Poll

Pulse: Gun Violence in America

As the leading cause of death among children and teens ages 1-17, what are Americans’ perceptions of gun violence in the U.S.?
February 23, 2024


Together we can do so much. Let’s talk about how we can partner to help change the world.