YouTube is launching a global campaign with top creators, music artists and celebs urging people to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic — and watch YouTube videos.
The video platform has been promoting the hashtag #StayHome for the past several weeks. Now YouTube has lined up several big influencers and celebrities to promote the message to “Stay Home #WithMe” in a series of public-service announcements — including Emma Chamberlain, J Balvin, Venus Williams, Gordon Ramsay, Becky G, the Dolan Twins (Ethan and Grayson Dolan), Jessie J, Sebastián Yatra, Amber Scholl, Phil DeFranco, Hayley Kiyoko, Conan Gray and Hailee Steinfeld.
As part of the campaign, YouTube launched a mashup PSA video featuring creators including Chamberlain, Rudy Mancuso, Vlog Brothers (John Green and Hank Green), Casey Neistat, Jordyn Taylor, elloitsangela, Yungblud, Connor Franta, and Yoga With Adriene.
Chamberlain, a popular 18-year-old vlogger, said in a statement provided to Variety, “I am participating in the Stay Home #WithMe campaign with YouTube because it’s so important for us to work together to keep each other safe.” (Watch her PSA at this link.)
She added, “Growing up as an only child made me feel isolated at times, and YouTube was a distraction that allowed me to feel less alone. I hope it can do the same for people now. I’m doing my best to create content that will uplift people during this confusing and scary time… We are there for each other even when we aren’t physically together, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
According to YouTube, “#WithMe” videos have spiked in popularity during the COVID-19 outbreak. Daily views of videos that have “#WithMe” in the title have increased seven-fold since March 15, compared with the daily average in 2020 before then, according to YouTube
Watch other Stay Home #With Me spots from J Balvin, Alonzo Lerone, Dolan Twins, Philip DeFranco, Amber Scholl, Venus Williams, Jim Gaffigan, Jessie J, Bazzi, Hayley Kiyoko, Conan Gray and Hailee Steinfeld.
Adriene Mishler, of the Yoga With Adriene channel, said she’s turned down some requests to participate in promotional campaigns but agreed to work with YouTube on the #WithMe initiative because she thinks it can make a difference. “I jumped on the opportunity because I think it’s useful,” said Mishler, who’s based in Austin, Texas. Yoga With Adriene will debut a new video April 5 covering “yoga for vulnerability” as part of the campaign.
Watch YouTube’s #StayHome and help save lives #WithMe” PSA:
According to YouTube, video uploads with “at home” in the title increased over 50% from March 10-15 compared with the average daily uploads year-to-date in 2020 prior to March 10.
Separately, YouTube lined up interviews with Dr. Anthony Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who’s become well known as a result of the COVID-19 crisis — with Lilly Singh, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, Phil DeFranco and Dr. Mikhail Varshavski (“Doctor Mike”).
Also as part of responding to the crisis, YouTube has launched a COVID-19 “news shelf” on its homepage in the U.S., U.K., Europe and other countries, stocked with videos from sources including ABC News, BBC News, CNN and the New York Times.
YouTube also this week announced that it will temporarily stream video in lower-quality standard-definition (SD) format worldwide, in an effort to conserve bandwidth and reduce strain on internet networks. Users are still able to watch content in HD (if available) by manually switching the settings.