Some of the nation’s biggest media outlets and the White House are readying a blitz of public-service messages aimed at getting Americans to take as many steps as possible to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a campaign orchestrated by the Ad Council, the non-profit organization that has helped to craft some of the nation’s best-known cause-related promotions, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, iHeartMedia, The Atlantic and Disney/ABC Television will create advertising that advises consumers about social distancing, steps that can be taken to protect the public, and more. As is typical of public-service efforts, the media outlets will donate advertising inventory for the campaigns.
The efforts involve not only The White House, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
NBCUniversal has created a series of digital videos and social-media graphics in both English and Spanish that inform high-risk populations about the steps they can take to protect themselves and the public against the spread of coronavirus. The PSAs are available beginning today. Meanwhile, new public-service messages featuring the Surgeon General will be made available to local TV stations and tell Americans the best ways they can protect themselves and others. The script for those efforts was developed by Group SJR and will be available for media companies to use in tandem with local health officials.
ViacomCBS is launching a campaign led by MTV and the parent company’s entertainment and youth-oriented media outlets that centers around the importance of social distancing and will run itacross the media company’s portfolio of assets. Walt Disney/ABC Television is working on messages for parents and families that it will distribute across its media properties. The Atlantic is developing digital messages that offer access to information. iHeartMedia will support messages built around social distancing and high-risk populations across its network of radio stations.
The Ad Council has been instrumental in organizing efforts that include the decades-long campaign that uses Smokey the Bear to prevent forest fires; the iconic “Keep America Beautiful” ad featuring a crying Native American; McGruff the Crime Dog; and Vince and Larry, two talking crash-test dummies who urge consumers to wear safety belts when they drive.