Louisiana Department of Health - COVID-19 Campaign
As of June 15, 2020, Louisiana had reported 47,172 cases of COVID-19 with a death toll of 2,906 - putting Louisiana near the top of the lists for reported cases of and death toll per capita. As the state began to slowly reopen, the Office of Public Health approached Zehnder and other partnering agencies about developing a statewide awareness campaign. It would center on education and behavioral changes with regards to masking, social distancing and contact tracing, as these remain the most effective methods for reducing the spread of the virus. Although the state was slowly reopening, a new normal was already evident. Louisianans had to take ownership and put these methods into place.
Rather than simply serving up a general PSA, Zehnder worked to create a movement that would give people a sense of ownership. Our mixture of vibrant photography, videography and illustrations made the visuals both attention-grabbing and relatable. As a contraction of “You” and “All,” Y’all was the perfect combination of the individual and collective identity being addressed by this initiative. “Mask Up, Y’all” is playful without being silly, smart without pointing fingers. It offered a familiar, friendly and conversational tone that avoided being authoritarian or preachy. It presented the message directly and showcased Louisianans’ remarkable ability to get through adversity together while expressing their own uniqueness.
To bring our initiative to life, we developed 30 and 15-second commercials for broadcast and social. Instead of actors, these featured a range of authentic Louisiana citizens from all walks of life – restaurant owners, non-profit executive directors, influencers, grandparents and musicians. Their various masks served as the focal point, showing off each person’s individuality while creating a strong sense of unity. The friendly tone turns the positive attention toward Louisianans themselves – demonstrating how this is a state filled with communities that take action to look out for one another.
In support of the video spots, we created a series of outdoor boards to reinforce the call for everyone to “mask up.” The boards featured a single Louisianan, each from a different walk of life. Their colorful masks not only attracted more attention, but also helped showcase each person’s distinct personality. Apart from the straightforward call to action, the secondary message was clear: while joining the effort, you can still stand out as an individual – we’re all doing our part. For people that were out and about in the community, this provided a strong reminder about how a simple precaution can have such effective results in containing the spread.
To get the message out digitally, our series of social posts complemented the video spots by further demonstrating how wearing a mask can help allow locals to get back to all their favorite activities. In turn, our online banners focused on promoting acceptance of and willingness to participate in contact tracing as another means of preventing the spread. Contact tracing has actually been around for a long time but is still a relatively new concept to the general public. These banners provided a toll-free number that people could call to learn about being alerted if someone they’d been in contact with had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Louisiana Department of Health implemented pre-and-post primary research to evaluate success of the COVID-19 Masking and Contact Tracing Initiative. Overall, on all measures, awareness, impact and recall of campaign saw significant increases.
In just initial 3 months of the campaign, 77% of respondents claimed to be informed about threat of COVID-19
As a result of the contact tracing awareness initiative, respondents noted saving the contact tracing phone number in their contacts for easy identification
Primary research conducted both pre and post campaign, showed a 5-fold increase in respondents using the campaign phrase “Mask Up Ya’ll”