New York, NY, June 15, 2021 – The Ad Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), today launched a series of public service announcements (PSAs) emphasizing the importance of mask wearing until you’re vaccinated. The campaign, supported by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, is an extension of the national “Mask Up America” campaign, which throughout the pandemic has aimed to increase compliance and acceptance of wearing masks and face coverings as one of the main prevention behaviors in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, and including vaccination, social distancing, and hand washing.
In early May, the CDC eased a number of mask guidelines, stating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay six feet apart from others in most settings. While America is currently in a sprint to get 70% of U.S. adults at least one shot by July 4th, roughly 50% of the US population still has not received at least one dose. For these individuals, it is still critical for them to continue masking up until vaccinated in order to protect themselves and loved ones from COVID-19. For the most current recommendations and guidance on face masks, visit https://www.cdc.gov/masks. (CDC).
Developed by creative agencies Colle McVoy and SKDK, the PSAs use a combination of humor, sports and social gatherings to encourage Americans to continue wearing masks until they’ve been fully vaccinated.
“At such a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and as many people are unsure about whether or not to continue masking up, these PSAs are a needed reminder for those who have not yet gotten vaccinated to keep wearing a mask until they do,” says Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman. “We’re grateful to our partners at Colle McVoy and SKDK for creating such important and entertaining films that will inspire and protect people across the country.”
The 30-second spots, called “Book Club,” “Concert” and “Swim” emphasize the importance of wearing a mask in certain situations as the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from getting and spreading the virus. The “Mask Up America” PSAs use milestone events, such as the upcoming Olympic Games, live concerts and indoor gatherings with friends to show how we can all get back to the things we love if we do our part and continue to mask up in order to stay safe and vigilant in certain situations. Rowdy Gaines, Olympic gold medalist and member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, voiced the “Swim” PSA and will serve as an announcer at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“We are proud to partner with the Ad Council. Their leadership over the past year in bringing the public important messages about COVID has been essential to the pandemic recovery we are now experiencing,” said Hilary Rosen, Vice Chair, SKDK, creator of the “Swim” spot. “But, until we’re all vaccinated, let’s still mask up and not mess around.”
“As we start to see the pandemic wane, people are tired of hearing emotional pleas to mask up, so we creatively flipped the script and gave people permission to be selfish, but the best kind of selfish,” said Christine Fruechte, CEO, Colle McVoy, creator of the “Book Club” and “Concert” spots directed by Hannah Levy of SNL fame. “The PSAs remind us that we all have the power to keep our world moving and get back to what we love more quickly.”
In addition to the three PSAs, media platforms and influencers are using their channels to further amplify the “Mask Up America” message. SXM Media’s Studio Resonate has developed a series of audio PSAs and companion banner that will run in targeted donated media. WNBA star Elena Delle Donne and actress Isabella Gomez (One Day at a Time) are creating content. Since its launch in July 2020, the “Mask Up America” campaign, with spots from WarnerMedia and PSAs created in partnership with Governor Cuomo’s office, has received more than one billion impressions across $17.8 million in donated, earned and shared media.
"Even as more people are vaccinated, the pandemic continues to evolve, so it's still critical to know the best tools for protecting ourselves and our loved ones,” said Eileen O’Connor, Senior Vice President of The Rockefeller Foundation and member of the Ad Council’s Advisory Committee. “The Rockefeller Foundation remains committed to ensuring that Americans across the country are equipped with the latest information. The Ad Council’s newest PSAs play a crucial and creative role in this, showing us how to stay safe and wear masks until getting vaccinated.”
Created in partnership and with funding provided by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the PSAs will air in donated broadcast, digital and audio media time and space across the country. The “Concert” spot is available in both English and Spanish, and the “Swim” and “Book Club” spots are available in English. To download the assets, please visit www.adcouncil.org.
About The Ad Council
The Ad Council has a long history of creating life-saving public service communications in times of national crisis, starting in the organization’s earliest days during World War II to September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Its deep relationships with media outlets, the creative community, issue experts and government leaders make the organization uniquely poised to quickly distribute life-saving information to millions of Americans.
The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation’s most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.
The Ad Council’s innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter and view the creative on YouTube.
SKDK is a top national communications and consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue or winning an election.
In 2020, SKDK was a key member of the Biden for President campaign with Anita Dunn serving as Senior Advisor and the firm leading the campaign’s direct mail and vote by mail operations. The influential Holmes Report once again named SKDK as the North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year in 2019, following wins in 2015, 2016, and 2018. To learn more about SKDK, visit our website at www.skdknick.com.
About Colle McVoy
Colle McVoy is a full-service creative agency that leads brands to their next. We combine purpose, innovation and experience in new ways to give businesses a competitive advantage. We bring this approach to a diverse collection of client partners, including 3M, AccuWeather, The Ad Council, AGCO, Anytime Fitness, Associated Bank, Burnett Dairy, CHS, Children’s Health, Credit Sesame, CrossCountry Mortgage, Cub Cadet, Deluxe Corporation, Elanco, Florida’s Natural, Houston White, Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism, Land O'Lakes, Medtronic, Minnesota United FC, Optum, REAL System, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, Schwan’s Home Delivery, Target, UnitedHealth Group, U.S. Bank and Vermont Creamery, among others. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Colle McVoy has been named a Best Place to Work by Ad Age, Outside magazine and the Star Tribune. For more information, visit collemcvoy.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation to enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We work to promote the well-being of humanity and make opportunity universal. Our focus is on scaling renewable energy for all, stimulating economic mobility, and ensuring equitable access to healthy and nutritious food. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.
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