In this public health crisis, advertising plays a key role in circulating important messages to reassure, advise and inform the general public. For all the unpleasant things the coronavirus pandemic has brought, it’s also teased out a human, helpful side to many brands, organisations and local authorities.
If you’re responsible for running a public health campaign, you need to make sure you do it responsibly and effectively. In this article, we suggest the best ways of advertising during COVID-19 to run a successful coronavirus health campaign.
How to create a public health campaign
Who’s your target?
With something as widespread as COVID-19, the target audience seems like it should be everyone – and it may well be. However, if your campaign has specific groups in mind (e.g. students, young people, elderly people) then these factors should also be considered. For example, young people may have different concerns, attitudes and priorities than older people during the pandemic, and so, if relevant, the campaign could be worked to address the target demographic.
Do your research
When running a coronavirus health campaign, research is imperative. With the situation changing day by day, you must ensure that your messages reflect the most up-to-date information from the government but also wider health organisations such as WHO. People are looking to your campaign to influence their behaviour and protect their health, so the information must be correct.
Watch your language
The world is tense at the moment, so there are a few things to bear in mind when considering how to advertise during COVID-19.
Instead, recent research is suggesting that a warm, helpful and human tone is one that audiences are responding to during this time. Of course, the urgency or importance of your messages should not be played down either. Also, trying to be comedic during a serious situation like this may cause offence or inadvertently push the public from taking it seriously.
It’s about getting the balance right.
Pin down the key messages
A cluttered campaign may result in audiences not stopping to read the messages. First, you should prioritise the key elements your campaign should convey – and then communicate them clearly and concisely. Highlight messages using effective, to-the-point copy and eye-catching graphics, if suitable. Remember, this information is important to public health and so creating a campaign that is memorable and emotive can go a long way with getting the messages to ‘stick’ with the audience. Creativity and concision are your best friends.
Add a local touch
Research reveals that more people are connecting with their local area during this time, and so, if it’s appropriate, you may wish to add a local flair to the campaign. This is also especially true on a practical level if your local area has specific guidelines or measures in place that may be different than the national – or maybe your organisation wants to push a certain aspect of COVID health and safety related to your local area.
Visibility is key
There is little point in putting effort into a campaign if it’s not visible to the general public. You therefore need to consider who will see it and when in order to achieve maximum impact.
The prime time that people need to be aware of their health and safety in relation to COVID-19 is when they are out and about. Therefore, out-of-home advertising, such as digital billboards, bus-stop adverts, roadside advertisements or shopping centre advertisements is an effective real-time platform to educate and inform the public about their responsibilities.
Clear Channel Direct have worked with councils, charities and brands across the country. We will work with your organisation to pinpoint the best OOH (out-of-home) locations for your advertising to ensure maximum reach. You may wish to create an associated online strategy to bolster and complement your out-of-home campaign, too.
The pandemic is changing all the time, and so the time-sensitive nature of your campaign should be considered by choosing the messaging wisely, and allowing it to be flexible or have relevance for several different scenarios. You should also consider the timing of your campaign, and how long it should run for to retain its relevance. The benefit of digital advertising is that it offers excellent flexibility for timing and dates, allowing you to target the campaign to be seen by your intended market.
Here at Clear Channel Direct, we’re the UK’s leading provider of prime OOH advertising spots across the UK. We’ve worked with a variety of brands, councils and organisations, giving them a platform to convey their key messages to the general public. It’s never been more important to communicate – so get in touch today to discover how our out-of-home advertising spaces can help your public health campaign.