With a global Millennial & Gen Z population of roughly 64%, governmental groups around the world are leveraging trendsetting social leaders to educate, calm, and guide audience responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’ve curated a two-part blog series to first share the most interesting and outstanding government responses that reach Millennials and Gen Zers, a majority population group, and second, to provide analysis on which strategies were effective and which were not. The following information is arranged based on geographic area.
Bangladesh’s Information & Communications Ministry* launched a #CalmCOVID19 campaign, encouraging audiences to stay home and help flatten the curve to save lives. The country partnered with hundreds of nano and micro-influencers in the region to reach the country’s 54% Millennial and Gen Z audiences. Posts featured heartfelt messages from influencers about why, or who, they are choosing to “stay home for”. Although Bangladesh is relatively new to influencer marketing, the social good campaign generated engagement that’s close to three times higher than what most campaigns in the West see.
The initiative was the inaugural campaign launched through the ICT Ministry’s new Influencer Advisory Council of 5,000 pre-vetted influencer social leaders, which is funded by National Bank Limited, the oldest bank in Bangladesh. The country’s investment in influencer partnerships and engagement points to future plans to work with influencers to support economic growth and social developments.
*in partnership with XOMAD
Vietnam has launched multiple social media campaigns to combat COVID-19.
When the virus first attracted media attention, many Vietnamese citizens, including a handful of celebrities, shared misinformation about COVID-19 on social media. In response, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and Ministry of Communications & Information partnered with influencer marketing agency IGV Group, to launch a government-sponsored TikTok account campaign educating citizens on COVID-19. The Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health also partnered with UNICEF to launch the #ONhaVanVui (#StayingHomeIsFun) campaign, which included a series of hashtags for everyday activities to do at home such as cooking (#onhanoitro), exercising (#onhakhoemanh), and learning (#onhahocbai), to name a few.
In addition, Ho Chi Minh City choreographer, Quang Đăng, created the #GhenCoVyChallenge which exhibits a dance that details thorough hand washing techniques, to the V-Pop hit “Ghen”. After the challenge went viral, a local lyricist teamed up with Vietnam’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to revise the lyrics and encourage listeners to limit visiting crowded places as well.
Initiated by the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, Switzerland activated its #soschützenwiruns campaign, which roughly translates to “this is how we protect ourselves.” Micro and macro influencers posted images and videos to educate audiences that staying home helps protect vulnerable groups, and reduces the strain on the healthcare system.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin, in partnership with PING Helsinki and National Emergency Supply Agency member Mediapool, created the #faktaakorona or #faktaakoronasta campaign, which translates to “corona facts” or “facts about corona”, respectively. The campaign onboarded volunteers to help educate audiences about the virus, and stop the dissipation of false information.
Influencers were provided a checklist to help them notice their own biases and ensure messaging is accurate. Some key points included: “Always mention the source of the information”, and “Critically evaluate whether the pictures or videos in the story are in the right context”.
To demonstrate the country’s solidarity and support for essential workers, the U.K. implemented the #ClapForOurCarers campaign, whereby citizens across the country clap for front line workers every Thursday night until the lockdown is lifted.
And, to help combat deadly miscommunications from a global perspective, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is distributing $630,000 in funding to H2H network, which consists of approximately 50 organisations that provide services to support humanitarian and emergency action worldwide. H2H previously fought misinformation during the Ebola outbreak, and they are now working to limit the global and regional impact of COVID-19 by creating and monitoring content that is accessible to the broader community.
H2H, in partnership with outside organizations such as WHO, have set aside funding for social media influencers to distribute accurate information to their audience, and more specifically, to direct Gen Z and Millennials in Southeast Asia and Africa to official public health advice.
Jordan’s Ministry of Culture, in partnership with Egyptian agency ECOCOMM, teamed up with influencers and celebrities to launch an awareness campaign video that urged audiences to stay home and stay safe. The video featured key steps for personal hygiene in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, as well as tips for how children can be productive during social distancing.
New York City
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the #IStayHomeFor campaign to encourage New Yorkers to stay home and practice social distancing. The campaign recruited celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodrieguez to reach the widest audience possible.
NYC also activated the #USAStopTheSpread campaign in coordination with Partnership For New York City and ad agency, Devito Verdi. The campaign implemented micro-influencers across the city and surrounding areas to educate New Yorkers about the virus, encourage good hygiene, and highlight the importance of staying home.
Updated: Governor Cuomo kicked off the “Wear a Mask New York Contest” earlier this month to encourage creatives to submit a 30-second PSA about the importance of wearing a mask in public. The winning ad comes courtesy of female-founded production company, Bunny Lake Films, in partnership with directors Celine Danhier and Aliya Naumoff.
Mayor Marty Walsh recruited stars from local, professional sports teams in the City of Boston to post public service announcements regarding staying at home and social distancing. Under the hashtag #RootingForBoston, the campaign has included celebrities such as New England Patriots star receiver Julian Edelman and Boston Celtics All-Star forward Jason Tatum.
The mayor’s office enacted the #WeAreNotPlaying campaign in partnership with Chicago’s professional sports teams, including the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Fire, Red Stars, Sky, and White Sox. Sports stars communicated public service announcements about the seriousness of the virus on jumbotrons around the city, and highlighted the impact residents can make on others’ lives by staying indoors.
In early November, Mayor Cantell hosted an influencer roundtable to create an informal collective of musicians, artists, influencers, and local business leaders. With the rise of COVID-19 in March, she recruited this collective to promote staying at home and best hygiene practices.
State of Ohio
Governor DeWine reached out to local corporations and businesses, one of which was heavy hitter consumer goods staple Procter and Gamble. P&G recruited ohio-based macro TikTok influencer, Charli D’Amelio, who created the #DistanceDance.
With governments harnessing the power and influence of social leaders across the globe, marketers are provided opportunities to make an impact on social good initiatives spanning health, education, technology, and the environment. As the effectiveness of influencer marketing makes global headlines, one can be sure to anticipate a second wave of influencer marketing that is even stronger, more strategic, and more impactful than ever before.