'Don't accidentally kill someone,' Oregon COVID-19 ads warn
Oregon launched a dramatic new campaign Saturday urging people to stay home in order to avoid spreading coronavirus.
Healthcare workers, Gov. Kate Brown and other officials have expressed frustration as Oregonians flouted pleas for people to stay home, including canceling spring break travel plans over the last week, in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The virus causes COVID-19, a disease that in some cases can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome. Brown on Monday ordered people to stay home except for essential activities such as grocery shopping.
A central message of the ads, which will appear on television, radio, on social media, and online: "Don't accidentally kill someone." That message, in bold black letters against a yellow background, is featured in one of the videos. The video contains no dialogue, instead focusing on the sounds of medical equipment used to keep someone with COVID-19 breathing.
This and the other ads featured in the "stay home, save lives" campaign were developed by the Oregon Health Authority, other public health workers and the Portland-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy which did the work on a pro-bono basis.
"We are facing an unprecedented crisis," the governor said in a press release Saturday morning. "The single most important thing each of us can do to protect our community and frontline workers, and to save lives right now, is stay home."
The director of Oregon's public health agency, Patrick Allen, pointed out that recent computer modeling to predict the spread of coronavirus in Oregon suggests hospitals in the state might be able to handle the increase in patients over the next month — but only if nine out of 10 Oregonians stay home.
That optimistic scenario would "give our health care system time to ramp up and get ready to meet the serious threat COVID-19 poses to Oregon," Allen said.
Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin, executive creative directors at Wieden+Kennedy Portland, said in a joint statement that they created the ads with the governor "because we don't want to look back and wish we had done more ... This campaign provides clarity and conviction around what staying at home means — and how we all have a role to play to help our community."
A second video in the campaign focuses on a variety of workers, including healthcare and grocery store employees, who are continuing to work in essential frontline jobs where they are at higher risk of being exposed to coronavirus.
Oregonians can reduce the burden on the healthcare system, and decrease the community spread of coronavirus in public places such as grocery stores, by avoiding all discretionary social contact.
"They're out there for you, stay home for them," the ad's narrator says.
Wieden+Kennedy also has a paid contract with the state's travel bureau, Travel Oregon.
This article was provided to Pamplin Media Group by The Oregonian/OregonLive, a news partner of the Portland Tribune for coronavirus coverage.
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