Responses by Barry Frey, president/chief executive officer, DPAA Global
Background: Presently, we realize that there are no vaccines and no specific cures for COVID-19. The only way to change the course of this virus is to change human action. The power of our screens can be targeted, and sending digital messages in a fast and effective manner can affect this change.
Reasoning: Digital out-of-home screens have a unique ability to reach and influence people when they are out and about, so we saw a great opportunity to utilize these screens for the public good. We are the Countervirus harnesses the power of digital OOH on a global scale, and uses the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Protection messaging in an impactful way to share information on slowing the spread of COVID-19 by providing clear steps to flatten the curve. With people still out in specific places like highways, food markets, pharmacies and more, we are telling people who are out to go inside—and those who need to be out to keep their distance.
Challenges: The timeline was the biggest challenge. Time was of the essence, and the pressure was on for Madwell to quickly develop creative, and for The Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA) to enlist its members to participate. Happily, given the urgency of the situation, this campaign was able to come together swiftly and can now be seen around the globe, and at iconic locations such as Times Square and Piccadilly Circus.
Favorite details: I am incredibly proud of our members and teams at DPAA and Madwell for stepping up to make this campaign happen. People’s true characters come out in times of crisis, and our collective response to this terrible pandemic makes me honored to be working with such an outstanding group of individuals and companies.
Specific demands: Time sensitivity was the single biggest demand that hovered over all of us as we worked to create and launch the campaign.
Anything new: It’s not so much about learning something new, as much as it was about reinforcing our belief that media—out-of-home and others—play an essential role in conveying critical information to the public.