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Hard Hitting Government Campaign Urges the UK to Stay at Home



Cross-agency collaboration between MullenLowe, OmniGOV, freuds, MMC and 23red
 features hospital staff and Covid-19 patients to remind the public of the extreme pressures still facing the NHS

Hard Hitting Government Campaign Urges the UK to Stay at Home

The UK Government has launched a new hard-hitting campaign which acts as a reminder to the public of the extreme pressures faced by frontline workers during the pandemic and pleads with the nation to stay at home. With a shift in tone, the new campaign features raw footage and honest testimonials of patients who have Covid-19 and staff who are working around the clock to look after them at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. 

The campaign aims to reach as many people as possible, with a new TV advert documenting the emotion of the NHS staff and Covid-19 patients. It will first air tonight (Friday 22nd January) at 20.50 and 22.25 on Channel 4, and between 20.45 - 21.45 on ITV. The advert challenges the public to question their actions and it ends by asking “Look them in the eyes and tell them you are doing all you can to stop the spread of Covid-19”?

It will also run across radio, OOH, digital, print and social with poignant still imagery of other key workers, including bus drivers, pharmacists and shop assistants, who are all working on the frontline. This leads with a similar narrative calling on the conscience of the public to think about their actions, it asks; is your bus journey or trip to the shops essential? Are you exercising and not meeting friends? Can you honestly say that you have never bent the rules? It reminds the public to adhere to the principles of Hands, Face and Space, and to Stay at Home.  

The campaign was developed by MullenLowe following insights that revealed the current messaging in the ‘Stay at Home’ campaign it had resulted in reduced levels of social contact. This next phase of the campaign has been designed to encourage people to follow the rules and take personal responsibility for their behaviour.

Reiterating the Stay at Home message is vital as the country has seen the highest figures of death rates, with over 1,000 people dying per day for the last 10 days. Currently, someone is admitted every 30 seconds with the virus, and a quarter of those are under the age of 55. There are 35,000 beds taken up in England by Covid-19 patients. This is as a result of the new strain of the virus being around 50-70% more transmissible than the strain in 2020, and around one in three people with Covid-19 not having symptoms so are spreading it without knowing. The actions of a few people who are ignoring or bending the rules is putting everyone at risk.

An additional short film has been developed for PR featuring one-on-one interviews with those who feature in the advertising, including hospital staff from Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and patients at both Basingstoke and St George’s Hospital in London. Those who are interviewed talk about their personal experiences and the impact Covid-19 has had on them and calls on the public to take the message seriously and stay at home. 

Lorna, suffering with Covid-19, who features in the advertising comments: “I really felt like, this is it last week, this is as scary as it gets. We need to take a good look and get a reality check. This is real. My mum was one of the disbelievers and she’s actually upstairs, she’s on the next floor up”, adding “We owe our NHS more than we can ever imagine”.

Tom Knox, executive partner at MullenLowe says: “The Stay Home, Save Lives campaign is one of the most important public health campaigns of our generation. Being able to show the reality of Covid-19 for patients and for the NHS in such a powerful way, we believe, is the best way to ensure compliance with the key actions we all need to take”

Conrad Bird CBE, director of campaigns and marketing at the Covid-19 Hub, Cabinet Office, comments: “The Stay Home ,Save Lives message is absolutely critical right now, and this new campaign highlights the very real and serious pressure the NHS and front-line workers are under. We know that lockdown fatigue is setting in and we need this campaign to remind the public why they must follow stay at home and follow the rules – it is the easiest way they can help and will make the biggest difference.”

The message from HM Government is clear: Stay at Home. However, if you do have to go outside you must:

  • Keep two metres away from everyone.
  • Wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth, when indoors.
  • Keep washing your hands.


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Genres: Dialogue, People

Categories: Government, Corporate, Social and PSAs

MullenLowe Group UK, Fri, 22 Jan 2021 17:32:31 GMT