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Using Sound and Copywriting to Drive Home the Threat of Covid-19

16/04/2020
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Former Fallon ECD Nick Bell explains why he and some of his ad industry contacts combined their skills to convey a stark, emotional message
I had been feeling pretty helpless and impotent at home watching so many doing such heroic things through this crisis and thought, beyond offering to shop for elderly neighbours, the best thing I could do was try to think of ideas.
 
It seemed to me the biggest problem was those not respecting the medical and government rules/advice/guidance.
 
And whilst, understandably, the government and NHS have been putting out a lot of very straight informational communication, I felt the issue needed emotionalising and that there was a need for something hard hitting that really drives home the importance of staying home and respecting the guidance.
 
I had an idea (which we're still working on) and rang Paul Watts at The Quarry to see if he wanted to work on it with me. Then I got Warren Hamilton and Parv Thind at Wave Sound on board and, through Paul and his partner Bruce Townend, director Simon Ratigan came in too.
 
When we got to this idea it was so simple and achievable that, with the long and sunny Easter weekend coming, we decided to fast track it.
 
The whole thing was done in three days and we started posting it last Thursday.
 
As far as sound is concerned, we had a couple of ventilator sound effects from YouTube but knew Warren and Parv would get it perfect. 
 
We needed the clear metronomic in and out breaths but with the dull clunk and thud of the machinery behind it. As Warren said when we were discussing it, it needed to be 'scary' - it needed to say 'if you're not staying home this is what is going to happen to more and more people'.

 
To get the film out there we just all blasted it out on social media and emailed everyone we could think of asking them to share. And it's just escalated from there. 
 
Parv called me on Sunday to say he'd got Dexter Fletcher, director of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocket Man, to repost it to his 41.4k Instagram followers and we're just doing all we can.
 
What we really want, though, is for the journalists and TV stations to pick it up. Anything to amplify this film and message is appreciated.
 
So far we are having amazing reactions and we haven't had a negative word. The word that keeps coming up is 'Powerful'.
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