The COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it. Travel plans and in-person events were canceled en masse as work and school went remote for a good chunk of the global population. As the deadly virus made its way to nearly every country on the planet, government officials and health professionals scrambled to communicate safety guidelines and enforce new quarantine rules. The United States was hit particularly hard, with nearly nine million cases of COVID-19 and counting.
Even 2,000 miles away from the mainland US, Hawaii wasn’t immune to the spread of coronavirus — or the misinformation about it. As science and basic hygiene guidelines became politicized, the local Oahu government struggled to communicate science-backed safety precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. To that end, City and County of Honolulu officials teamed up with local marketing firm Anthology Marketing Group to raise awareness.
“Knowing that we needed to communicate changing health guidelines in real time to a wide variety of audiences, including many who are inproficient in English, we turned to Tapjoy to help engage residents with science-based, easily adopted recommendations that could help prevent infections,” Anthology Marketing Group’s Digital Media Manager Julia Street said. With that, mask-wearing and social distancing became the focus of this awareness campaign.
Impressions per ad
Fighting Misinformation While Inspiring Behavioral Change
Together, Honolulu’s City officials worked with Anthology Marketing Group to create a communication strategy based on sharing the most up-to-date, science-based health protocols in a clear and easily understood manner. They determined that a more positive approach — letting people know what they could do to help, rather than telling them what they couldn’t do — would be better received, and together they sought to normalize health recommendations. It was a great plan on paper, but pulling it off was another story entirely.
“Inspiring behavioral change is one of the hardest marketing outcomes to achieve,” said Ms. Street. “When you add in all the confusion, misinformation, and political rhetoric surrounding COVID-19, increasing compliance with the recommended health guidelines became all the more challenging.”
The team realized that an interactive ad could boost engagement and help get the desired results. Enter Tapjoy’s Video to Interactive End Card, a unique format that follows up a video ad with a quick, playable activity.
“We had run in-app ads before, but never in-app playables. Working with Tapjoy made it possible to create memorable experiences while normalizing the concepts of mask-wearing and social distancing.”
- Julia Street, Digital Media Manager, Anthology Marketing Group