New Government COVID-19 Campaign – Is it effective?

The Government have launched a new TV advert, ‘LOOK INTO MY EYES’, which aims to urge the public to think about the impact of their actions and if they really need to go out.

The most interesting thing about this campaign is that it uses raw footage from inside the NHS and shows testimonials from both patients with COVID-19, and the NHS staff that are looking after them. The testimonials, shown in the ad below, are aimed to make the public more aware about their actions and how it can impact the NHS.

The PR advert above uses a range of NHS staff wearing PPE telling us that the COVID-19 situation is a real life scenario, the ‘patients are sicker’ this time around and that they are seeing ‘patients dying’ in front of them. In addition to the NHS staff, they also show COVID-19 patients in hospital telling the public that the staff are amazing, that they have round the clock care and that we should owe our NHS everything. These powerful testimonials from both staff and patients are intended to gain an emotive response with the viewer. The Government want them to be able to watch the video and feel more emotional about the situation, with the aim that their reactions will ensure that they stay at home.

In addition to the PR advert that the Government put together, they also have launched a different advert for TV and social media. Even though the messaging is still the same, the TV and social media advert do not include the individual emotive testimonials. Instead, they show the patients and staff in the hospital along with the tag line ‘look them in the eyes and tell them that you are doing all you can to stop the spread of COVID-19’.

Even though I feel like like the campaign is effective as it uses emotional testimonials from staff and patients, I wanted to see if the general public thought the same thing. Sadly most of the people that saw this advert didn’t feel the same thing. In fact, they thought that it shouldn’t be advertised in the first place. For example, responses to the advert on social media ranged from comments such as they were ‘traumatising children’ and ‘frightening people into submission’.

When taking into account the hundreds of tweets that view the same opinions as the twitter users above, it could be argued that is campaign is not effective. Instead of gaining supportive and emotive responses from the adverts, the majority of the public have instead been angry. Maybe the government need to look at a different way to get the public to stay home as this campaign has backfired on them.

I’d like to know your thoughts on this campaign! Do you think it is effective? Let me know in the poll and the comments section below.

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