Back in March and April, when the novel coronavirus was still new and mask-wearing and social distancing foreign, the U.S. rolled out a bunch of ads explaining best COVID-19 practices for keep yourself and others safe. Some of them, like Paul Rudd’s PSA for New York and Lego’s Batman and Star Wars ads were amusing and informative. Others haven’t aged so well.
The U.S. is now setting new records for COVID-19, including topping 200,000 new infections on Friday alone, and top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday about a possible “surge upon a surge” in the weeks after Thanksgiving. A vaccine is coming, he added, and “if we can hang together as a country and do these kinds of things to blunt these surges until we get a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated, we can get through this.”
The U.S. isn’t going through this alone, of course, and some foreign governments, companies, and artists have tried different ways of communicating the severity of the virus and the need to stop the spread of the coronavirus. As COVID fatigue crashes into the holidays, here are six creative ways other countries have tried to keep up the fight.
1. Germany created an instant classic in November that lightly tugged at the patriotic impulse while highlighting both the stakes and the relatively low cost of serving the greater good.
2. Turkey’s Süleyman Hacıcaferoğlu took some animated matchsticks created in the spring by Spanish artists Juan Declan and Valentina Izaguirre, threw on the Mission: Impossible theme song, and created an arresting visual representation of how the virus spreads — and stops.
Terrific Coronavirus ad: pic.twitter.com/TB2qcFxFlZ
— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) November 29, 2020
3. South Africa drew on the ick factor to encourage mask wearing.
4. Vietnam’s health department produced an animated ad with a “Jealous Coronavirus” song that is so catchy, it became a bona fide hit in the country.
5. Singapore created its own pop hit, “Singapore Be Steady,” with actor Gurmit Singh in character as Phua Chu Kang.
6. In Croatia, Karlovacko beer got its social distancing message across in a language that is probably universal: the disapproving look of a potential parent-in-law. Watch below. Peter Weber