31 March 2020 Thought Leadership
With billions of people across the world officially in ‘lockdown’ to varying degrees, we find ourselves turning more and more to our handheld devices and computers for any source of Covid-19 information which educates, informs or reassures. The problem is, of course, there is just too much of it out there, and a lot of it simply isn’t credible.
Having waded through a sea of facts and figures, comments and opinions, prophecy and speculation, you can be forgiven if you emerge from 20 minutes of online or social media time feeling more worried and confused than ever.
The most impactful communications – and therefore the most widely liked, shared and re-posted – are those that cut through what can only be described as Coronavirus ‘noise’ and creatively convey a simple and powerful message.
Without doubt, the real winner in this has been video. The power of video to take a complicated topic like Covid-19 and conceptualise it into something much more digestible and engaging is unparalleled.
This might go some way to explaining the meteoric rise of video in recent years, with the stats there to prove it long before the word ‘Coronavirus’ was first uttered.
The use of video on social media channels has seen colossal growth for one reason – it has been proven time and time again to dramatically increase levels of engagement and interaction with a post. The use of branded videos on Facebook grew by 258% in 2017 alone, for example. On Twitter, meanwhile, a video post is six times more likely to be retweeted than a post containing only a photo.
At Lanyon we have reviewed the swathes of videos emerging in recent weeks, picking out the ‘winners’ that break down Covid-19 messaging for the masses.
With many statisticians, virologists and medical experts struggling to effectively illustrate the merits of social distancing, Spanish graphic designer Juan Declan came up with a simple but hugely impactful solution. He created this animated video to show how social distancing can stop the spread of Covid-19, saying that he hoped it would “encourage the viewers to stay home amid the pandemic.”
With the Police Service of Northern Ireland raising concerns about hundreds of people seemingly flouting rules around social distancing and flocking to Northern Ireland’s beaches, parks and natural beauty spots, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council was quick to react with this #StayAtHome video. At just 12 seconds long, the video adopts a softer, albeit hard-hitting, approach to reinforce a stern message around staying local for daily exercise and avoiding unnecessary travel.
This animated video was developed by Belfast-based Willis Events & Marketing in collaboration with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Aimed at pre-school and primary school children, it features a voiceover by six-year old Bangor boy Sonny Willis and his two friends, Harriott Stephens, 13, and Oliver Stephens, 8. The video received hundreds of thousands of hits within just hours of its publication, with views growing daily as far as away as Australia and the USA. According to the video’s producers, their aim is to “help young children understand what Coronavirus means to them and offer comfort and reassurance during these extraordinary times.”
With regular, thorough handwashing heralded as one of the most effective ways of curbing the spread of Coronvirus, this video spells out in black and white (literally) the importance of proper handwashing technique. Published on Twitter by restauranteur and chocolatier Harjinder Singh Kukreja, the video instantly went viral and has since been viewed around the world over 91 million times. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organisation, shared the video on Twitter, deeming it a “smart way to showcase the importance of using the proper #handwashing technique amid the Coronavirus pandemic”.
What happens when you catch Coronavirus? The Telegraph's Global Health Security Editor Paul Nuki explains all the ways in which you could become infected with Covid-19 and how your body reacts to this virus. With its easy-to-understand animations, the video has proved to be a hit with Coronavirus information-seekers, quickly racking up 2.5million viewers on YouTube.
Video: the real winner in Covid-19 communications