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Saving a generation

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

How do we get a nation in lockdown, focused on their families and their futures to think about what coronavirus means for a child in Bangladesh? Or Yemen? That was the challenge Open and Unicef were faced with a few weeks ago. And we knew that if we didn’t meet it, it would be devastating for millions. No pressure then.

Working closely with Unicef’s teams, we developed a creative approach that took what we were all learning about coronavirus from the daily briefings, and flipped it to make our message urgent and relevant.

We all know that coronavirus is more deadly for those with pre-existing conditions. In some parts of the world, poverty is a pre-existing condition. So are hunger and conflict. In a community where there’s already not enough food, medicine, or basics like soap and water makes, everyone is more at risk from a deadly pandemic.

Another thing we all learned about coronavirus is that there’s one generation that’s disproportionately affected. In the UK and many western countries, that’s older people. But in the poorest communities, it’s children. Millions of children. Research from Unicef and Johns Hopkins estimated that if we didn’t act, 6,000 children could die every day. That’s one child every 15 seconds.

Armed with that knowledge, there was only one way to frame our campaign:

Save Generation Covid

Save Generation Covid Billboard

We helped Unicef spread the word that a generation of children is under threat from the impact of coronavirus. We developed a bold visual style that can currently be seen on key outdoor sites across the UK as well as the usual online and offline channels. And, with the help of a track donated by Fatboy Slim, as well as a voiceover from Unicef ambassador David Harewood, we created a DRTV ad that’s as big and ambitious as it should be if we are to save a generation of children.

The ad has just launched and we couldn’t be more proud of doing our bit to save a generation.


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