With heightened precautions about personal health and safety due to the pandemic, many health-care organizations have developed their own cause marketing campaigns to encourage end user awareness, and regard for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. But instead of focusing on the virus exclusively, many organizations have directed their campaigns to other important issues, such as preparing for flu season, supporting caregivers responsible for childcare and schooling, caring for other family members during stay-at-home orders and showing appreciation for frontline workers.

On October 6, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Medical Association partnered with the Ad Council on its “No One Has Time For Flu” campaign, encouraging Americans to schedule their annual flu shot. The campaign also has a deeper message—to protect Americans from the threat of contracting COVID-19. According to the CDC, 45 million Americans fall ill with the flu every year, and 810,000 of them are hospitalized; an occurrence that is happening in tandem this year with COVID-19-positive patients receiving hospitalization and care. The campaign was designed to target the Black and Latinx communities, which have the lowest rates of vaccination, and used messaging to communicate that falling ill with the flu not only affects the sick person, but everyone who relies on this person as well. It was created pro-bono by advertising agency fluent360, and is currently being featured across radio, social media, TV, print and outdoor channels, directing people to GetMyFluShot.org to find where to go for the vaccination in their area. 

With stay-at-home orders and pandemic-related precautions forcing more families to spend time with each other than ever before, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) and Hamilton County Job and Family Services unveiled a colorful video on social media bearing a message of support for area families. The aim of the “Safe and Sound @ Home” campaign, launched in early October 2020, was to provide students’ parents with resources on where to find support for financial and emotional challenges, food insecurity, childcare and other issues experienced during the pandemic. The Cincinnati Public School District serves more than 30,000 students, reports WLWT 5, a Cincinnati news station, and since the fall semester, CPS has been unable to make contact with 3,000 of them, prompting further effort to locate these students to ensure their safety.

In Alabama, the “Light-Up Friday Nights” campaign was launched during the month of October focused on a positive message: encouraging community members to show support for local frontline health-care workers. A joint effort supported by the Governor’s Office, the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Education, the Council for Leaders in Alabama’s Schools, the Alabama Independent School Association, the Alabama High School Athletic Association and School Superintendents of Alabama, the campaign was announced by Gov. Kay Ivey, calling residents and businesses statewide to leave their porch lights on during Friday nights to show their support. Similar campaigns were conducted across the nation in 2020, with a similar campaign in Erie, Pennsylvania, encouraging residents to turn on their porch lights on Friday, April 17, 2020, to show their support for the local medical community and essential workers; and another similar promotion taking place on March 27, 2020, in Manhattan, when residents and workers of New York City took to applauding out their windows for a full two minutes to show their support.


Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.