Disneyland Resort has launched a PSA campaign to recharge the COVID-19 conversation in Southern California. The Together We Can Be Incredible campaign features characters from Disney and Pixar’s The Incredibles, encouraging residents to follow COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
The Together We Can Be Incredible campaign has been running in Disney parks this year, but has now been taken to a wider audience. It features characters from The Incredibles reminding Californians to wear a mask, keep social distancing going, and to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. It will roll out over several weeks on radio, TV, social media, and digital billboards.
The campaign is reaching out to residents with media in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. The retro-styled images and film use stylised graphics in a limited colour palette.
Edna Mode tells people to “Wear your face covering, dahling. It’s not just stylish – it’s smart!”
“Dash off to wash your hands frequently,” says Dash. “Hum an incredible tune for at least 20 seconds while washing your hands.” Meanwile Vi warns people to “Maintain proper distance. Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others.”
“Together, we can be incredible. Because together, we are magic!” the message from Disneyland Resort ends.
Using the power of the Disney platform
The campaign stresses the need to follow health and safety guidelines from health authorities and government agencies in a potentially more family-friendly and inclusive way, using Disney’s formidable platform, appeal and reach.
“The campaign… leverages each character’s personality to bring the messages directly to our local communities in a dynamic way,” said Dr Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “Our message is that together we can help the community if we’re all responsible and do our part.”
“We all have a role to play in working to curb the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr Clayton Chau, county health officer and director of Orange County Health Care Agency. “Disneyland has continuously shown its commitment to health and safety in Orange County for many years, and we welcome their collaboration in our continued efforts to raise awareness of and educate our communities on COVID-19 in unique and creative ways.”
California in crisis
The campaign comes as new cases and hospitalisations continue to climb in California. Three out of the five regions in the state are under stay-at-home lockdown measures. 41,419 new cases were reported yesterday, with the total number of those infected with COVID-19 up to 1,614,174. So far there have been 21,194 deaths in the state.
Disneyland Resort will remain closed until 2021. The latest California lockdown will severely impact theme parks.
Changing the COVID conversation
A change of approach in public health messaging could be vital. A new report from the de Beaumont Foundation which focuses on improving public health, suggests that Americans are tired of “politicised public health messaging” and that new measures are required to “reach all audiences, build trust in public health measures, and save lives.”
“Effective communication is always important in public health, but it’s never been more important for health leaders to understand the perceptions of Americans and modify their language accordingly,” says Brian C. Castrucci, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation.
The report suggests that current messaging is missing the mark, failing to motivate Americans to get behind public health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing and testing. It also stresses the importance of reaching all sectors of society.
Hearing the messages from everyday superheroes, rather than polarised politicians, may well be a super-stretch in the right direction.