Overcoming COVID-19 Complacency – Do your thing campaign | MSD

MSD logo.

The Challenge:

COVID-19 is so 2019. By 2023, the pandemic was over, but the virus lingered, even if it didn’t make daily headlines.

However, COVID-19 still is one of the most common respiratory viruses, infecting tens of thousands and killing over 4,000 Australians in 2023 alone.

It continues to prey on the most vulnerable; lower socioeconomic and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities (CALD), and at-risk 50+ individuals. With Government-driven health communication almost ceasing, cultural practices, and a growing complacency in our CALD communities, the risks are great.

The Solution:

To overcome this complacency and alert Australians to available PBS-listed, GP-prescribed oral antivirals, first launched in Australia in April 2022, Paper + Spark together with MSD launched a national, culturally sensitive, micro-targeted consumer campaign to get to the heart of the issue. Our campaign “Do your thing” translated into a number of languages, built awareness for the at-risk population, encouraging them to look for the symptoms and to call their GP immediately for oral antiviral treatment if positive, so they could get back to doing ‘their thing’ that they love in life.

As usual in the highly regulated Australian Pharmaceutical market, we could not mention the product names of medicines.

The campaign used behavioural humour to achieve messaging cut-through and an omnichannel approach including a combination of Out of Home (OOH) billboards and bus shelters, Digital catch up TV, Google paid search, digital display, and social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn and an owned website that connected to telehealth) to create large-scale consumer awareness.

The Results:

The national campaign generated an incredible amount of awareness and was able to overcome much of the apathy around COVID-19 that had become entrenched in the community.

Most importantly our messaging reached our CALD communities via trusted GPs, Pharmacists and Local Ethnic Media and spoke to them in their native language. The messaging was kept clear, simple and actionable.


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