The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. This announcement changed our lives dramatically – vacations had to be postponed or canceled, schools, restaurants, malls and gyms were closed, and we had to learn about social distancing and working in a virtual environment. Today, many cities are still on stay-at-home orders and slowly starting to open up businesses.

In the advertising world, a lot of things changed as well. Many of our clients were impacted by business closures and their messaging had to pivot. Our hospital client had to change its messaging to promote COVID-19 drive-through testing, updated visitation policies and telehealth visits. Other clients had to pause media outreach and some canceled their spring media flights.

As we adapted the creative messaging for our clients, we looked at other countries’ COVID-19 campaigns for inspiration. Here are the top 5 from all over the world.

Abaad Resource Center for Gender Equality – Lockdown. Not Lockup!

Abaad is a nonprofit organization in Lebanon that aims to achieve gender equality as an essential condition to sustainable social and economic development in the MENA region, according to their website. As the world went into lockdown, many countries saw increases in domestic violence cases. They developed a video asking people to promote the helpline number from their balconies – making sure the lockdown didn’t turn into a lockup. To help spread the message, they developed a series of camouflage videos with the help of influencers and celebrities to spread the phone number in case they were watching with their abuser.

Why we love it?

It’s a brilliant strategy to promote the helpline. And the best part is… they invested zero dollars to create these videos. The calls to Abaad increased 280% from March to April, and the videos received 693+ million impressions and over 2 million views.


FedCaf: Helpy Hour

The Federation of Belgian Cafés launched this ad to promote “helpy hour”. As restaurants, bars and cafés started opening up, they promoted paying for two drinks while only getting one. This strategy is meant to help these locations after being out of business for a few months.

Why we love it?

This simple strategy helped businesses in Belgium get back on track after the lockdown.


FairPrice: A Fresh Start

FairPrice is a grocery retailer in Singapore. They produced an ad from videos taken on cellphones to showcase what we thought was normal versus the “new normal”. During quarantine, we have learned to be more present and simply value the things we might have taken for granted pre-pandemic.

Why we love it?

It’s heartfelt and completely relatable. These intimate user-generated videos remind us to value the small things in life.


American Nurses Foundation: #thanknurses Celebrity Video

Early in May, we celebrated National Nurses Week. This year it was more meaningful than ever as nurses around the world were working around the clock, away from their families to help combat coronavirus. This video is a compilation of celebrities sharing a powerful message from their homes to thank nurses, doctors and first responders.

Why we love it?

We love how each video interacts with the next one spreading a heartfelt thank you behind the scenes of celebrities’ real worlds to those on the front lines of COVID-19.

Click here to watch the video. 

New Zealand Police: Stay Home

This video simply promotes social distancing. An officer and a dummy show random objects that could be placed between them when they’re 2 meters apart.

Why we love it?

It’s absolutely awesome. It’s so funny and clever to show everyday objects to help visualize what the appropriate social distance should be between two people. And it even has a catchy song. Good luck getting it out of your head!

As our world slowly goes back to “normal”, we look forward to more creative campaigns that were inspired during the pandemic. Drop us a line, let us know your favorite campaigns and we can help you come up with creative ways to promote your nonprofit during this time.