From Guinness genius to Netflix spoilers: the best coronavirus spec ads

Ingenious students and creatives have been pulling together speculative work to promote good practice during this difficult time

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its spread around the globe, governments, brands and communities everywhere are thinking of creative ways to encourage the public to wash their hands, stay indoors and offer a helping hand to society's most vulnerable.

Some creative responses, however, will never see the light of day.

Over the past few weeks, the boredom induced by increasing levels of government-imposed lockdowns has sent some to the drawing board to dream up unofficial campaigns for some of the world's best-known advertisers.

Not content with sitting at home scrolling through their phone feeds like the rest of us, ingenious students and creatives have been pulling together speculative work to promote good practice during this difficult time.

Some highlights include ads for Netflix, Guinness, and the NHS as well as a number of works submitted to One Minute Briefs and its collaboration with The Staying Inn.

While these campaigns might never get on media plans, you can see The Drum team's pick of the best below.

'Spoiler Billboards' by Brave

Featuring spoilers for Netflix original shows including Money Heist, Narcos, Love is Blind and Stranger Things, these clever ads went viral over the last week.

The idea comes from creative duo Brave, formed of Seine Kongruangkit and Matithorn Prachuabmoh Chaimoungkalo — two friends who both attended Miami Ad School in Germany.

The concept seeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic by using the threat of spoilers to stop millenials from being tempted to socialise and encouraging them to binge on Netflix instead.

'Travel Posters' by Jennifer Baer

With golden beaches and lush faraway landscapes very much feeling like a thing of the past thanks to travel bans and grounded flights, California-based artist Jennifer Bear has found a way to bring travel to the masses.

Her delightful vintage-style travel posters look to inspire would-be tourists to take a dip in their bathroom or visit their houseplant instead of jet-setting.

The underlying message? 'Stay The Fuck Home'.

'War on Covid-19' by James Hodson and Jason Keet

London-based creative James Hodson and Jason Keet have offered up a retro take of their own with a Kitchener-inspired series of posters to help in the fight against coronavirus.

The duo has revived some of UK’s most famous and catchy World War 1 and World War 2 slogans, rejigging them for the modern crisis.

Favourites include 'Loose Purses Cost Nurses' and 'Daddy What Did YOU Do In the Coronavirus Crisis?'.

'Let's Party Like It's 2020' by Sweet & Sour Design

Creative duo Sweet & Sour design delivered this campaign in response to a challenge set last week by the One Minute Briefs community to promote virtual pub experience, 'The Staying Inn'. The work plays on the modern trust that most people are rarely without their phone in their hand and promotes the online pub aspect with a sense of togetherness and fun. All topped off with simple, effective copy.

'Stay At Home' by Luke O'Reilly

Dublin creative Luke O'Reilly was crowned the winner of One Minute Briefs' 'Staying Inn' competition last week with this striking piece of work.

The poster shows a pint of Guinness topped with a white sofa, atop the Covid-19 message 'Stay At Home'.

Guinness even gave O'Reilly the credit he deserved, sharing the work on its official Instagram page. Cheers to that.

'Avoid Face-touching' by Char Burke

While scamping up an idea in response to another challenge from One Minute Briefs to stop people from touching their faces, Char Burke came up with this message.

Apeing the 'Sensitive Content' warnings typically seen on social media and news sites, her spec work instead cautions of 'Sensory Content' and relays the risks associated with countenance pawing.

'Great Spot for a Pub Sprawl' by James Pettecrew

Copywriter James Pettecrew is another creative going down the sofa route.

His One Minute Briefs entry pastiches DFS posters, offers up a turquoise sofa as the 'Perfect Spot for a Pub Sprawl'.

'Time to be a Lone Ranger' by Charlotte Gray

Solitude is the message from creative Charlotte Gray, who has adapted the poster of classic movie The Lone Ranger to hammer home the importance of social distancing.

Instead of a pistol, the ranger carries a coveted basket of fruit and veg.

'Keep Your Distance' by Ellie Hubble

How do you ensure people stay two metres away from you? Garlic breath is the answer according to student Ellie Hubble.

In response another One Minute Briefs concept designed to promote social distancing, the creative has dreamed up a campaign (and flavour) for chewing gum brand Extra.

You can see real work from brands encouraging people to follow government guidelines on The Drum's Creative Works section.

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