All ad breaks on ITV 1 will be bookended by continuity messages urging viewers to ‘Stay at home’ and ‘Stay in touch’ from today as the broadcaster plays its role in propagating the government’s public health messaging.
Broadcasters revive public health messaging
Developed by ITV Creative, the repetitive messaging will reinforce the government’s remain indoors mantra.
Core messaging will be augmented by a call to ’Stay in touch’ – an echo of the broadcaster’s ’Britain get talking’ mental-health awareness campaign, which returned earlier this month.
The recurring public service messages will punctuate hit primetime shows such as Dancing on Ice as well as Emmerdale, and arrive just 11 days after prime minister Boris Johnson imposed a third national lockdown to contain spiralling rates of infection in the coronavirus pandemic.
Blanket coverage will be given to the campaign, which will also air on secondary ITV channels as well as on-demand content streamed via the ITV Hub.
Broadcasters have been scrambling to adapt their content and services to meet a surge in demand for news and entertainment, evidenced last week by Channel 4 and its bid to lighten the mood with ’Bubble Up with Channel 4’ to promote its comedy and light entertainment offer.
A second wave of ‘Stay At Home’ ads
ITV’s call to inaction follows an earlier run of more involved campaigns that coincided with the first national lockdown of April 2020: ’Stay at home lads’ and ’Don’t be a Nick head’.
Both 30-second spots were devised by ITV Creative for youth channel ITV2 and sought to call out selfish behaviour by shaming people who breached strict rules on movement.
ITV’s stay at home call echoes that of other broadcasters – notably Channel 4, which has revised its station idents to bear the stay at home call, a subliminal instruction now burned into TV screens and viewers alike.
Infusing some humour into the situation, BBC Creative delved into its archives to repurpose scenes from I’m Alan partridge and the Mighty Bhoosh, helping to convey the mantra in a more relatable format, with each clip opening and concluding with the words ’seriously, stay at home’.
Never averse to lowering the tone, Channel 4 also sought to rally the great British public by encouraging them to get behind efforts to keep everyone’s bums on the sofa.
Devised by 4Creative, the ads broke over the Easter weekend and featured network favourite Matt Berry voicing the ’No ifs, Just Butts’ sedentary solicitation.
Over the next few days, the British government is expected to unleash its own public health campaign around Covid-19 highlighting the gravity of the situation with hard-hitting slogans such as ’Don't let a coffee cost a life’ and ’Covid takes the train too’.
Hammering home the seriousness of the situation, the government has already enlisted chief medic Chris Witty to deliver a personal plea to ’act like you’ve got it’ to curtail the spread.