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Wise Protec’s ‘Wear a bloody mask’ campaign was truly Blessed

Ready 10 won the Healthcare and Pharma category at The Drum Awards for PR 2021 with its ‘Wear a bloody mask’ campaign for Wise Protec. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the behind-the-scenes secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

Tech innovators Wise Protec developed & launched a new face mask during the pandemic which destroyed 99.5% of the COVID-19 virus on contact. We were briefed to support the business through two objectives:

• Driving awareness of Wise Protec and their unique anti-viral fabric.

• Communicating the importance of wearing masks – and how to do so effectively.

Having already launched their range of face masks into the UK market, we had a challenge on our hands: how to create a story about a product that had not only already had its launch ‘moment’, but also, for one which was fast-reaching its media saturation point.

The strategy

The UK was the slowest market in Europe to adapt to daily mask use, despite it being a legal requirement to wear one when in public spaces. This insight informed the basis of our campaign, which was relevant to, and needed to resonate with all UK adults, with the aim of communicating the importance of wearing masks.

It struck us that actually, the population of the UK were behaving very irresponsibly – in the midst of a pandemic, people were still not wearing masks in public, and of those that were wearing them, weren’t wearing them properly.

Our campaign had to create stand-out media coverage and resonate with the consumer – if we wanted to get the nation to wear their masks correctly.

Using Ready10’s ‘Hearts, Minds and Bottom Lines’ approach, we:

• Drove emotion (Hearts): used a nationally recognised voice to help us communicate the impact not wearing a mask could have on friends and loved ones.

• Educated (Minds): clearly communicated the importance of wearing a mask – and properly – during the pandemic.

• Encouraged up-take (Bottom Lines): communicated the anti-viral properties in the unique Wise Protec face mask and drove links to retailers to purchase.

Compulsory face mask use had been a factor of everyday life across the UK for months by this point, but with the UK about to enter a second lockdown, wearing a face covering when out of the house for essential tasks was more important than ever. This meant our campaign needed to deliver a punchy and highly impactful call to action.

The campaign

Taking inspiration from the popular bedtime book for parents ‘Go The F*ck To Sleep’ narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, we (the agency submitting the entry) created ‘Wear A Bloody Mask’ – a children’s style, digital storybook aimed at adults.

As there were still people who – despite repeated governmental advice – continued to act in a less-than-adult manner when it came to wearing masks, we decided that they had to be told in no uncertain terms to wear a bloody mask!

We needed someone to help us land this message loud and clear, speaking to those still flouting the rules. Who better to create a huge amount of noise, than one of the most iconic and powerful voices in the business – Brian Blessed.

Having had his own experiences with COVID-19, Brian jumped at the chance of bringing life to this important message. He signed up to co-write, narrate and star in our satirical story about the importance of wearing face masks.

The result was a slightly exasperated plea for the British public to protect themselves and those around them by wearing their masks properly, whilst also delivering a serious message, in Brian Blessed’s typically dry-witted style.

His belief in the project meant that he also recorded a personal introduction to the content, giving a heartfelt plea to the UK which shared his own COVID struggles, cementing the importance of our public service message.

The results

Launching on the day the UK went into its second national lockdown, our Wear A Bloody Mask content captured the media’s attention, with 113 pieces of coverage were secured during the first week of launch.

The content was shown and featured in a 2 min segment on Good Morning Britain, with Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid adding their support to the campaign by saying ‘wear a bloody mask’ five times between them.

Brian Blessed delivered more interviews than contractually agreed, landing multiple brand mentions and key messages, with TALKRadio, Times Radio, Daily Mirror and Daily Express.

Brian Blessed also tweeted the content on his Twitter feed. Reactions from famous fans like Caitlin Moran and Stig Abell boosted social engagement, as millions of people were reached organically through social media, inc: over 650 engagements.

Wise Protec secured a new retailer partner in Primark during the campaign, meeting a core commercial objective. The media presence and WoM gained such momentum that the client started retailing face coverings featuring the ‘Wear A Bloody Mask’ slogan on their website.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for PR 2021. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entry, click here.

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