This innovative black-and-white print ad promoting social distancing seems illegible until you step six feet away from it.
What if the best way to promote social distancing is to trigger people’s curiosity? Just in time for the news that some governments are starting to relax their COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, TBWA\Helsinki brought two of its clients together – retailer HOK-Elanto and newspaper Helsingin Sanomat – for an innovative print ad campaign promoting social distancing.
From up close, the ad looks like an illegible blur. Only one line – “Take some distance and you’ll notice a message below” – appears clearly. After you move to a safe distance of 6 feet, the message clearly reads: “Keeping it safe. From a distance.”
“Instead of just telling or teaching people how to act we wanted to let them experience it,” said Joni Furstenborg, creative director at TBWA\Helsinki. “We believe that by doing this we will leave a stronger imprint and more people will remember our important message.”
The most entertaining element of the campaign is perhaps, of course, the fact that Finns are usually keen social distancers. In fact, it has been said that they avoid small talk and keep their distance when waiting for public transportation. Despite this, the campaign serves as a funny reminder of how we should be behaving once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“Unusual times bring their own challenges to what and how brands should communicate,” said Tuomas Ahola, HOK-Elanto’s communications and marketing director. “As a responsible company, we saw this as an opportunity to communicate about a subject that is close to our business in an insightful way.”
Advertising Agency: TBWA\Helsinki
Chief Creative Officer: Jyrki Poutanen
Vice President, Retail/Commerce, Executive Account Director: Taneli Mattelmäki
Account Manager: Anette Michelsson
Creative Director: Joni Furstenborg
Creative Technologist: Juhana Hokkanen
Junior Art Director: Ville Rutanen
Copywriter: Roni Regnér
Junior Communication Specialist: Saana Sundberg
Data & Insights Trainee: Ellen Lindbom
Other: Erno Reinikainen, Tuomas Perälä
Director of communications and marketing: Tuomas Ahola
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