Complex Networks, CDC and Ad Council address COVID-19 impact on Black Americans

The new PSA offers tips and resources for the Black community, which has been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population, but nearly 22% of COVID-related deaths. 

That disproportionate impact led the Ad Council, the CDC, and Complex Networks to team up on a digital ad campaign, called #ThePowerOfUs, to empower the Black community with tips, resources and information to slow the spread of COVID-19 — and cope with the devastation.

The campaign will run across Complex Network’s site and social channels, as well as through donated media on TikTok, Facebook, Revolt TV and Reddit. Video ads will direct viewers to an online hub that collates helpful resources for the community. 

“We saw an urgent need for this campaign because of the outsize impact COVID-19 has had on the Black community,” said Heidi Arthur, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council. “We wanted to make a difference and motivate people.”

The campaign highlights stark statistics that put the impact of COVID-19 on Black Americans into stark perspective, such as the fact that Black people are dying from the virus at twice the national rate.

“Those statistics will penetrate the Black community in a way that will evoke change and action,”  said Meyako Hughes, Complex Networks’ director of brand partnerships. 

The youth culture-focused media outlet helped the Ad Council craft the messaging for the campaign and the design the hub in a way that would resonate with the Black community and encourage action. The hub is meant to be relatable and empowering, with tips from hygiene tips, to information on testing to mental health resources.

“It’s a behavior change campaign,” explains Arthur. “We needed to reinforce the need for consistency. Many people are doing the right thing but you have to talk about it and share it, recognize that it’s about you, your family and your community.”

The campaign has become all the more urgent as cases continue to skyrocket in the U.S. 

“The timing couldn’t be more important,” Hughes adds. “2020 has been difficult for all of us, but devastating for the Black community.” 

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