United Nations tackles Covid-19 with first 'open brief to creatives everywhere'

It aims to raise awareness during coronavirus pandemic.

UN: brief encourages brands to donate media space to raise awareness
UN: brief encourages brands to donate media space to raise awareness

The United Nations has announced a call to arms for creators, influencers and media owners to tackle health and awareness during the coronavirus pandemic.

Announced in a 19-page document, the UN’s first-ever "open brief to creatives everywhere" aims to support the World Health Organization’s global health response to Covid-19 through highlighting public-health measures, preventing the spread of misinformation and communicating with regions that can still avoid or minimise an outbreak.

"You have the power to change the world," the brief states. "We need help translating critical public-health messages – not just into different languages – but into different cultures, communities and platforms – reaching everyone, everywhere." 

This is not a single campaign, according to the brief, but will comprise "a multitude of creative solutions to reach audiences across different cultures, age groups, affiliations, geographies and languages" via a range of platforms, including social media, digital, broadcast, print and radio.

While influencers are being invited to share information surrounding the pandemic in a way that captivates their audience, the brief encourages brands to donate media space to better raise awareness.

"We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply. We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times," António Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, said.

"The creativity of the response must match the unique nature of the crisis – and the magnitude of the response must match its scale."

The UN's document highlights six "mini briefs" that public-health measures must focus on – personal hygiene, social distancing, knowing the symptoms, kindness contagion, myth-busting and donating.

It ends with the encouraging words: "It is not too late. No-one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Together, we can save lives, protect resources and care for each other."

A series of creative agencies have already launched work encouraging people to practise social distancing, including St Luke’s and Pablo’s Nathalie Gordon, Amy Fasey and Jacob Hellström.

Brands including Ikea and ITV have also released campaigns encouraging people to stay at home.

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