Viola Davis, Simone Biles and Stephen A. Smith and other prominent Black celebrities feature in a campaign from the Ad Council and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to encourage the wearing of masks.
You Will See Me was created by 3AM, a content innovation company that matches brands and celebrity talent. The PSA campaign, which breaks today, showcases masked celebrities who each exhort viewers with advice and encouragement. Simone Biles, for example, states: “You will see me… as a champion for my people.”
Marcus Scribner, an actor best known for his role on Blackish, helms one PSA that begins with images of a sick person in bed and boarded-up businesses.
“Even though there is so much against us, you will see me choosing to wear a face covering to protect myself, my family and my community,” he says in a spot that shows him walking his dog and being with family, all the while masking his nose and mouth.
The campaign’s art direction features taxi-cab yellow graphics that showcase the You Will See Me anthem across screens and digital ads. The spots close with a final command: “Wear a mask for yourself and your community.”
The campaign breaks as the CDC estimates that Blacks and Latinos suffer from coronavirus at a rate three times higher than white people and are nearly twice as likely to die from the virus. Blame is placed on systemic healthcare, economic and social inequalities.
The CDC also reports that Blacks wear face masks at a greater rate than whites. Its study, released in mid-July, determined that 79% of Blacks wore face masks “at all times” versus “all Americans” at 63%.
“Longstanding systemic inequities continue to put Black Americans among those who are most severely affected by this virus,” said Leandris Liburd, associate director of CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, in a statement.
Additional campaign assets include a dedicated website and advocacy by Martin Luther King III, his wife, Arndrea Waters King, and their daughter Yolanda Renee King, who are campaign ambassadors and spokespeople.
The website allows people to upload photos and make their own You Will See Me campaign image. The PSAs will appear across Google and YouTube, which is donating media inventory.
Other partners include VidMod, which is developing digital banners, and Matterkind, a media company owned by Interpublic Group, which is placing targeted, donated media through a range of marketplaces in an effort to get the message out about mask-wearing as soon as possible.