Announcements get creative with song and dance . . .
As leaders around the world double down on the message about social distancing and washing our hands, Southeast Asian governments have gone viral with public service campaigns aimed at flattening the curve. With the help of celebrities, these government campaigns have quickly exploded with quirky songs and dance routines encouraging citizens to adopt a variety of good hygiene practices. Last month, the Singapore government released the second video in its public service campaign series with local comedian Uncle Phua, who in a humourous yet informative way encourages Singaporeans to keep social distancing. To date, the video series has reached 1.4 million views.
The power of social media . . .
Vietnam led this trend more than a month ago, when the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health worked with Vietnamese pop artists to create a viral song about COVID-19 that reached 31 million views. The video became so popular that it was shared by U.S.-based late-night talk show host John Oliver. In the Vietnamese case, the video went viral on Tik Tok after choreographers created a dance routine that was a hit with millennials. The Philippines Department of Health took the idea one step further and launched its own Tik Tok account to encourage people to maintain social etiquette through a dance challenge.
Canada also goes online . . .
The Canadian government launched its own public service campaign on social distancing two weeks ago, achieving a more modest 118,000 views on YouTube. While there is no perfect formula for a viral video, Southeast Asian governments have been particularly effective at reaching younger audiences by tapping into social media platforms. Canada may want to look more closely at Southeast Asian governments’ strategies to encourage social distancing, especially if it wants to reach younger millennials.