Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Alberta government has spent $15.4 million on COVID-19-related public messaging.
According to the government, that money has gone to a six-phase campaign designed to inform residents on the latest information around public health measures, as well as sub-campaigns to promote things like:
- Mental health resources
- Supports for seniors
- Regional ads aimed at specific communities
- Promotion of COVID-testing resources
- Promotion of the provincial contact-tracing app
- Promotion of isolation supports
- Supporting local businesses
- Vaccine campaign
Probably most recognizable advertising campaign is the “COVID Loves” campaign where a human-virus hybrid is seen spreading the novel coronavirus at social events like weddings, sleepovers, parties and play dates.
The videos were geared toward families and house parties when the campaign was first launched in December, but quickly expanded to other scenarios.
“We were looking at different options for a campaign that would try to reach people across the spectrum, but particularly of course wanting something that would resonate with younger people,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said after the campaign launched.
“It’s funny because it highlights exactly what we want people to not do.”
The government said its COVID-19 advertising campaign has utilized online display, social media, television, radio, billboards and other print collateral and has exceeded both the scope and reach of any previous Alberta government advertising campaigns.