Covid-19 PN

Prevention Network by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Covid-19 Prevention Network


During 2020, the Socialisssima agency required us for the Covid-19 Prevention Network project: a Prevention Network created by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) to recruit volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine studies.
The goal of the campaign was more than ambitious: to recruit 30,000 volunteers per study in several countries, and in record time. The communication challenge was key, as we needed to bring participants of all ethnicities together to reach a number that reflected the percentages of the Hispanic and African-American population in the US.
We had to challenge, convene, educate, and above all bring clarity to a target that could have doubts and resentments.


As part of the campaign, the Socialisssima agency proposed a set of educational videos that answered the most frequent questions and prejudices that could condition the potential volunteer: If I decide to participate in the tests... will I be a guinea pig? Will I get the virus? Will I be able to leave the study?
To deal with multiple audiences with different ethnicities and sociocultural backgrounds, the message, above all, had to be clear and direct, generating empathy within an illustrated language. We know that infographic animation is an effective tool for educational pieces. But on the other hand, we also know that there is a thin line to handle, so as not to fall into a disconnection between the formal resource and the message. In our case, the morphological universe must contemplate an idea that could balance simplicity and generality.
The recipe, a priori, was clear: keep it simple. Which, paradoxically, supposed a superior effort, since the apparent simplicity implies a giant work behind the scenes.

We had to work — and we work — hard in pursuit of a line of illustration that, within simplicity, could reach multiculturalism, and that would generate empathy in each of the potential viewers. The illustration process was intense at the beginning, since we had to generate the global identity style of the entire campaign. A reduced color palette, simple lines, characters with a subtle level of detail that allow us to communicate diversity without abandoning simplicity, and above all, generate the desired empathy.

We knew that a large part of our audience would be older people, so the text boxes should also be simple and forceful, with almost the same importance as a traffic sign where time cannot be wasted in distractions.

Once the illustration global style was developed, we had to bring the same concepts to the movement universe, so that the animation could reflect that style. Characters coexisting in neutral and clear spaces, not distracting, with calm and smooth movements, which will bring the content to the foreground, without falling into what could be called the "distraction of movement".
Originally, the campaign had as target audiences the Black, Latino, Afro and Navajo communities, which had been most impacted by the virus in the US. The result was so good that the format was quickly exported to other countries: South Africa, Peru, Brazil.
Today, almost a year later, we can say that in this process we learned, grew, and understood that our work as communication professionals sometimes makes more sense than we think.