RALEIGH – The “Whatever Your Reason” campaign, a new statewide public campaign to encourage every North Carolinian to wear a mask in our collective fight against COVID-19, is being launched by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). This distinctly North Carolina campaign features real North Carolina people and places and focuses on the personal reasons North Carolinians across the state are choosing, every day, to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Wearing a mask is a simple, effective way to care for our communities and help our economy. I wear a mask to protect my family and loved ones, and because I know my actions contribute to our state’s effort to slow the spread of this virus,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
The first public service announcement, called “Whatever Your Reason, Get Behind the Mask”, was informed by recent research conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and statewide online focus groups, which showed that North Carolinians have personal reasons for wearing a mask, including: avoiding the spread COVID-19 (77%), wanting to protect their community (72%) and families (71%), and feeling a sense of responsibility (72%). The campaign highlights many of the deeply personal, yet distinctly familiar, reasons people from across North Carolina are choosing to get behind the mask.
“We all have a reason to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “We are excited to launch the ‘Whatever Your Reason’ campaign to remind every North Carolinian that there is a reason behind every decision to wear a mask. For me, I wear my mask to protect my family and out of respect for every North Carolinian working hard to do the same. So, whether it’s getting back to work and school or protecting our loved ones, whatever your reason, get behind the mask.”
To date, 172,209 people in North Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19, with a disproportionate number of those cases occurring in the Latinx/Hispanic, Black/African American, and American Indian communities. NCDHHS is committed to ensuring that the “Whatever Your Reason” campaign’s prevention message reaches people across the state, with an intentional focus on reaching historically marginalized communities most impacted by the pandemic. To support this goal, NCDHHS has committed approximately $3.9 million dollars of CARES Act funding to the campaign.
The “Whatever Your Reason” campaign will feature a series of television and radio public service announcements and social media advertisements that will play across North Carolina throughout the fall. The critical message on prevention will include additional community promotions such as print publications, online display ads, and displays at gas stations, convenience stores, bus stations, and on buses.
The “Whatever Your Reason” campaign works with North Carolina photographers to photograph real North Carolina people, places, and lives, reflecting the strength and diversity of North Carolina. The campaign will run in Spanish and English language media.
NCDHHS encourages community and business organizations to help get the word out about the 3Ws (Wear. Wait. Wash.) and ask community members, customers, and employees to “Get Behind the Mask”. Together, we will stop this virus.