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From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

Educating Florida's Youth to Combat COVID-19

Finalist in Government & Politics


Young people believe they are invincible. Nothing can stop them – not even a global pandemic. When COVID-19 hit – there was an urgency to educate youth and young adults on the importance of following CDC guidelines for prevention of COVID-19.  

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) tapped Golin to convince 5 million young & diverse Floridians to adjust to a new norm. While most young Floridians were not likely to die from the disease, epidemiologists determined they could serve as carriers in the rapid spread of the pandemic. 

Every second the world was learning more about the disease. 

The campaign had to: 

This necessitated a team with the expertise to quickly understand the challenge and execute a creative and compelling statewide creative effort. 



Strategy and Execution

Our strategy was to infiltrate the channels where our audience lives in most, with messages delivered via creative that reflects youth culture. We repeated these messages over and over to mitigate misinformation. 

There was a lot of talk about COVID-19 on social media so our campaign creative could not feel like a typical government PSA. Our creative strategy focused on eye-catching and authentic content that represented youth culture and their voice. 


Using a statewide survey, we listened and learned to what information the audience needed to hear. This allowed us to distinguish when audiences needed to be given new health information, when positive behaviors needed to be reinforced and identify confusing, false or misleading information needed to be corrected. 

We used our insights to develop more than 50 eye-catching unique pieces of content for distribution across Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch,  TikTok, mitu and OTT. 

FDOH was able to successfully reach Florida’s youth and young adults with 216M+ total impressions and 3x average frequency

40% of Florida’s youth saw and recalled at least one campaign ad, unaided, after just five months in market. That’s remarkably high for a brand new campaign with a short time in market. 

​Awareness was our primary goal – but the most important measure of success is if behaviors were changed. 

​Nine in ten youth and young adults who saw the ads indicated they found the content to be useful and engaging. Eight in ten said they took the advice seriously and it motivated them to be safe. 

People who saw our campaign were more likely to adopt precautionary measures.



Video for Educating Florida's Youth to Combat COVID-19

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Golin, Florida Department of Health


Entry Credits