Facebook, Apple, Trade Desk and others team with Ad Council on federal coronavirus PSA

facebook apple trade desk and others team with ad council on federal coronavirus psa

The federal government has tapped the Ad Council to leverage the power of the major digital platforms to spread its messaging to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

On Wednesday, the White House, Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a multipronged digital ad push with the Ad Council. The public service campaign is set to run on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Pandora, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Verizon Media, SiriusXM and elsewhere online. The unnamed campaign’s goal is to drive people to coronavirus.gov.

Companies including Facebook and Google had already been providing ad space for public service messages that carry coronavirus information. 

“These digital and technology platforms have generously donated their talents and reach to empower millions of Americans to stay safe, informed and connected,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, in a prepared statement on Wednesday.

The ad creative includes messages about washing hands and the need to maintain physical distance from infected people. There’s also a hashtag, “AloneTogether,” a reference to the social distancing.

Last week, the White House met with top TV companies like NBCUniversal, Walt Disney and ViacomCBS to discuss the need for coordinated messaging. Ironically, the partnerships come at a time when cable networks are reevaluating the merits of airing the president’s daily briefings on the pandemic as they tend to be packed with disinformation

On Wednesday, the Ad Council also revealed that major ad technology players were developing programs to serve programmatic internet ads related to coronavirus. The Trade Desk, for instance, is running private marketplaces to handle the advertising transactions around the coronavirus campaign.

By recruiting programmatic advertising companies, the Ad Council is using all the ad technology at its disposal. The websites are donating the ad space, ad exchanges are filling the insertions, and data companies are lending expertise in targeting the ads.

The Ad Council is targeting groups of people through data providers like LiveRamp and Acxiom. DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science are also taking part in the effort, according to the announcement.

Participating websites “are providing significant donated media space to run and amplify campaign assets, getting urgent messaging to audiences nationwide on the platforms they use daily,” the Ad Council said in its announcement.

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