Agencies Offer Pro Bono Services To Support COVID-19 Projects

Agencies are rising to the occasion brought forth by COVID-19 to churn out passion projects despite virus-related circumstances that force nearly all shops working separately while under time-crunched deadlines. 

Saatchi & Saatchi’s team worked entirely remotely in under a week, from client brief to idea and production, to develop the “On Hold” campaign benefiting UK charity Marie Curie. The charity is largely reliant on donations from the public and the Coronavirus outbreak has disrupted many of its fundraising methods. The group says it needs to raise $3.1 million (£2.5million) a week to continue to run its essential frontline services. 

The message reminds UK residents that while Coronavirus has put everything on hold, end-of-life care still needs vital financial assistance. The ad will run in :60, :30 and :20 versions, and will be supported by radio ads, followed by print ads in newspapers and magazines, as well as a social media push.



Fellow Publicis agency Leo Burnett is working with client Serta Simmons Bedding to raise money for hospital beds. The “Stay Home, Send Beds” initiative directs viewers to to purchase up to 10,000 beds to be distributed to the city of their choosing. One bed costs $125, but those without the hefty financial savings are invited to receive a Serta thank you for $25 or become a Serta “partner” for $50. For every 25 beds donated through the site, Serta will donate 10,000 additional mattresses. 

Klick Health is partnering with Humber River Hospital (HRH) and Italia Press to mass produce a simple piece of protective equipment — plastic intubation boxes — to help protect first-responders. They realized when doctors and nurses insert a tube into a patient’s trachea to keep the airway open, typically done before connecting to a ventilator, these caregivers are at a higher risk of infection due to virus particles becoming aerosolized.

The open-source design was developed by Taiwan-based Dr. Hsien Yung Lai but adapted to North American specifications. It can be cheaply made using acrylic or transparent polycarbonate sheet at a cost of around $67 per unit. After each intubation, the box can be cleaned with 70% alcohol or bleach to then be reused for the next patient. 

Both Klick and its longtime printer/plastics partner Italic Press are donating their time for the project and Klick is covering the cost to manufacture the first 300. 

Hospitals can request the intubation boxes at: Response has been overwhelming due to the need from hospitals across Toronto, Canada and the U.S., claims a Klick representative. 

Meanwhile, New York-based ad agency Fancy is helping to raise awareness for, a new peer-to-peer platform helping individuals with spare N95 and surgical masks donate directly to healthcare workers. This initiative serves as an illustration of people using their own platforms to help others. The project first began two weeks ago, but grew in visibility only after actress Natalie Portman and journalist Jessica Yellin mentioned the project on their social media accounts. 

Fancy then quickly volunteered its services, conceiving, writing, designing and launching a social media campaign composed of GIF’s with messages like, “Got masks? Give masks!” and “Be a hero, not a hoarder.” 

Devito/Verdi produced two PSAs for The Partnership for New York City by leveraging one of COVID-19’s breakout stars, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. The clips feature images of previous historical moments while a voiceover instructs viewers to do their part to help save the lives of others. The spot ends with footage taken from Cuomo press conferences plainly telling people to use common sense to protect fellow New Yorkers.

The ads air on local TV and cable stations and a number of other media outlets.  Airtime is being donated by the participating media companies.

Cheil Romania is lending its talents to support client ANAIS, an anti-domestic violence association, since COVID-19 is dangerously forcing those with an inclination towards abuse to spend more time in uninterrupted contact with their victims.

The campaign includes three new films and three new print executions, all with the hashtag, #IsolateViolence, to urge people to call the emergency services if they hear anything suspicious. Viewers are also directed to visit to learn more and donate money. 

Partners + Napier is creating a  #SixFeetSaves campaign to for Monroe County in upstate New York, where the agency has offices. 

While its message is intended for all, the work primarily targets too-often underserved people in the community, specifically those speaking Spanish. The site features downloadable posters, stencils, videos and social media assets. 


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