Procter & Gamble has launched a “Masks On, Ohio” campaign on billboards in the state and on social media to encourage residents to use a face covering when they’re in public.
“A new campaign from @ProcterGamble encourages you to wear a mask to protect others,” tweeted Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. “Look for billboards from the Outdoor Advertising Association of Ohio & PSAs from the Ohio Association of Broadcasters with this important message.”
The dominant message reads “When We’re Out” on one side and “Masks On” on the other.
Last week, the Retail Industry Leaders Association urged the nation’s governors to pass consistently worded legislation mandating masks. The group said its members are “alarmed with instances of hostility and violence” shopkeepers face from customers.
Ohio has now ordered masks to be worn in 12 “Code Red” counties where the virus spiked highest, including Hamilton County, home of the Cincinnati-based consumer packaged food giant.
A P&G spokeswoman told Marketing Daily, “We’re not making a political statement, We simply want to spread the message that masks are one way we can all help protect ourselves — family, friends and neighbors. It’s not a P&G campaign, per se, but a grassroots campaign throughout Ohio that we are supporting.”
There’s no branding on any of the material.
So far, Governor DeWine’s communications office has done the outreach for placement of outdoor signage/billboards and radio spots. “We’ve leveraged P&G’s own social channels to get the word out,” the spokeswoman said.
DeWine, a Republican, earned plaudits early on when he took moves to stanch the spread of the virus in March, unlike many Republican governors. Ohio avoided the worst of the effects from the first wave of the virus.
DeWine's daily television updates where he was joined by his telegenic health director, Dr. Amy Acton, became something like must-see pandemic TV. But eventually, both of them irritated some Ohioans who wanted the state to loosen restrictions.
Acton was subjected to anti-Semitic taunts by picketers at her home and even from a state legislator. She resigned last month. Ohio’s COVID-19 stats increased rapidly when the state eased the lockdown.