‘Fight the virus’: Ad Council tackles antisocial behaviour against Asian community
By Imogen Watson
To draw attention to the antisocial and racist treatment of members of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Ad Council has unveiled ‘Fight the Virus, Fight the Bias’ as part of its ‘Love Has No Labels’ campaign.
Donald Trump unashamedly referring to Covid-19 as the ‘Chinese virus’ did nothing but encourage 2,000 reported incidences of discrimination and hate speech against the API community, as the current pandemic continues to see an increase in bigotry and racism.
According to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 31% of Asian adults have reported being victim to racial slurs or jokes since the outbreak, and 58% of Asian Americans say this behaviour has increased in frequency.
‘Fight the Virus, Fight the Bias’ intends to combat the harmful stereotypes, with a film that encapsulates the fear felt by those at the receiving hand of anti-API discrimination. Through a series of personal recounts, it tells the sad tale of abuse against members of API community who feel physically blamed for the virus.
Pulling off their face-masks, each narrative details how they are ‘not a virus’ but an essential worker, working tirelessly to help the world cope with the ongoing pandemic. ‘Fight the virus, fight the bias’ they say in unison as the spot concludes. Alongside the PSA, the campaign includes an AR filter, available on the Love Has No Labels Instagram page in the effects tab, to encourage users to show solidarity.
“At a time when hateful rhetoric and racially-fueled discrimination are plaguing the API community, it’s critical that we all play a role in dispelling the racist misconceptions and actions pervading our country,” said Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman.
“Amid this pandemic and the stresses associated, nobody should have to also endure the added layer of fear that comes from this surge in racial violence and harassment. We hope this film will inspire Americans to rethink their biases and help put an end to the wave of racism facing the API community.”
The campaign will be promoted across the channels of Love Has No Labels’ partners, including Bank of America, Google, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart.
Finding real purpose amid the global pandemic, the Ad Council has been hard at work on its ongoing national Covid-19 response efforts. Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month, the Ad Council approached the issue of youth suicide with a star-studded music video, in a bid to help those who might be struggling during lockdown.
It partners with Comedy Central and ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands, to address the effects of isolation on mental health. It launched an online hub that offered actionable resources to help people ‘Stay Calm’, ‘Stay Connected’, and ‘Stay Active while they ‘Stay Home.’
Alongside that, it created a campaign to thank those on the front lines of the Covid-19pandemic that featured an unreleased new song from Alicia Keys, titled ‘Good Job.’ At the beginning of April, it joined forces with Google, the ANA, and other advertising, media, and marketing trade associations, on an industry-wide movement that begged the American public to ‘#StayHome. Save Lives’.
The movement built on the success of #AloneTogether – a social distancing campaign created by MTV and the Entertainment & Youth Brands of ViacomCBS.