Miruna Codeanu

Marketers agains Ebola

In ebola, marketing on October 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

downloadI have a weakness for African matters. You probably already know that if you constantly read my blog. If you are a constant reader, welcome to my blog. I am a marketer with strong opinions and an attachment towards the global order. I previously wrote about this Ebola outbreak here. However, I couldn’t stop during this whole thing I couldn’t stop thinking, is there anything marketers and advertisers could do against Ebola?

Sure, we could start training as nurses and doctors, join Médecins Sans Frontières and go fight Ebola. That is far from being a realistic solution. By the time we finish training, Ebola will hopefully be gone. What else could I do? I could just volunteer. Honestly, again unrealistic. If you ask me, again unrealistic.A person with no medical training is not the type of personnel countries in west Africa need right now. Liberia is the most affect by Ebola right now, and the matter became so serious that they are talking about a skipped generation. Isolation is no possible in 2014, so Ebola is a problem that is not there far away, but here, in our face.

Here’s a documentrary from Vice News filmed in the heart of the matter:

Ebola is a deadly virus with no cure. However, even though very scary, Ebola is not highly transmissible, with a Ro of 2, which means a person infected with Ebola will infect two other people. Compared to other viruses it doesn’t seem so terrifying, what is even more scary is that all statistics are based on official numbers and there is a very high possibility very many cases go unreported. Probably the most frightening part of this story is that people in this country do not believe Ebola exists, therefore will not act cautiously. Therefore I wrote a brief, for the advertisers and marketers out there who need a challenge, this is your challenge, an impossible brief. Make people believe Ebola is real. Death is not a conspiration theory. If people believe Ebola is real they will report it and they will act more cautiously. Here’s the brief:


Please remember you will be designing any piece of communication aimed against a natural instinct: human touch. Human touch is instinctual: when someone trips and falls over, you hold them, when someone is sick you hold their hand and eastern cultures, we touch the dead to say goodbye. At all these stages, Ebola is most contagious, even in a dead body. This is an impossible brief: marketing life against Ebola but against human touch, a challenge.


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