Wearing a mask is one of the most critical steps citizens can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But as of June 2020, only 66% of Illinois residents regularly wore masks outside the house. Ahead of a $5M media campaign, the State of Illinois wanted to know how to most effectively target residents that didn’t regularly wear a mask, but could be persuaded to do so with the right intervention.
Using Creative Focus, Civis ran a message test to identify:
Creative Focus showed that a message comparing a mask to a seatbelt or a helmet was the most effective across all key populations. This message was made the focal point of the State’s campaign. Additionally, Civis developed a risk-based model, updated weekly, to guide campaign spending and direct advertising budget where it is most needed. Since the campaign launched, mask-wearing across Illinois increased 21%.
“We’ve worked with Civis to test which messages work most effectively to increase mask-wearing, participation in contact tracing and willingness to get the vaccine. With all the topics we’ve tested, we’ve seen that personal benefits are what resonate with people — meeting people where they are and giving them straight-forward reasons to do what’s right.”
Overall, “Seatbelt, Helmet, Mask” was the most effective message across subgroups, with a +3 percentage point (pp) average treatment effect (ATE). The other messages tested had neutral effects.