Doug&partners is helping the pandemic war effort with ‘Properganda’ campaign

Who: doug&partners.

What: “Properganda,” an awareness campaign/fundraiser stressing the importance of staying home and maintaining social distancing to flatten the curve for COVID.

When & Where: Downloadable PDFs of the posters are available on the doug&partners website, while merchandise including T-shirts and mugs is being sold via a dedicated Properganda store, with proceeds to University Health Network.

Why: It arrives amid increased calls to re-open the economy—mostly in the U.S., but also in Canada—as the lockdown period stretches into its second month. The protestors and other people refusing to adhere to social distancing protocols have been dubbed “Covidiots,” and this appears as a call to action in the campaign: “Don’t be a #Covidiot.”

How: The battle against COVID has largely been couched in military terms, with leaders urging people to mobilize and come together in order to do their part to fight an “unseen enemy.” The “rules of engagement” for this particular battle have been well-defined: stay at home, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

That led doug&partners to focus on wartime propaganda posters, but using images and language directly related to the COVID crisis—such as a raised hand clutching a bar of soap accompanied by the message “Wash yer friggin’ hands.” The specific inspiration was World War II-era and Soviet-era posters, says doug&partners executive creative director Matt Syberg-Olsen.

The business imperative: Doug&partners has also created a version of the posters specifically for the business community, with added phrases including “Hand sanitizer is right here,” and “Please give your fellow customers enough space.” Some restaurants and business associations have already enquired about the posters, says Syberg-Olsen.

And we quote: “There’s a very human inclination to kind of start easing up and take your foot off the gas a little bit, so we thought now might be a good time to remind everybody that what we’re doing is working and to stick with it. Now is not the time to let up.”—Matt Syberg-Olsen, executive creative director, doug&partners


Chris Powell