MTV and ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group launch #BacktoSchoolTogether campaign in partnership with the Ad Council

As millions of college students begin to return to campus in the coming weeks and states across the country are reporting a rise in younger people testing positive for COVID-19, MTV and ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group – in partnership with the Ad Council – are launching #BacktoSchoolTogether, a new phase of the #AloneTogether public awareness campaign will communicate how to stay safe, dispel myths and misinformation and promote the importance of key actions that students can take to slow the spread.

The digital-first PSA campaign features a media toolkit that consists of a style guide and a suite of creative assets that schools can easily and quickly customize across their social channels and digital platforms.

#BacktoSchoolTogether includes three creative campaigns:

  • The first campaign entitled “Do it for Everyone” includes two spots of different lengths that tap into the value of peer culture and community support and compliance when it comes to following public health guidance.
  • The second includes a series of four informational spots that introduces Dr. Darien Sutton-Ramsey, MD, an emergency medicine physician, in order to address myths that have been disseminated among young people regarding the effectiveness of masks, false beliefs about antibodies and immunity, the prevalence of asymptomatic spread and the significance of COVID-related symptoms.
  • The third features a duo of animated spots that promote the need to “slow the spread” through mask-wearing, social distancing and washing hands.

Students can visit to get additional tips and information as well as resources for mental health support. The spots will air across all platforms of the ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group brands starting September 14 during its ‘Back to School’ week.

Since the launch of #AloneTogether in March, hundreds of companies have been using the #AloneTogether creative assets, including Google, WarnerMedia, NBC Universal, Snapchat and Target. Brands across the ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group portfolio integrated its message into content, including “MTV Unplugged at Home” and “Club MTV’s #DanceTogether” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah,” among others. The campaign has had 8.7B impressions, 890M video views and 32M engagements on the ViacomCBS platforms; 37 percent of the engagements were from people under 25.

“#BacktoSchoolTogether continues the mission of our global #AloneTogether COVID-19 public awareness campaign to be an agent of change, providing colleges and universities with relevant and fact-based content and enabling a digital-first approach to which their students will respond,” said Jacqueline Parkes, CMO and EVP of Digital Studios for ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group. “The #AloneTogether campaign resonates with younger audiences because it meets them wherever they are – on social channels and platforms. We are leveraging our 600M social media following to connect directly to students with these important messages that can keep them safe at this critically important time.”

“The #AloneTogether campaign has been a much-needed rallying cry—one that shows we can unite as one to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Its success was a powerful and resonating creative idea that has been embraced by media channels and platforms nationwide,” said Lisa Sherman, President & CEO of the Ad Council. “#BackToSchoolTogether speaks to college students in their voice, with facts that are relevant to them, and gives colleges and universities the tools and content to adapt the campaign for their students. We are so grateful to the team at ViacomCBS for creating it, and all of our partners who will be supporting the message during this critical time.”

Partners including The ANA Educational Foundation, the American Hospital Association and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, The Jed Foundation (JED) and Swank Motion Pictures are supporting the campaign to help further the reach of the messages to college students on campuses, universities and throughout the country.

Delcan & Co and Block & Tackle worked with MTV’s in-house Brand Creative Team to create the spots.

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