WarnerMedia Has launched an ambitious new campaign to help fight the spread of COVID-19, taking old movies from the studio's vault and giving them a "masked up" makeover. In the social media post for the new ad, we get the tagline that "Heroes wear masks. Even villains wear masks! You should, too. #MaskUpAmerica@CDCgov @AdCouncil". The accompanying footage shows iconic scenes from Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, Austin Powers, The Maxtrix, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hobbit, Joker, Creed, Birds of Prey, Zack Snyder's Justice League, IT, and even Casablanca all recut to show their protagonists and/or villains wearing protective face masks.
From the As Council official video post: "Developed in partnership with Warner Media and CDC, the PSA encourages Americans to continue to mask up to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. #MaskUpAmerica is a national campaign to promote mask wearing around the country."
It's interesting to see just how quickly things change along with the political winds. Last year there was a lot of push-and-pull about how much to address the COVID-19 pandemic in such big, sweeping, public measures. It was largely left to each state (town, or county) to put out its own edicts about public policy regarding the pandemic and the resulting public safety measures to fight it. This partnership between WarnerMedia, the CDC, and Ad Council is public policy/marketing on a whole other level.
It's ironic to see WarnerMedia being the ones to push this big new ad campaign to fight COVID. After all, the Warner Bros. is now infamous for being the only movie studio to hedge its bets for 2021, and offer big new movie releases on streaming (HBO Max) the same day they hit theaters. Maybe its a sign of good faith that the studio isn't trying to "kill the movie theaters industry as so many fans and analysts have asserted. Then again, it also doesn't hurt that many (if not all?) of the film in this PSA ad are currently available to stream on HBO Max - no mask or social distancing required.
WarnerMedia's next big release will be Zack Snyder's Justice League, which hits HBO Max on March 18th.