case study

World Mask
Week 2020

Rallying the globe to promote mask-wearing and slow the spread of COVID-19.

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COVID-19 highlighted that the world is not prepared for pandemics and the resulting economic and social crises. Building on experience from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Evoke Kyne and Panorama Global, together with a coalition of international partners, created the Pandemic Action Network to help end the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the world is better prepared for future pandemics.

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The global pandemic and the rush for information, combined with an ever-increasing interconnected world meant that the public faced an ‘infodemic’. Early in the pandemic, official WHO advice on wearing masks was still being publicly debated. If we could create a captivating moment that would promote mask-wearing as a normative behavior, this could increase awareness and uptake of mask-wearing and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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We conceptualized, developed and launched #WorldMaskWeek from August 7-14, 2020, using a mixed-media strategy to generate urgent awareness and provide a positive, uplifting global platform for partners to engage in pro-mask messaging and behavior. Through the dissemination of critical messaging by trusted voices across diverse channels, our goal was to build momentum to enlist more policymakers, leaders, and influencers to adopt and reinforce mask-wearing policies, maximizing reach.

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By rallying new and existing partners to participate and amplify content and key messages, the campaign quickly delivered on its strategies. Simple and concise messages were promoted through a diverse channel strategy including online media; online games and primetime TV; owned and influencer-led social media; and a policy toolkit, all housed centrally on a website hub.


  • Reached~3.5B people in just over one week, with 2.7B social impressions from 117 countries and 655M+ media impressions from stories in 32 countries
  • Through unorthodox partners such as FOX Entertainment’s “The Masked Singer” and the gaming industry’s #PlayApartTogether, earned placements within ‘Words with Friends’ and ‘The Episode’
  • An increase in mask-wearing during and following #WorldMaskWeek based on independent data. In the US, Pew Research Center found 85% of adults wore masks “all or most of the time” in August versus 65% in July
  • +90 partners engaged in the campaign including, WHO, CDC, Facebook, Google and Global Citizen and global leaders including, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General and Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda participated to extend the campaign reach
  • Finalist: 2021 PRWeek Global Awards: Healthcare Campaign of the Year; 2021 PRWeek US Awards: Best Global Effort
  • Honorable Mention: 2021 PRWeek US Awards: Best in Healthcare; 2021 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards: General Excellence