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Announcing the Winners of The Covid-Nineteen Awards

Thursday, 17 June 2021
Announcing the Winners of The Covid-Nineteen Awards

After pouring through the submissions of The Covid-Nineteen Awards, our judges said they were blown away by the creativity, resourcefulness, and storytelling behind the work. And while we had hoped to share the winners much earlier, it turns out Covid delays everything – even the judging of creative awards shows. We thank you for your exceptional patience and without further ado….here are the winners: The Covid Nineteen.



Never Been Normal – Not Your Usual PSA for Visit California

Created By Mering

What do you do when you work for one of the largest tourism accounts in the country, but you can’t sell travel to or within the state (by Governor’s orders and your own conscience) AND you have no media budget to speak of? You take your desire to remind people to do the right thing, the constant topic of “the new normal” and fundamental truth about the nature of the people who call California home, and you make a PSA that uplifts, inspires, and reinforces what we love about this state. And you scour social media (and maybe shoot one or two key scenes yourself) to make it happen.


Year Not Found San Diego City College Graphic Design 2020 Portfolio Minisite

Created by Sean Bacon

This minisite and social media campaign was built to help the Graphic Design program at San Diego City College promote its recent graduates. Between the pandemic abruptly closing campus and the civil unrest as my peers fought for equality, it was clear that the narrative of the minisite needed to reflect the schizophrenic existence we were all living. I achieved this through the use of error messages and effects that visually articulated the dysfunction and disruption of a year gone sideways. The minisite and Instagram posts use glitches and other visual anomalies to support the error message concept.


CHOC Kids Will Be Kids for Children’s Health Orange County

Created by Red Door Interactive

COVID-19 has caused many changes in our lives, especially within the healthcare system. Among other shifts, people are shying away from making necessary appointments, including regular wellness and specialty check-ups. But even in the midst of a pandemic, kids will be kids, and they’ll still need care. This lighthearted video shows that even in a pandemic, kids will keep being kids, and may even still trip, fall and tumble. And getting healthcare for your children should still be a priority.


VSP Vision Care- That’s Vision Accomplished

Created by Mering

Big or small, we all have goals and challenges. Whether they be as simple as getting through that Netflix series everyone keeps talking about, as daunting as working from home in a global pandemic, or as important as carving out the time to finally tackle that long-awaited DIY project, to get these things done right requires great vision. And while you’re busy focusing on your vision, VSP Vision Care is there to help you see it through by focusing on your eyes. Mering faced its own challenges bringing these spots to life. Shot over 2 days in early September, this production was the first to be done fully remote for our agency. Using a combination of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and a direct feed into the camera, the creative team at Mering was able to re-create the most important aspects of being on-set. Now that’s Vision Accomplished.


#iamessential.campaign for

Created by

There are good people out in the world that need to be heard and recognized for their work and service. So, my good friend and I decided to help tell their stories by developing a social campaign called “I Am Essential”. The idea behind the campaign started with this pandemic we are currently living in and seeing the essential workers working daily to help save lives and keep patients’ spirits high. 100% of all funds will go towards the production of medical masks that will have our “iamessential” message printed on them. We plan on delivering these masks to hospitals, health institutes, and other places all over the world that could use them and help carry on the message–at no cost. We intend to share the stories of people and connect them with the world.


Gratitude is Essential

Created by Neyenesch Printers

Neyenesch Printers has been a trusted family-run business since 1899. As an expression of appreciation to the community that has supported us during the Covid-19 Crisis, we’ve created a gift set of 5 uniquely designed greeting cards that capture what we feel in our hearts, “Gratitude is Essential.” We collaborated with designers Marc Hedges, Allan Manzano, and Michael Osborne to create something beautiful. The Neyenesch team employed unique printing techniques to highlight our digital printing capabilities. In keeping with the message, “Gratitude is Essential,” Neyenesch Printers has donated to the San Diego Food Bank and the I Am Essential initiative run by the creative duo Allan Manzano and Michael Osborne. We’ve invited others to do the same via links on the campaign webpage. Since many in our community are working from home, we’ve reached out via email and social media to encourage online ordering.



Multicultural Health Foundation COVID Response Campaign

Created by J. Walcher Communications

To ensure 180,000 African Americans/Black residents throughout San Diego County have access to accurate, consistent, and timely COVID-19 information and results in participation for testing, treatment, social protocols, and greater trust in public health information, on behalf of the County of San Diego. To have the greatest impact, our agency was hired to create and implement a traditional campaign that included outdoor, radio, TV, and print advertising in the areas with the highest concentration of the target market. We wanted to break out of the mold of the consistent messages of “wear a mask, social distance” etc. with a disruption campaign that tied in a message of social justice. We developed our strategy with one-on-one interviews and small focus groups of trusted stakeholders and young African Americans/Black in the community. Our traditional media strategy, separate from a digital strategy, reinforced the messages across a wide swatch of exposure.


Love Your City 

Created by Neyenesch Printers

When Covid 19 hit San Diego our first reaction was to ensure Neyenesch Printers was operational and ready to engage. As an essential business, we implemented a safe environment plan for our employees and contacted our customers to offer support. As the hard work continued, we recognized it was time to reconnect with our community in a meaningful way. Inspired by the quarantine posters created by local designer Yomar Augusto, our engagement campaign “Love Your City” came to life. Yomar designed 3 posters encapsulating the idea of loving where you live. Through our efforts, we hoped to inspire people to plan for when the quarantine ended. 500 sets were printed and available for online order, free of charge. A donation to the SD Food Bank was encouraged and engagement was driven through social media. User activity included sharing images and notes of what they miss and love¬ about their city— #loveyourSD.



The Heartbeat of San Diego for The San Diego Foundation

Created by 62 Above 

Produced, shot, and edited in September 2020, this video is a love letter to our amazing region. Following strict COVID-19 safety protocols, we wanted to showcase life throughout San Diego, but not mire the video at the time of this pandemic. We are all connected, and when we help one person, we help everyone.


“Calling all Californian’s” to Do Nothing to Help Their State’s Economic Recovery for Visit California

Created by Mering

To state the obvious, Covid-19 was like a punch to the head for California’s economy. And tourism-based businesses like hotels, restaurants, and wineries were suffering the most. Visit California needed to support those industries (and all the people working within them) in their time of need. So we turned our focus in-state (something that had not been done since 911) and created a campaign that reminded Californian’s of one simple fact – that by having one night out or simply taking just one vacation in their home state, they are doing their part to help our economy recover. The simple concept was shot on location with an extremely limited crew, meaning agency and client were completely remote. It was also our first experience doing remote in-home casting via Zoom, which was interesting…to say the least. We also did some great radio.


No Man Is An Island for Love Catalina Island

Create by 62Above

On March 20, 2020, Catalina Island took the extreme step to suspend visitation for non-residents and non-essential personnel. Tourism is the biggest economic driver for Catalina, so suspending visitation had an immediate and dramatic impact on islanded businesses including hotels, restaurants, and attractions. We needed to find a way to educate people about the island’s closure, while still encouraging people to plan future travel to the island. Produced in just a matter of days, this video showcased our beautiful destination, while reminding us all that we depend on each other to survive and thrive.


SDHC Share Your Story

Created by Video Approach

A global pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. The San Diego History Center is dedicated to documenting the history of San Diego. In a campaign to help further the mission of telling the story of the San Diego experience, SDHC launched the Share Your Story campaign to remind us that we are living history. This video was created to make the connection between San Diego in the past and San Diego now to urge people to share their stories. By showing historical photos of the pandemic of the past juxtaposed with imagery of today, we are reminded of the importance of history. And hence, the importance of the San Diego History Center.


Big Bertha 21 – Distance Any Way You Swing It for Callaway Golf

Created by Taco Truck Creative

We were asked to create messaging to launch the Callaway Big Bertha B21, a new driver designed to fix the slice most golfers have. Normally, we would round up our crew and hit the golf course for a shoot. But not during Covid. Shooting on location was a no-go. Animation quickly became the best way to bring this spot to life. We put together a small crew and shot in the production company’s parking lot to capture live-action plates. Then these plates were rotoscoped to keep the movements of the golfers 100% authentic. Covid hasn’t been easy on the agency and production worlds but we saw it as an opportunity to do something different than we might have done pre-Covid. We’re extremely grateful to be able to keep people working and to everyone who helped put together such an efficient, productive, and safe shoot.


Hey. You Up? – California’s “See You Soon” Campaign for Visit California

Created by Mering

California, the Governor’s office had basically forbidden our clients at Visit California to overtly promote travel to or within the state, in any way. But people really missed their California vacations. And it turns out, California missed them too. This campaign was created in a time complete lockdown and broke through using a simple, comforting, and oddly personal technological form factor – the text message. It was as loved during a time when people didn’t love much. And that’s what mattered. Please watch the short case study.


‘Time for New’ Campaign for Shea Homes

Created by: Red Door Interactive

Everyone is dealing with challenges brought on by our new at-home lifestyle. But for some, the pain points have led to a breaking point. That’s why Shea has been building functional and thoughtful spaces from the beginning—so when you realize it’s time for new, we’ll be ready with everything you’re looking for. This concept takes a lighthearted approach to address people’s current at-home situations by using tongue-in-cheek testimonials as a device. The message captures the moments when people decided enough is enough, it’s time for a Shea home, intending to appeal to our audience who might be feeling similar sentiments.



Created by Zambezi

What started as an initial PSA to spread helpful information during a time of uncertainty, turned into an eight-month-long, three-phased campaign. We launched with “Clean Out Coronavirus”, an activation featuring reassuring signage that supports CDC guidelines to help eliminate false remedies. The campaign utilized empty shelves, created as a result of panic buying, by placing signage in stores across Los Angeles. The campaign drew attention from an OOH vendor who offered a high volume of free outdoor units to amplify the campaign. The outdoor effort humorously encouraged people to #StayHome and stop the spread of COVID-19. And lastly, this Halloween we launched a film that encouraged trick-or-treaters to wear a mask because the scariest thing about Halloween this year wasn’t the ghosts and goblins, but those who refuse to wear a mask. The PSA was entitled “Screamfest,” and featured Nick Castle, Mindy Sterling, Tara Copeland, among others.


Covid Creativity Campaign

Created by Duff!Bear

It’s March 13, 2020, and Covid 19 hits, with lockdowns, social distancing, and facial coverings. The political climate is divisive, racial tension is brewing, and the economy is under added stress. Go figure, the ad game halted, leaving us with lots of creativity, and few client outlets. But you can’t stop brain spin, so we decided to channel our concept skills to promote and express ourselves, and do some good by getting socially connective messages out when physical distancing was the mandate. As time went on, we moved from toilet paper to more serious subjects like politics and race, but we always voiced the communications digitally. Although the general public and industry response was powerful, we realized one major gap was people craving real emotional connection because of facial coverings. Our custom photo-imprinted face masks are letting us be seen and we’re seeing others, in a real-world, that seems increasingly surreal.


Salsa Party

Created by Jen Rubin Photography

Salsa Party came into fruition one day during the first Covid-19 lockdown. While everyone was baking Sourdough Bread – I was trying my hand at a much easier dish, homemade salsa. I’ve always been intrigued by photographs of food suspended in mid-air. The ingredients to my salsa were so vibrant the two ideas seamlessly melded together and voila – Salsa Party was born. This photograph would jump-start an entire food series that is currently in the works. It’s been a great way to stay creative while work has been at a standstill.


47th Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards

Created by San Diego Press Club 

The Press Club presented the Excellence In Journalism Awards virtually via Facebook from the SD Automotive Museum. The incoming and outgoing presidents and the Executive Director were live at the museum and all inserts were pre-recorded on Zoom and live-mixed into the presentation. Club members expect this level of creativity and respect for the process of honoring their work, announcing the best of show awards, the lifetime achievement awards, and presenting scholarships. In ordinary times, it means a gathering of 700 people, 20 restaurants, 10 wineries, and lots of good cheer.