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  • Writer's pictureJackson Tarrant

Which Brands Stand Out Amid Sea of COVID-19 Messaging?

Featured on, June 30, 2020.

The novel coronavirus outbreak was met with a flood of support for the nation’s #HealthcareHeroes. Fearing the impact of going silent, brands reacted quickly to craft messaging around the aid they’re providing to families and communities of all sizes, letting consumers know they’re here to help.

Months into social distancing protocols, brands have continued to utilize these supportive messages across all categories. This is demonstrated by the Most Viewed Video Ads Chart, a compilation of the most-watched brand-driven video ad campaigns as measured by AcuityAds’ True Reach Insights Platform. The platform captures the number of times a video is viewed across top websites where people are engaging with video content every day. The chart ranks the ads that drew the most consumer attention in the healthcare segment in the first months following the pandemic outbreak—including one brand that captured a lot of viewers through a different kind of messaging to grab a spot in the top 10, flanked by heavy-hitting competitors.

The consistent theme among many of the top 10 healthcare-related video ads since the pandemic outbreak has been that of being helpful in the age of social distancing. A majority of brands maintained sensitivity by sharing messages to help consumers through uncertain times. Others cut through the noise in a slightly different way, offering solutions to consumers’ new daily routines.

Vanquish achieves David status

When COVID-19 sent our workforce home, leading the way for remote work, one brand chose to zig when everyone else zagged. Vanquish, a leading over-the-counter personal care brand, tapped into a common thread connecting people stuck at home: “digital headache.” The spot flips traditional COVID-19 messaging on its head and embraces relatable scenarios to tackle the pandemic without even mentioning it. It was successful because it spoke to a real concern—people are spending more time on their devices and screens than ever before. Vanquish captured the No. 4 spot on the chart, a noteworthy accomplishment as it outpaced OTC counterparts such as Flonase.

Some things never get old

Market leaders CVS Health and Walgreens chose to play it safe, reminding their audiences that they are available even when we’re locked indoors. These messages include clear steps that each organization is taking to combat the spread of the virus, creating real value for consumers. We saw plenty of brands follow suit with similar offerings—free support for healthcare workers, free delivery of prescription medicine and telehealth service options—all relaying the same message: “Thank you for supporting our caregivers!”

When in doubt, inspire

Following the theme of most ads during the lockdown, healthcare facilities such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic leaned into inspirational messages to let people know “we’re here for you.” The Cleveland Clinic ads detail the profound everyday impact of frontline workers for those struggling with illness. Others urge people to practice social distancing, stay at home whenever possible and be considerate of those around you.

So, how are the largest healthcare brands helping address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic? Here is the list of Most Viewed Video Ads by healthcare companies from March to May 2020. The chart is powered by AcuityAds:


Views: 37,168,007

  1. Humana | “COVID-19

Views: 20,012,940

Views: 19,512,927

Views: 6,747,019

  1. Kaiser Permanente | “#OwnTheCurve”

Views: 5,077,863

Views: 3,842,845

  1. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center | “We’re Here for You”

Views: 3,785,808

Views: 2,628,328

Views: 2,414,470

Views: 1,454,929

The Most Viewed Video Ads chart, powered by AcuityAds, focuses on brand-driven video ad campaigns. Each campaign is measured by the True Reach Insights Platform, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on hundreds of millions of videos tracked across hundreds of online video destinations.


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