Phase 2: Covid-19 App


As the UK was opening again after the first lockdown, we needed people to download the NHS Covid-19 App to support the Test & Trace programme and communicate local alert levels. No longer being in a national lockdown meant that our comms was competing with more noise than before. 


Research revealed that the core driver for take-up was a desire to protect loved ones, so this became our core strategy. We built on this with the cultural insight that we all have pictures of loved ones on our phones, leading to the creative idea of: ‘The people we love are on our phone. Now so is the app to protect them.’​

As this was about mass take-up, we built communications around ‘Herd Theory’ - if we see others have done something, we are more likely to follow.


The app alerts the risk level in your local area. We showcased this feature using ‘mass localisation’ across print, digital OOHand radio, with bespoke ads for the current local risk level.

For radio, we had over a 100 variations, with relevant regional accents announcing the risk level in each area.


Recognition of the campaign hit 70% within a week, and desired message take-out was strong:

Download the app
Protecting loved ones

The UK app has been the most successful globally with at least 56% of the smartphone population downloading it in the UK.


Covid-19 Phase Two: Covid-19 App

Never was being a force for good more important than when Covid-19 hit in March 2020. We were appointed by the UK Government to develop and deliver an ongoing series of multi-channel public-information communications in an unprecedented climate.

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MullenLowe UK

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