As concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19) grew more serious at the beginning of March, and medical professionals began imploring people to practice social distancing and eventually self isolation, the message didn’t seem to be reaching younger generations. Many Gen Zers were seen congregating in Florida beaches and bars over spring break, accompanied by cringey interviews of defiant college kids asserting their right to party.
In response to spring break mayhem and other indications that the public wasn’t taking the coronavirus warnings seriously, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams went on Good Morning America urging influencers to use their clout and convince people that it’s smart and safe to stay home. “We need to get our social media influencers out there in helping folks understand that this is serious. This is absolutely serious. People are dying,” said Adams. “What I really think we need to do… is get our influencers out. We need to get Kylie Jenner.”
Dr. Adams had a good point. According to recent research by Kantar Group, 44% of Gen Z has made purchase decisions based on social media influencers, and 70% of Gen Z follows “at least one influencer on platforms like YouTube or Instagram.” Responding to Dr. Adam’s request, many influencers took to their social media platforms to do their thing.
The Jenners And Kardashians Chime In To Convince Their Followers To Stay Home
Never ones to shy away from publicity, the Jenners and Kardishians took to Instagram to encourage their followers to stay inside and observe the quarantine. Kylie and Kendall Jenner, who have 167 million and 125 million followers on Instagram respectively, appealed to the boredom many young people may be having, urging their young fans to follow the rules so they can get back to socializing. Kim Kardashian’s influencing skewed more toward the charities she is contributing to during the coronavirus crisis and asking her followers for advice on keeping little ones busy during quarantine, perhaps appealing more to Millennial followers.
Bella Hadid also shared her pro-isolation message and Justin Bieber even hosted a virtual church service from his Instagram.
NBA Stars Who Tested Positive For COVID-19 Are Asking Fans To Take The Virus Seriously
On March 12th, after discovering that a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA was forced to suspend the current season. Since then, several other NBA players have tested positive and used their experiences to encourage fans to self isolate.
According to an article in Variety, professional NBA player Donavan Mitchell has been vocal on Twitter and Instagram. “I’m seeing people still out and going to bars clubs restaurants beaches etc,” tweeted Mitchell. “As a country, let’s help others and stay inside.” Mitchell also posted on his Instagram account, saying, “We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation, and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them.”
Brands That Are Popular With Younger Audiences Are Also Trying To Use Their Influence
Many brands that are popular with younger audiences are also sharing messages encouraging people to stay home and stay safe. Coca-Cola unveiled a massive billboard in Times Square that says “staying away is the best way to stay united,” and the brand has pledged to donate $13.5 million in grants to non-profit organizations involved in the humanitarian response to the pandemic. More than half of Coke drinkers are 18-29 years old.
Nike launched an Instagram campaign urging people to “play inside, play for the world,” enlisting the help of athletes from around sports, including Carli Lloyd, Madison Keys and LeBron James. Nike has also committed to donating $15 million to various response efforts.
As coronavirus continues to impact the population worldwide, brands, businesses and influencers will need to use their collective power to encourage the health and safety of everyone young and old.
About the AuthorMore Content by Sarah Cavill