Blue Shield of California

HMH Awards: Blue Shield of California

By Patti Bateman | Design Director

CATEGORY: Hitting just the right note to save lives

RECIPIENT: Blue Shield of California

Despite the efforts of researchers and healthcare professionals, there’s still a lot of noise surrounding COVID-19. Fortunately, Blue Shield of California knows just how to cut through it. Their one-minute spot, “Save Lives,” has a clear message: Wearing a mask is an essential practice that we all must follow to protect each other.

The spot doesn’t just offer an important message, though. It’s also crafted with care. The clear, concise copy manages to make the issue of wearing a mask positive, not political. The honest, straightforward photography evokes the warmth and personality of its everyday subjects, even as they cover their faces. The use of black and white literally removes the issue of color and harmonizes the images into a united rallying cry.

One of the most captivating aspects of the ad is its music, a piano cover of California Dreamin’ that Blue Shield of California has used in previous videos (like a similarly powerful one about social and racial justice). While the song begins somber and slow, it gradually propels us toward a collective sense of positivity, strength and action. I think it’s the best use of the song that I’ve ever heard. Bravo, Blue Shield of California and the creators at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners.