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Why COVID-19 ad campaigns have had little effect on the public

The use of clever advertising to highlight public health issues and even change our behavior can be extremely effective. An example is the Montana Meth Project, and Arizona’s anti-tobacco campaign from the 1990s was another that had a huge impact.

Although there was a push in 2020 to have Arizona’s ad agencies create campaigns that could be similarly effective in the fight against COVID-19, nothing has grabbed hold and changed hearts and minds in quite the same way.

Tim Riester, founder and CEO of the full-service ad agency Riester, was behind the successful anti-tobacco spots from the 1990s. The Show spoke with him to learn about that campaign — and COVID-19.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.