ATLANTA—Concerned about rising cases of Covid-19 among young people, the Centers for Disease Control released a series of public service announcements designed to appeal Americans under 30.
The campaign – “Don’t Taint Me, Bro” – includes messages from Dr. Anthony Fauci, tennis star John McEnroe, actor Rob Schneider, and other luminaries who agreed to cut 30-second ads to promote better health practices.
“Wearing a mask is off the hook, yo,” Fauci said during his commercial.
Fauci, who has become the public face of the effort to contain the deadly virus, said it took him several takes, and one re-write, before getting his lines right.
“I’d never heard of ‘off the hook’ so I asked my granddaughter what it meant and she didn’t know either. It must be so new that it hasn’t made the rounds,” Fauci said. “Originally, my line was ‘Just like the Wu-Tang Clan, Covid-19 ain’t nothing to (clears throat) with,’ but I wasn’t comfortable using profanity.”
The campaign also includes t-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, and other products bearing the campaign’s primary slogan or its alternate slogan, “Not washing hands is cra-cra.”
“We wanted to put it on condom wrappers but the Vice-President put the kibosh on it,” campaign creator Brad Wilson said.
Wilson, who heads the CDC’s Creative Services Division, was eager to follow up on the success of 2017’s campaign: Flu Shot? Fo shizzle!
Wilson, 48, is eagerly awaiting the debut of the ads on radio stations and broadcast television networks.
“Some oldsters might not appreciate what we’re trying to do, but you’ve gotta be able to talk to the kids in a way they can understand,” Wilson said.
The first ads are set to air during the “Will and Grace” reboot on NBC.