COVIDWISE app campaign video receives Telly Award, two Emmy nominations


RICHMOND, Va. (WDVM) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) initially launched an app called COVIDWISE in August of last year to notify residents if they were possibly exposed to the Coronavirus through Bluetooth tracking. To market the app, VDH produced a video campaign with students that won a Telly Silver Award and has been nominated for two Emmy Awards.

VDH started thinking of how COVID-19 would impact students, leading them to think of a way to include students in a video campaign for the COVIDWISE app.

VDH connected with both high school and college students to produce the campaign. Award-winning filmmaker and Richmond native, Jesse J. Vaughan Jr., who directs Advanced Creative Services at the Virginia State University, wanted to be a part of the project. Vaughan brought in his crew, worked with the students and directed the campaign.

Jeff Stover, VDH’s Chief of Staff, said the award and the nominations are a magnificent way to acknowledge and honor students’ sacrifices.

“It’s not so much about winning one of those things, it’s the fact that we were even recognized for what we put together and that hopefully people were inspired by that, and people were actually downloading COVIDWISE as a result which was the whole point,” explained Stover.

The video, linked here, won a Silver Telly Award in the Promotional Video: Craft-Writing category. The Emmy Award nominations are in the Public Service Announcement (Campaign) and Short Form Content (Under 10 minutes) categories from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter

The Emmy Award winners will be announced at the end of the month.

Approximately 2.1 Virginians have initiated the COVIDWISE app and Stover said it continues to be downloaded every day. The app’s targeted population are 18-65-year-olds and approximately half of that population is using the app.

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