Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Ari Parker “We’re In This Together” COVID Campaign
During COVID, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) contacted Ezra Productions to produce a series of photos and commercial public service announcement videos (PSAs) starring celebrity couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker. The goal of the campaign was to increase the COVID vaccination rate amongst adults and children in the Inland Empire.
The goal of this campaign was to use Boris and Nicole’s natural charisma and authenticity to communicate a message of health and vaccination to IEHP members in the Inland Empire. We wanted the commercials and photography to feel heartfelt and elevated yet accessible and fun, while creating authentic connection to the Inland Empire.
The first step in creating authentic messaging was to take the time to get to know what motivated Boris and Nicole to participate in this campaign, and what drove them to get vaccinated. We distilled their stories into universally important themes for getting vaccinated: protecting our young children, our elderly family members, our coworkers, and of course, ourselves. Next, we had to translate this serious subject into scenes and scripts that allowed Nicole and Boris’s personalities to shine, and that still felt relatable to residents of the Inland Empire.
We only had four hours to shoot with the talent, and we wanted to maximize our shooting time with Boris and Nicole and reach as many demographics as possible, so we created four commercials that targeted at three audiences: two starred both Boris and Nicole and were aimed at multi-generational families, one starred Nicole and focused on women taking care of themselves, and one starred Boris and spoke to men in the African American community. Each of these commercials took place in relatable atmospheres: at the gym, at a restaurant, in a café, and in parking lot unloading groceries. We didn’t shy away from the fact that Boris and Nicole are Hollywood celebrities—after all, that’s part of what makes them who they are—but we were careful not to make it feel like they were outsiders coming into a community and telling them what to do and how to live their lives.
While our video crew was transitioning from one scene to the next, we had our celebrity photographer capture photos of Nicole and Boris in each of the setups so the client could use those photos for billboards, newsletters, social media, and on their website.
Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is a non-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan in Southern California that serves over 1.2 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. IEHP celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021.
IEHP observed that towards the tail end of COVID, the vaccination rate amongst adults in the Inland Empire was decreasing and African Americans were still being disproportionally impacted by COVID. IEHP’s members believed that COVID was coming to an end, so vaccination was not high on their priority lists. They were also tired of hearing the same old COVID messaging insisting that they get vaccinated. Our job was to create fresh, authentic messaging delivered by a beloved celebrity couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, that sparked a dialogue while encouraging members to consider getting vaccinated without being forceful.
- Creative concept development
- Location scouting
- Production design
- Motion graphics
- Color grading
- Music composition
- Commercial photography
- Photo retouching
- Four 30-second commercials for broadcast and social media
- Four 15-second cutdowns for social media
- Four commercial photos for use on billboards, web, newsletters, and social media