How a jingle writer created a viral public health message for Victoria

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 1 September 2020

Michael Burrows, founder of jingle business Brand Music, recently launched a campaign in Victoria to encourage citizens to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus that has since gone viral.

The idea came about while he was out riding his bike during the state's lockdowns.

"A colleague called and told me they heard Neil Mitchell on 3AW talking about Victorians in lockdown and how we needed something to unify the people," Burrows told AdNews.

"I’m used to writing jingles and sonic logos for many well known brands, often with tight timelines but in that same afternoon, I wrote the #whatweneedtodo campaign song on the bike ride home and created the entire campaign including a TV ad shot on mobile phones and a campaign hand sign."

Burrows has worked with the likes of Neil Finn and written jingles for brands including 13Cabs and Chemist Warehouse. For this campaign though, he and his team pulled it together with no budget.

The following Monday after it had all been produced, #whatweneedtodo launched with a bang on 3AW with two million listeners.

Within hours Chemist Warehouse donated all its prime time media with other networks following suit.

The TV ad played for more than a month with big brands including McDonald's and Woolworths also playing it on rotation in store.

The W hand sign that accompanied the campaign started popping up across social media with celebrities, politicians, community groups and even Victoria's chief medical officer Brett Sutton posting themselves making it.

The viral campaign saw Burrows and the Brand Music team featured in different news outlets and JCDecaux and Total Outdoor Media donated over $200,000 worth of space for the campaign.

Burrows says the campaign is still gaining momentum even today.

"We are a small agency but it’s been a buzz being in the middle of this storm helping to change behaviour," he says.

The video currently has close to 16,000 views on YouTube.

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