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Chicago creatives may be social distancing and shut in due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, but their creativity is not shut down. If anything, the Reel Chicago team has seen over the last six weeks sparks of creativity whether it’s D-Nice throwing virtual dance parties on his Instagram or Energy BBDO creating a fabulous Uncle Ben’s spot in five days from the director’s home. We can add to the list creatives Jonny Arcila & Blase Mnich.
The two have come together and created positivity-inspired Instagram filters that promote the practice of Social Distancing.
Called “Share the Distance,” it is the duo’s take on “which ___ are you?” filters. But instead of Disney or Tiger King characters, theirs features people you can help by social distancing.
These include healthcare workers, educators or your best friend. The filter encourages users to keep social distancing for these people by encouraging them to think about who they are social distancing for. See below:
Arcila and Mnich met while working at Razorfish and quickly became friends despite never working directly together. According to Arcila the two recently we found themselves talking about the situation at hand, and how people and advertisers were handling it.
“It felt like most of the social distancing conversations were self-serving. Both of us have family and friends in medical fields and other essential worker industries so our perspective was, ‘do it for someone else, even if you’re not going to do it for yourself.’ This drove us to team up and do something a little different,” Arcila told Reel Chicago.
Another big motivation for the idea was the anticipation that people would begin to ease up on the social distancing. After weeks of staying home with no signs of shelter-at-home orders easing up and spring approaching, we knew that even those who were aware of the importance of social distancing were at a risk of slipping up.
“It’s what led us to ask “who are you social distancing for?” Because if the motivation to do it for yourself isn’t enough, maybe your parents, or a nurse friend or a teacher could convince you,” Arcila added.
Little did they know that people would start protesting and calling for the reopening of the country in anger, lashing out at the government and healthcare workers that are trying to help them.
Even in Chicago. For that reason, the two believe it’s even more important now that people really think about who they’re affecting when they are (or aren’t) social distancing.
Since launching, the two have been getting some people using and sharing the filter and we started sharing their stories.