The purpose of this campaign was to create daily short videos providing an update of the current US evolution of the pandemic, as well as a final quick overview of the global situation. We came up with an automated video solution that pulls data from the Johns Hopkins open source data feed on a daily basis. The data is then integrated and displayed in a tailor-made video template, designed to communicate all the data we learned to constantly check, in a trustworthy and neutral tone of voice, that characterises the most reliable source of Covid-19 data.
Different data lead to different visual representations of the trend that the pandemic is taking.
The video also displays figures, maps, charts and areas. We always kept the same color scheme in order to enhance clarity (using a grey neutral tone for the tested). Thanks to the JHU inputs, we made sure to always display data from a perspective that could simultaneously cover temporal, geographical and other data comparisons (such as the positivity ratio or cumulated amounts). Motion design has been crucial to making these comparisons visually effective.
During the first weeks of the COVID—19 outbreak, the JHU interactive map has been one of the main reference points for media all over the world. Our goal was to keep it as a visual benchmark and to add a timelapse animation showcasing the evolution of the spread in the US territory for the past 14 days.
Every morning at 7:00am in New York, Algo autonomously creates the daily video and uploads it straight on to the chosen output, on the Johns Hopkins Covid Resources website and on the JHU Twitter & Youtube channels, without any human intervention required. This way, the JHU team can focus on data quality and more important tasks at hand, leaving all the hustle of video production and distribution to the robot.
The videos have been very well received on Twitter where they’re being quoted to demand action to the local and federal governments (see examples here, here, or here) and have been featured on Politico and Time Magazine, which named the JHU resources a top invention of 2020.