RTÉ’s Viral #CreateDontContaminate Campaign


48 hours after the Irish Government made the announcement of the first measures to tackle COVID-19, Irish youth marketing agency THINKHOUSE received a call from RTE, Ireland’s National Broadcaster, asking for their help in reaching out to Ireland’s 16-35-year-olds.

The job to be done was two-fold: firstly, convey the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation, and secondly, to mobilise this demographic to do the right thing in the wake of the crisis and practice physical distancing.

Both of these jobs had to be executed through a lens of learning, culture and creativity.

The brief presented THINKHOUSE with an urgent challenge of global importance, to stop the spread of COVID-19 by penetrating the echochamber of 16-35-year-olds.


Time was of the essence for RTÉ in getting this campaign live. THINKHOUSE immediately formed a team to respond to the brief. In less than 24 hours, the agency was able to return to the client with fully fleshed out and very varied ideas for conveying the message to the young public and calling them to arms.

RTÉ chose a campaign that involved challenging the demographic to use the time creatively to learn new skills over the course of the initial 14 days over which the Government’s lockdown measures had been projected.

This campaign was called #CreateDontContaminate


#CreateDontContaminate was a series of challenges, each in a different area of culture that engaged and inspired the audience to get involved.

Every day an ambassador from the world of TikTok, entertainment or sport would appear in an online video showing and telling the audience about the day’s challenge, and tagging 5 of their friends to get involved.

Following the daily kick off video, an army of influencers would get behind the initiative sharing their take on it and once again challenging 5 friends to do the same.

From there, the daily challenge spread, as friends, fans and followers got on board and got creative.

The core message was loud and clear through all content and commentary; stay inside; observe physical distancing to protect your family, your friends and your community; and have fun while you do it

The challenges included singing, dancing, musical performance, spoken word, art, speaking Irish and more.


#CreateDontContaminate amassed 20 million+ views across TikTok, Instagram and Facebook as well as media coverage on radio (2FM), RTE news and beyond. Over 400 influencers and celebrities worked on the campaign alongside thousands of young people.

Truly powerful and engaging content was delivered through the campaign that will be remembered forever by those who got involved in these unprecedented times.

Some familiar faces who supported the campaign include One Direction’s Niall Horan, Vogue Williams, Spencer Mathews, Maura Higgins, Greg O’Shea, Laura Whitmore, Gavin James, Wild Youth, Rejjie Snow.

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