Cuomo had a big marketing problem. Guess who he asked for help?

The Governor of NY wants his citizens to wear masks.

And he ran out of ways to get people to do it.

That, my friends, is a marketing problem.  He’s trying to sell something.  And not enough people are buying.

So, he hired a big fancy ad agency to come up with a TV ad to get people to wear masks, right?


He didn’t hire anybody.  Instead, to solve one of the most important marketing dilemmas of all time, he asked his daughter for help.

And she came up with the idea for a “Make Your Own Mask Commercial” contest.

Here’s how it works:

You make a video telling NYers why they should wear a mask.   You upload it to a website.  They pick five finalists.  NYers vote for their favorites.  The top vote-getter has their video turned into a PSA commercial that runs on the air.  (And probably launches the career of a filmmaker.)

(You can learn more about the contest, including how to submit, here.)

Amazing, right?  Sounds like our Social Distancing Festival.

What I love about this idea is that it didn’t come from the Communications Director for the State of NY.  No.  When faced with a crisis, on pandemic proportions or even if you’re just producing a play, you don’t just ask the experts . . . you ask everyone!

The best ideas win, and just like in this case, the winners often come from the “audience” themselves, not just from people paid to think like an audience.


Oh, and also . . . please wear a mask.

And then submit a video about it!


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.