California Department of Public Health Launches ‘Mothers’ Ad Campaign Urging Families to Stay Home during Holidays

SACRAMENTO – With COVID-19 cases rising at an alarming pace and ICU beds at or nearing capacity statewide, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)  launched the “Mothers” ad campaign featuring real California moms urging people to stay home this holiday season.

The mothers in this campaign advocate that the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to stay at home, wear a mask, wash your hands, and physically distance. This Christmas, staying apart will keep us together.

The campaign’s goal is to encourage Californians to pause plans to gather with extended family and friends for the holidays, and shine a light on the catastrophic effect family gatherings can have as COVID-19 continues to spread. Beloved family traditions can continue with video-call present opening or online cookie baking.

“We have lost more than 20,000 people in California to COVID-19 and are reporting record numbers of new cases again today, which makes every gathering more risky than ever before in this pandemic,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Acting State Public Health Officer. “Tragically, more than 20,000 families will have an empty seat at their holiday tables this year. As a mom and a daughter, I know how painful it will be to miss out on holiday celebrations, but the only way we can end this heartbreak is to protect one another by staying apart and finding alternative ways to show our love this year.”

The “Mothers ad” campaign will run statewide in English and Spanish throughout December, with additional ads through January. Campaign components include TV, radio, social media and digital platform spots. The campaign has an equity focus as Californians from ethnic and racial minorities are at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 because of social inequities.

“The messages from these moms are clear and compelling,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “Our cherished extended family traditions can wait. This year, the most important gift we can give our loved ones is protection against COVID-19, and that means staying apart. The Governor, our children and I will be celebrating the upcoming holiday at home without extended family and friends, and we hope you will too. It’s too dangerous otherwise.”

“For me, it’s loving people from a distance,” says Dawnita Flowers, a mother of two from Riverside, who is featured in the ads. “If I don’t see you it’s because I love you more.”

The new campaign is made possible with $9 million in funding from Kaiser Permanente and is in partnership with The Center at Sierra Health Foundation. The concept was designed by Gallegos United, a California-based, Latino advertising agency. It was filmed with actual California mothers, in accordance with CDPH’s strict public health guidelines for filming. Under the state’s Regional Stay at Home Order, public service advertising is a permitted, critical infrastructure activity.

To view the Mothers ads, English click here; Spanish click here. The campaign website can be found here. 

For more tips about keeping yourself and your community safe over the holidays, click here.