A Specially Branded Hand Sanitizer Aims to ‘Stop The Spread’ of Racist Coronavirus Stigma

Agency The Hive and the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice partnered on the stunt

Keepings hands clean while working to wipe out racism. Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice
Headshot of Shannon Miller

The global spread of COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus, has triggered a little more than a number of canceled conferences and a large face mask shortage. Many have used the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan, China as an excuse to bolster anti-Asian sentiments, spreading misinformation and false equivalencies that have unjustly likened an entire continent with illness. Those who remember the 2003 SARS outbreak or the Ebola crisis might find all of this very familiar.

Not only is it necessary to promote medically supported facts and precautions that will help keep people safe, but it’s also vital to actively reject and call out the racist rhetoric and imagery that has become even more widespread as the virus itself.

The branded sanitizer.
The branded sanitizer.

The Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, in partnership with Toronto creative agency The Hive, has a new hand sanitizer (another item that’s tough to find these days) that can, as the title of its latest campaign suggests, “Stop The Spread.”

During the two-minute short, hazmat-suited benefactors gift city-dwelling Torontonians, the miracle antibacterial gel that “protects against toxic behavior” and “sanitize the stigma.” But it doesn’t work solely on its own. This very special, one-of-a-kind sanitizer works best with general respect and common sense. Try not to stress too much if you can’t get a hold of this amazing item: You always have the option of governing your actions with kindness and empathy instead of fear.

“The ‘Stop the Spread’ idea was born out of a simple thought—that much sought-after hand sanitizer could be used as a tool to send an important message, and ultimately propel change,” said Meghan Kraemer, creative director, The Hive. “The suits were attention-grabbing, and the response was over-resoundingly positive. Our hope is that this initiative will help sanitize the stigma—and foster kindness, acceptance and a desire for Canadians to be guided by facts, not fear.”


Title: Stop the Spread of Racism
URL: StopTheSpread.ca
Client: Chinese Canadian Council of Canada for Social Justice
Interim national president: Amy Go
Co-founder: Dr. Joseph Wong

Agency: The Hive, Toronto
Chief Creative Officer: Simon Creet
Creative director: Meghan Kraemer
Associate creative director: Mitch Duesling
Art director: Teresa M. Depaz
Writer: Nicholas Schembri
Director of production: Yilma Campbell
Director: Cameron Tomsett
Project management: Cecilia Hui, Brandon Vignali
Digital content strategist: Lauren Hildebrand
Photography: Mark Ralph
Production company: School Editing
Editor: Mark Morton

Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.