This May Seem Like a Typical Quarantine Ad—Until It’s Not

Cox surprises with a powerful spot about isolation

Screenshot of Cox Communications ad with the text, 'Cox Presents One Call a Day'
Cox Communications created a meaningful outreach program for seniors. Cox Communications

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, consumers have been hit with a steady stream of “heartfelt” and maudlin ads. Indeed, one would expect that the gravity of the moment in history demands a more somber approach. Yet the revolving door or sparse music, empty cities and predictable verbiage has veered Covid-19 advertising into its own category.

Things are changing, but one may believe that it’s more of the same when watching the beginning of the latest work from Cox Communications from agency 180LA. Additionally, sitting through three minutes of video could be a big ask for people already jaded and drained by quarantine advertising.

However, pretty quickly, it’s clear that this is an ad of a different stripe. The familiarity of the setup makes way for incredibly emotional moments.

“One Call a Day” showcases the telecom’s outreach program where a Cox employee volunteers to call a senior in need. It’s a simple gesture that offers encouragement, support and human connection.

Fifty employees have joined the program and, judging from the sense of relief from call recipients, it has been very successful.

“With seniors being highly susceptible to the virus and being lonely already with distance from their family and peer groups, we wanted to help,” said 180LA ecd Mike Bokman. “Human connection is important now more than ever, and we hope this work inspires others to reach out to someone in their own lives, especially now.”

In addition to the film about the internal program, Cox also released a second video about virtual senior centers—a lifeline of connection in normal times—that the brand created. The joy of the members of the Oasis Senior Center in San Diego, reunited virtually, shows the importance that connection has for seniors.

“We see it every day. We’re feeling it now in a socially distant world,” said Rachel Negretti, director of brand strategy and new media at Cox. “These campaigns are about bridging that connection at a time when it’s needed, now more than ever.”


Agency: 180LA
Agency Location: Playa Vista, Calif.
Chief Creative Officer: Al Moseley
Executive Creative Director: Mike Bokman
Group Creative Director: Jason Rappaport
Creative Directors: Brian Farkas and Tylynne Mccauley
Copywriter: Emma Zakes Green
Senior Art Director: Elizabeth Lay
Head of Production: Bryan Sweeney
Director of Account Services: Megan McDonnell
Senior Account Manager: Morgan Theis
Strategist: Mauricio Barreda
Production Company: M ss ng P eces
Director: Josh Nussbaum
Executive Producer: Kate Oppenheim, Brian Latt, Ari Kuschnir, Dave Saltzman and Edward Grann
Editorial Company: Cabin Editing Company
Editor: Isaac Chen OCAD and Scott Butzer VSC
Audio Record & Mix: Lime Rohan Young
Color Grade & Online: MPC Ricky Gausis

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.