Best of 2020 No. 17: Facebook's poetic film depicts a world ravaged but not destroyed by the pandemic

Spot from Droga5 features soulful track from Kate Tempest and introduces Community Help platform

Published On
Mar 31, 2020

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's Day, we're counting down the best brand ideas and campaigns of the year.

Facebook’s poignant film by Droga5 was an example of a pandemic ad done right. Featuring both user-generated and photojournalistic footage of a world ravaged by COVID-19, it broke at the end of March as we were all reeling from its first wave and encapsulated some of the scenes, such as healthcare workers and empty shelves, that would soon become familiar tropes. Yet the decision to set it all to a stirring spoken word track by British poet Kate Tempest helped it to rise above the sea of emotional sameness.  

Original Story:

Today on Facebook, founder Mark Zuckerberg posted “Never Lost,” a poignant film that splices together moving scenes of a world ravaged but not destroyed during the epidemic, set to a stirring spoken word track by British poet Kate Tempest. 

The film, created out of Droga5 in partnership with Facebook's marketing team, is a pastiche of the harrowing and the hopeful—along with deserted streets and public spaces, we see images of those who continue to forge on—a doctor whose face is bruised with mask marks, a paramedic hunched over in the back of an ambulance and exhausted medical workers taking a lighthearted dance break during their shifts. There are heartbreaking moments too: patients suffering alone in their hospital beds, loved ones separated by lengths—or glass. But all is not lost as we see the upside, like families and friends bonding remotely and musicians playing out their windows to entertain the isolated masses. 

Tying it all together is Tempest’s soulful voice reciting her 2019 poem “People’s Faces” to an emotive piano track:

Was that a pivotal historical moment
We just went stumbling past?
Here we are
Dancing in the rumbling dark
So come a little closer
Give me something to grasp
Give me your beautiful, crumbling heart

"We're never lost if we can find each other," the end copy reads.

The film consists of real content, both user-generated and photojournalistic, documenting the fallout of the pandemic and the efforts around it. It introduces Facebook’s Community Help Platform at where users can offer or request aid from neighbors for tasks like grocery delivery or food distribution. There, they can also donate to or set up their own fundraisers to support relief efforts. The spot will be running on national and local broadcast as well as on digital advertising channels.

Previously, Facebook and a host of other brands teamed up with the Ad Council on a federal coronavirus public service campaign. It also recently pledged to direct $100 million to help news organizations remain viable in the face of the economic fallout of the pandemic. 


Mar 31, 2020
Client :
Agency :
Droga5-New York
Creative Chairman :
David Droga
Global Chief Creative Officer :
Neil Heymann
Co-Chief Creative Officer :
Felix Richter
Co-Chief Creative Officer :
Tim Gordon
Global Head of Art :
Alexander Nowak
Managing Director :
Dan Gonda
Creative Director :
Jono Paull
Creative Director :
Dustin Tomes
Creative Director :
Thom Glover
Creative Director :
Marybeth Ledesma
Art Director :
Paul Oberlin
Copywriter :
Josh DiMarcantonio
Art Director :
Oscar Gierup
Copywriter :
Stacy-Ann Ellis
Design Director :
Maria Wan
Senior Designer :
Eli Hochberg
Motion Graphics Designer :
Michael Gaynor
Chief Creation Officer :
Sally-Ann Dale
Director of Film Production :
Jesse Brihn
Executive Producer Film :
Mike Hasinoff
Producer Film :
Carlos Valvidia
Associate Producer Film :
Robert Matuluko
Senior Music Supervisor :
Mike Ladman
Director of Business Affairs :
Dan Simonetti
Senior Business Manager :
Paul Van Dorpe
Celebrity Talent Relations Lead :
Whitney Vose
Traffic Manager :
Wendy Kaplan
Talent Manager :
Sunny Valencia
Graphics Studio Manager :
Nereida Valles
Global Chief Strategy Officer :
Jonny Bauer
Head of Strategy :
Harry Roman-Torres
Group Strategy Director :
Dan Ng
Strategy Director :
Cathy Song
Senior Strategist :
Graham Jones
Group Communications Strategy Director :
Yan Wang
Communications Strategy Director :
Patrick Fahey
Senior Communications Strategist :
Christin Wiegand
Group Data Strategy Director :
Wendy Kong
Senior Data Strategist :
Daria Koren
Senior Project Manager :
Simon Jolly
Group Account Director :
Susan Pratchett
Account Director :
Gabrielle Barbuto
Account Supervisor :
Chelsea Elliott
Account Manager :
Roxanne Alberts
Account Manager :
Cole Habersham
Chief Marketing Officer :
Antonio Lucio
Vice President Corporate Brand Marketing :
Kate Rouch
Director Brand Strategy :
Andrew Stirk
Group Creative Director :
Thomas Markham
Creative Director :
Zach Stubenvoll
Motion Designer :
Jerod Wanner
Director Brand Programs :
Mayumi Matsuno
Global Director of Brand Marketing :
Jasmine Summerset-Karcie
Marketing Program Manager :
Kaitlin Giannetti
Marketing Manager :
Gregory Paige
Marketing Manager :
Katie Secrest
Brand Strategist :
Josh Cleveland
Marketing Insights Director :
Rick Malins
Marketing Research Manager :
Jenn Dahm
Marketing Researcher :
Amy Huang
Marketing Researcher :
Lia Breunig
Director Communications Planning :
Radhika Narang
Communication Planning Manager :
Dani Nichols
Brand Communications Lead :
Lisa Stratton
Executive Producer :
Julian Katz
Executive Producer :
Maresa Wickham
Business Affairs Manager :
Lauren Judelson
Business Affairs Manager :
Kirsten Housel
Editorial :
Second Child
Managing Director :
Scott Chinn
Editor :
Nina Sacharow-Taylor
Assistant Editor :
Emily Brennan
Assistant Editor :
Jeff Leiser
Assistant Editor :
Phil Serzo
Senior Post Producer :
Sari Resnick
Post Production :
Colorist :
Mikey Pehanich
VFX 2D Lead :
Iwan Zwarts
Executive Producer :
Charlotte Arnold
VFX Senior Producer :
Bindy St. Leger
Compositor :
Ben Kwok
Compositor :
Robert Bruce
Compositor :
Jacob Slutsky
Compositor :
Daniel Morris
Compositor :
Yebin Ahn
Poetic Song :
People’s Faces
Artist :
Kate Tempest
Sound :
Sound Designer & Mixer :
Aaron Reynolds
Executive Producer :
Vicky Ferraro

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