Watch CBS News

More than 600 New Yorkers sent Governor Cuomo videos about the importance of wearings face masks – and they're awesome

"Wear A Mask" ad contest finalists
"Wear A Mask" ad contest finalists 05:21

On May 5, Governor Andrew Cuomo challenged New Yorkers to film their own homemade ads on the importance of wearing face masks. It was his 25-year-old daughter Mariah's idea, and an effort to convince those who are still walking the streets without face coverings to comply with guidelines to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I don't understand why this 'wear a mask' is so hard. Mariah suggested it may be the way I'm communicating it," the governor jokingly said. "This is a common refrain in my house from my daughters — that it's me and my lack of ability to communicate effectively."

From there, an idea was born: "Why don't we ask New Yorkers to produce an ad that the state could run on explaining to New Yorkers why they should wear a mask, and the context and the rationale and the health reasons and the social responsibility, and it's not that big a deal? Maybe there's a better way to communicate it than I have been communicating it," Cuomo said.

Over the course of the next two weeks, more than 600 New Yorkers submitted 30-second ads to the contest. And today, in his daily press briefing, Governor Cuomo played the five finalists for the public.

One submission, entitled "You Can Still Smile," features numerous New Yorkers looking into the camera and saying who they wear a face mask to protect.

Another, called "We are compassion. We are New York." shows a little boy gifting a disposable surgical mask to an elderly neighbor. The video is narrated by messages written in Sharpie on the little boy's mask. Throughout the video, he removes mask after mask, revealing new ones with new messages underneath.

Another, aptly titled "That Guy," is simply a single shot that zooms out to show a man without a face mask surrounded by others wearing face masks on a subway platform. "Don't be that guy," the video says.

"I know that guy, by the way," Governor Cuomo joked after the submission aired. "I see him all the time."

Now, the public has the ability to vote on the five finalists and select a winner, which will be used by the state of New York as a public service announcement. 

Voting closes on May 25 and the winner will be announced May 26. Each person can only vote once.

"No voter fraud on this election," the governor joked. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.