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Bismarck firm awarded COVID campaign contract

Bismarck firm awarded COVID campaign contract


A Bismarck advertising firm will lead a North Dakota Department of Health campaign aimed at better educating people about slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Odney was awarded a $1.59 million contract for the campaign, which will kick off in October. The effort to promote practices such as social distancing and mask-wearing is funded through the federal coronavirus stimulus package approved in March.

Ten companies submitted proposals. The department narrowed the field to three and chose Odney in the tie-breaker.

The contract was awarded on Sept. 16. The firm had to allow a seven-day protest period to pass before meeting with health department officials. Only a preliminary meeting has been held, said Kyle Niess, Odney’s vice president of business development.

When the pandemic reached North Dakota in mid-March “it was all new,” Niess said. Since then the health department has gathered data that will give the firm a better idea of how people are responding to the pandemic, he said.

“It affects so many walks of life,” Niess said. “The challenge is how to send one message because it affects people so differently.”

Odney’s cost proposal directs about $658,000 to traditional media, $572,000 to digital media, $70,000 to social media, and $300,000 to agency and creative services. 

Other finalists for the contract were Absolute Marketing Group, Fargo, and CCF, Minneapolis.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or


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