The winner of the state’s “wear a mask” video contest, announced Tuesday by one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daughter’s, is a play on an ad slogan dating back to when Mariah Kennedy Cuomo’s dad was still a teenager.
The most votes were cast for the “We Love NY” ad by Brooklyn production company Bunny Lake Films, Kennedy Cuomo said during her father’s daily coronavirus press briefing in Manhattan.
“Congratulations to Bunny Lake Films, a female-founded boutique production company based in Brooklyn, New York who created that incredible ad,” Kennedy Cuomo said.
The contest called on New Yorkers to submit 30-second videos communicating why it is so important to wear a mask to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The winning ad is a new twist on the very old “I Love NY” state ad campaign, launched in July 1977, when the governor was 19 and his dad, the late Mario Cuomo, had yet to start the first of his three terms as the state’s chief executive.
And proving that close doesn’t just count in horseshoes and hand grenades, the governor said the state will air both the first place “We Love NY” and second place “You Can Still Smile” ads as public service announcements due to what he called a neck-and-neck finish in the public voting.
The runner up was made by Blue Slate Films.
There were 96,332 votes cast between the two videos with a 502 vote difference, so Cuomo said he’s made the “executive decision” that the state will run both ads as PSAs instead of the just the first place ad.
“If it was a normal election it would trigger an automatic recount — alright it’s that close,” Cuomo said, explaining, there’s “an issue with this election that we never really define an eligible voter and we have people who voted in this competition all across the state, all across the country, all across the world.”
Cuomo added, “They’re both great and, obviously yes, one won by 500 votes, but it was a tremendous turnout. People loved both.”
The competition was announced earlier this month and the state received more than 600 video submissions. People voted on five finalist videos and cast a total of 186,117 votes, Kennedy Cuomo said.
However, not everyone thought it was fair that the governor decided to give the runner-up video first place glory.
“If these the rules then @tiffany_caban should be sharing DA office w Melinda [Katz],” Monica Klein, a former spokeswoman for Tiffany Cabán, tweeted shortly after the announcement that the state will run both ads as PSAs.
Klein was referring to last year’s Queens District Attorney Democratic Primary race in which candidate Cabán lost to Katz by a mere 60 votes.