'It's Up to You,' Says Ad Council's Huge Covid Vaccine Campaign

Work is backed by $500m in donated media

Today, the Ad Council launches one of the largest public-education campaigns in U.S. history to encourage Covid-19 vaccine acceptance nationwide.

More than 300 brands, media companies, creative partners, medical experts and community organizations are engaged in the sweeping initiative, which is backed by some $500 million in donated media and talent.

Running across multiple platforms, ads tagged "It's Up to You" urge viewers to get seek out accurate information about vaccines, heralding a return to pre-pandemic life once the nation reaches an adequate level of protection.

Creative styles run the gamut, ranging from Pereira O'Dell's straightforward assurance that FDA-approved vaccines are safe and effective...

...to Google's muscular drum-beat urging consumers to "Get the Facts!" about Covid-19 inoculations:

Pereira O'Dell helped develop the overarching "It's Up to You" concept, with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The outreach targets the 40 percent of Americans who remain undecided about getting vaccinated, "centered on education and driven by research to move people from hesitancy to confidence," Ad Council chief campaign development officer Michelle Hillman tells Muse. "It’s understandable to have questions about something new, like the Covid vaccines, and our platform takes an empathetic approach to ending the pandemic."

As the team crunched data from different demographics, particularly the Black and Hispanic communities, "we saw a higher rate of hesitancy and lower confidence in the information available about the vaccines," Hillman says.

This next ad from Joy Collective and Values Partnerships addresses Black concerns, with pastors and community leaders making a powerful pitch:

"We know that a 'one size fits all' message will not suffice, and that it must vary by community," Hillman says. "There is deep-seated distrust, particularly among communities of color, and we need to make sure we address it with relevant content and information."

To that point, here's another poignant, prayerful appeal from Joy Collective:

Melding science and faith is a cornerstone of the push, which also features a National Faith Steering Committee comprising 20 leaders from Hispanic and Black communities.

"When we tested the base campaign idea, we found that it succeeds across cultures and motivates the vaccine-hesitant to want to get more informed," Hillman says. "Some PSAs may be more fact based in nature, while others may lean on emotional moments that we have all been missing amid the pandemic to inspire audiences to educate themselves about the vaccine."

Below, Verizon's split-screening evocatively contrasts pandemic existence and pre-Covid reality, suggesting a bright future:

Most elements drive viewers to GetVaccineAnswers.org for more information. Ad Council partners for the push include the Black Coalition Against Covid-19, Color of Change, the NAACP, the National Urban League and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, among many others.

Online efforts include a Twitter custom hash-emoji; Spotify audio PSAs; and "It's Up to You" messaging from prominent TikTok creators.

An earlier, unrelated effort from Mischief @ No Fixed Address, dubbed "Because of This," took a similar tack to tout vaccinations, but "It's Up to You" is far more comprehensive.

So far, about 14 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Experts including Biden Administration chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci believe upwards of 75 percent of the population must develop immunity, preferably through vaccinations, before life can return to some semblance of normal.

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