Ad Council spearheads $50 million education effort for COVID-19 vaccine
With the largest-ever vaccination drive on the horizon, the Ad Council is stepping up with one of the most significant public education campaigns in American history, aiming to raise tens of millions of dollars from the private sector to fund coronavirus vaccine education and awareness efforts.
In light of promising vaccine results published this month by Pfizer, Moderna and now AstraZeneca, the nonprofit Ad Council has partnered with the COVID Collaborative, an assembly of bipartisan health, education and policy leaders, announcing today their intention to undertake the sweeping challenge of getting Americans vaccinated en masse against the new virus.
To fund its national awareness bid, the Ad Council has set an initial goal of raising at least $50 million from the private sector, tapping both corporations and philanthropic donors to contribute on an ongoing basis.
“Widespread adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine is our generation’s ‘moonshot’ and will represent one of the largest public health interventions in our nation’s history,” says Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman, who believes “hundreds of thousands of lives” in the U.S. can still be saved with an effective information campaign.
Perhaps the most prominent hurdle the Ad Council is facing is Americans’ skepticism about the efficacy of a potential vaccine for COVID-19—a disease that has killed more than 250,000 people across the country to date.
According to recent research conducted by the COVID Collaborative, while 86% of people in the U.S. say developing a vaccine will curb the coronavirus’ spread, just one-third will “definitely” get inoculated once such a shot is approved for public use.
Furthermore, a separate study released today from the COVID Collaborative, NAACP and UnidosUS suggests that trust on this issue runs particularly low among Black and Latinx Americans; just 14% and 34% of respondents, respectively, believe a coronavirus vaccine will be safe.
To counter Americans’ general hesitancy to embrace coronavirus prevention measures, the Ad Council has identified four key strategies for its campaign, including emphasizing the continued importance of face masks, addressing vaccine-related misconceptions, and using community outreach to reach diverse audiences.
Details on what the Ad Council’s new COVID-19 education efforts will look like are sparse, but it will entail “the development of breakthrough creative work and an insights engine that will enable continuous testing and optimization of messages and creative,” the organization relayed in a statement.
The campaign’s first phase of messaging is slated for debut in early 2021, with its efforts planned to “continually evolve and expand” as a successful vaccine rolls out in a to-be-determined timeline next year.
Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the U.S. in March, the Ad Council has been on the forefront of public safety messaging, with its collective efforts resulting in nearly $400 million in donated media value, 58.4 million engagements across all platforms and just over 30 million visits to coronavirus.gov.