As Delta variant cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in states with unvaccinated residents, attempts to persuade Americans to take those potentially life-saving jabs are only growing more targeted and personalized. President Joe Biden on Thursday called on states and local governments to pay $100 to newly vaccinated Americans, for instance.
A large number of marketing efforts around vaccine hesitancy have been aimed at a national audience or targeted in cities with large concentrations of poor and Black and Latinx communities where data pointed to increased levels of vaccine hesitancy. There’s evidence, however, that the focus is starting to shift.
The Advertising Council, the American nonprofit organization behind the multimillion-dollar national COVID vaccine campaign “It’s Up To You” in partnership with the COVID Collaborative, has been a leading force in the nation’s efforts to increase the number of vaccinated Americans with both national and local initiatives. But the group says there’s more to be done in Republican, rural states such as Louisiana and Alabama where new data illuminates the highest levels of unvaccinated Americans. So it is ramping up efforts across creative and media, community partnerships and influencer-focused efforts to reach people in those locations, including using groups affiliated with farmers and evangelicals.
“As we are all seeing, especially with the emergence of Delta and other variants, there is a heightened need to deliver ‘It’s Up To You’ fact-based and empathetic campaign message in states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee where COVID cases are on the rise and vaccine uptake remains low,” says Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s chief campaign development officer. “These geographies represent an ongoing priority and we are escalating our urgent programs of local promotion to help prevent regional outbreaks now through the fall and winter.”