Pulling the brand levers to gain vaccine trust

Allan Dib
By Allan Dib | 28 May 2021
Allan Dib

Allan Dib, strategist and champion of consumer centricity.

I think everyone can agree that Australia’s rollout of the COVID vaccine has not been as successful as we had all hoped.  Initially, the problem was with supply - that is something only the government can resolve.  But now that Australia has a steady stream of supply, we have a problem with driving demand.  The obvious and traditional ways to drive demand in a health crisis are not working and many Australians have lost trust in these levers.

  • The government’s advertising efforts have not been able to drive the message.  As marketers, we can speculate about the problem – is it the right insight, is the messaging on point, is it creative cutting through, is the media spend sufficient.  Let’s let government and their agencies resolve this problem. 
  • The next obvious lever to pull in a healthcare crisis is news media.  Unfortunately, it is their coverage of the rare blood clots associated with the Astra Zeneca vaccine that has led Australians to think these blood clots are more common and created inertia in Australians. 

To drive demand, we need to look at other levers within the ecosystem of the average Australian that Australians trust.  That is where we, as marketers and custodians of brands, can get involved.  If we look at the Trust Barometer from Edelman for this year, we see many of the industry we work in or represent strong trust scores. 

Now is the time for brands to capitalise on this trust and the customer databases for a good cause.  Driving demand for vaccines is a safe way for brands to deliver on their purpose authentically and impactfully.

  • You have permission to get involved.  All the research shows that Australians don’t think government can solve all problems, and they want brands to help.
  • Driving demand is a safe topic.  Unlike the US, driving demand is not political or religious.
  • It is a universal topic.  COVID impacts everyone, so you do not worry about alienating customers. 

Some example campaigns from the USA to inspire you to find out you can help drive demand.

Ford Motor Company worked with eleven non-profits to create a Public Service Announcement to fight misinformation surrounding vaccinations, especially in Black and Hispanic communities.

Budweiser partnered with the Ad Council to create a health campaign dedicated to COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education called “Good Times Are Coming.” 

Walgreens and John Legend teamed up to create a campaign called “This Is Our Shot” to build awareness that the COVID-19 vaccine is available and is the best way to put an end to the pandemic.

The time to get involved is now.  Or we can wait until there is an outbreak in your state to drive demand, like what happened in Melbourne yesterday.  But as a Melbournian, I do not recommend lockdowns to drive demand. 

comments powered by Disqus