Vaccinations, empathy, and equity

When the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in record time, there were those who jumped into line, sleeves rolled up, ready for their shot. But not everyone’s lived experience gave them that kind of confidence in the medical system. The Black and brown Californians who were most hurt by the virus were also the most likely to have trouble putting their lives in the governments’ hands, a justifiable mistrust.

Featuring real Californians and made by California directors and photographers with deep roots in their communities, the campaign appears in English as well as 22 additional languages. It acknowledges that people have questions, but also that everyone deserves answers. Above all, it allows space for each individual’s journey to vaccine acceptance.

Our media team used up-to-date consumer sentiment data around vaccine hesitancy, vaccination data and campaign performance to inform programmatic media adjustments that reach the most hesitant communities. We effectively optimized the total marketing spend for greatest impact against the largest public health crisis in a generation.

Paid and organic social offered a chance for deeper dives to answer complex questions about how the vaccine was developed and how it works. AMAs allowed people the chance to ask experts questions directly, and personal narratives focused on Californians’ real experiences with the vaccine. Experiential activations included a real-life carnival.

When the pandemic struck, there were those who longed for things to get back to normal. For this audience, normal wasn’t good enough and going backward isn’t an option. In the end, the COVID-19 vaccines offer something far more powerful: a way to move forward.