It’s fair to say that our vaccination advert was a bit of a missed opportunity.
Like much of the way Australia has handled the pandemic, it seems poorly thought out and very last minute.
You can’t expect much from a country that launched its vaccine campaign with a military general, instead of, you know, a doctor.
However, that sterile advertorial, with all the energy of a flight safety video, was better than the downright horrifying ad that was released later, which one expert suggested might actually increase vaccine hesitancy due to its menacing tone.
Of course, it’s a little bit presumptuous to threaten us with COVID for not getting the vaccine when there really isn’t that much of it to go around. If anything it comes off as a bit of deflection on the part of the government.
‘If you end up on a ventilator like this woman, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself (and definitely not us)’.
While that one isn’t even worth linking to, two new ads have recently come from Melbourne, one of which shows the arts community rallied together to ask Victorians to give the ‘performance of a lifetime’ by getting their vaccine.
According to experts, ads need to be either informative or emotive, with the best ads being a good mix of both. Whether that’s through humour, nostalgia, hope, or compassion, the rest of the world seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of us.
Here’s how other countries have been inspiring and rallying its populations to get the jab.
First prize and first position has to go to Singapore whose vaccine ad is genuinely catchy — seriously, I’ve had it stuck in my head for days.
It features local celeb Uncle Phua played by comedian Gurmit Singh rebutting all the common concerns people might have with the vaccine.
À chaque vaccination c’est la vie qui reprend. Faisons nous tous vacciner maintenant. pic.twitter.com/pd5n1dWPGE
— Olivier Véran (@olivierveran) June 9, 2021
The French vaccine ad is truly uplifting. It’s got a soulful swing to it and manages to clearly link the benefits of getting vaccinated with the country opening up again.
The voice at the end of the ad says “With each vaccination, life begins again. Let’s all get vaccinated now”.
Okay, this one is not exactly a vaccination ad, but it does cleverly convey both the significance of our times as well as the need to adhere to the rules.
Drawing parallels to the second world war, the ad encourages people to ‘be lazy, save lives’ by staying inside and watching TV. Not much to ask compared to what previous generations have been through.
Hitting us again with the feel-good factor, New Zealand proves that you don’t need big celebrity endorsements to have an effective vaccine ad. Just a bit of energy and some sense of reward for what everyone has been through would be nice.
The ad focuses on the Kiwi fighting spirit and says ‘ka kite’ or ‘see ya’ to COVID-19.
Pulling in its former Presidents and First Ladies, the US manages to land both an effective and uplifting vaccine ad using the star power of former leaders.
Notably, Donald Trump does not feature in the ad but that might be for the best.
Mount Sinai Health System has done a cover of ‘My Shot’ from the hit musical Hamilton, referencing the events of the past year or so and encouraging people to take their shot.
Italy has done things, well, exactly the way you would expect Italy to. Using Helen Mirren and Italian star Checco Zalone, the country has created a short film featuring wine, food, beaches, and music.
Zalone woos Mirren after finding out she’s had both jabs and sings ‘I love to dance with you, O’ Vacinada, face to face with this immunised old girl.’ Like we said, very Italian.
Spain too has decided to go the emotional route, offering us a snapshot of what life will be like post-vaccination and post-COVID.
It shows the reunion of a young family with their elderly ‘abuelita’, set to Billie Holidays ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’. It’s a heartwarming motivation to get the jab and see your family once again.
The UK, much like the US, has a whole range of vaccine videos. The strategy appears to be throwing as many celebrities as they can at the problem to increase the vaccination rate. The above is a quirky example of that.
The UK has also done a series of vaccine ads styled as audition outtakes with a harsh director complaining that none of the celebrities is good enough to fill the role. While they’re somewhat light on information, they’re funny, memorable, and most importantly, encouraging.
Let’s hope we can get a few more like the above to boost our vaccination rates.