An advertising truck spreading anti-wax messages caused a stir among American football fans in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the weekend.
The vehicle, which had the name and website of a funeral home beneath a giant advertisement, was emblazoned with a plain black board and a slogan that read: “Don’t get vaccinated”.
Images show viewers paying attention to the truck after the ad agency told it to drive around Charlotte in hopes of targeting sports fans as they went to see the Carolina Panthers playing the New Orleans Saints.
However, as it happens, there is a hidden message in the advertisement. There is no “Wilmore Funeral Home” that the ad claims to represent, and visiting its website takes visitors to a landing page that instructs them to do the opposite.
“Get vaccinated now” appears Place, with a message that says, “If not, see you soon”. Advertising agency, Booneocle, said it is time to get creative and tackle America’s waning COVID-19 vaccine take-up.
“I feel like traditional ads aren’t working. Like, regular messages that say ‘get the shot’ or ‘go get vaccinated’… CNN. “We wanted to do something that would look at it from a different perspective and shock people into thinking, ‘Holy Moly, man.’”
Once visitors to the fraudulent site click the “Get vaccinated now” box, they are directed to a local urgent health center, starmaid, which operates Covid jabs.
The unorthodox strategy comes as employers and public health officials scramble to persuade vaccine-skeptical Americans to get vaccinated. Everything from giving people money and free food to luxury vacations and VIP Super Bowl tickets has been tested, yet fully vaccinated accounts for only 54.7 percent of the total US population.
In North Carolina, the situation is worse still, with about 48.8 percent of residents estimated to be fully vaccinated.
A similar approach was tried in the UK earlier this year, when the government partnered with taxi apps Uber and Bolt and food delivery company Deliveroo to persuade hesitant Britons to get the jab. A typical offer included a ride to a vaccine center followed by a free slice of pizza.
Mr Oakley of Booneokley said the motivation behind the ad was simply that “we want people to get vaccinated”.
“And I believe that if just one person gets vaccinated because of that billboard, I make it a huge success. Just one person, it will be worth it to me,” he said.
Knowing there would be crowds for Sunday’s game, Mr Oakley said it seemed like an ideal opportunity to give people “something other than football to talk about”.
One woman, who was driving around Charlotte during the match, dubbed the truck “pretty smart marketing”.
Katie Gunther told reporters that as she was driving in front of him, she could see a crowd of people. “It was definitely getting a lot of attention,” Ms Gunther, who has been vaccinated, said.
Dozens of social media users were seen taking this advertisement very well. After BooneOakley posted a photo of a van parked outside its offices on Twitter, hundreds of people liked, shared and replied to the image.
“Fantastic!,” wrote one woman, Imelda March, while another added: “Well done, y’all.”
Local residents who saw the truck left a message saying they were “thrilled” to see it on both their Twitter feed and on their streets. “Keep up the good fight,” said Christie Chilton.
Asked why the agency decided to partner with StarMed, Mr Oakley said that “many” of his employees were held captive there – but admitted it was a simple ‘yes’ on the part of the health brand. ‘ was not.
“As a healthcare organization, they were kinda, let’s just get a little nervous about it,” he said. “We were nervous about it too, to be honest, and how it would end. But they agreed to link us to their site and it was phenomenal, because that’s what made everything work – for me, by the way. Too.”
Adam Hummel, a member of StarMed’s marketing team, said that StarMed has vaccinated “hundreds of thousands of people” and tested many more.
The ad had the desired effect, Mr Hummel said, revealing that since the weekend, the site had seen a “significant boost” in traffic to book a vaccine appointment.
a similar stunt Was pulled back to Canada in 2016. An advertising agency in Toronto, Ontario put a slogan above the Gardiner Expressway advertising Wathan Funeral Home that read: “Text and Drive.”
Visiting that Hoax website gave visitors statistics about drivers who use their phones – in which more than half of the province’s residents admitted to reading texts while driving – and asked Canadians to make changes. .
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / North Carolina