These Brilliantly Simple Ads Remind Us of What We’ve Missed Because of the Pandemic

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There are plenty of obvious health reasons that people should seriously consider getting a Covid-19 vaccine. What’s equally important—and some may argue more crucial—are the mental health and emotional considerations.

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Since last March, life’s normalcy has been upended. And in-person moments, even some people consider mundane, are craved more than ever. The fact that a vaccine is rolling out shows that there’s light peeking in from a very long, dark tunnel.

Distribution is one issue that the government is wrestling with; another is consumer trust. So far, in the United States, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech vaccines are available.

Inoculating against doubt

According to data intelligence company Morning Consult, as of the week of Jan. 4, 42% of Americans trust Pfizer, compared to 24% overall for the top 10 pharma companies. The positive sentiment number for Pfizer jumps to 55% for Americans 65 years of age and older.

Today, to further ensconce that trust, a campaign was launched on behalf of Pfizer, BioNTech and an alliance of healthcare associations to instill confidence in the vaccine.

The PSA campaign from Mischief @ No Fixed Address is unbelievably pure and straightforward. Creatively, it features a technique—shots of real-life and copy supporting the narrative on the screen—that’s been done many times before.

But what makes this work different is that one is immediately drawn into the scene out of a clear understanding and empathy of what’s going on. Whether it’s a hug, playdate, a goodbye or a baby announcement, the gravity of not having these moments face-to-face is obvious. And the footage of real people, generally used as a creative crutch, is absolutely perfect. There could not have been any other way.

Despite the exhaustion from the pandemic, the campaign strikes a hopeful tone. And the lockup, “Because of This,” should provide an apt rallying cry for people to get vaccinated. It’s also not the garden variety pharma ad, rife with disclaimers that consumers deride and make fun of. It’s straight-up awareness that is focused, humane and entirely relevant for the times we’re in.

To Greg Hahn, co-founder and CCO of Mischief, the work’s concept is both a confidence play and one that cuts through the noise, appealing to emotion while opening up opportunities for people to find more information.

“We’re at a time where society has to come together,” said Hahn, BBDO’s former creative chief. “There’s so much noise and confusion. People are nervous. So we didn’t want to throw out more data, facts and statistics. I often find that people convince themselves emotionally, then go find the facts to back that up.”

Unusual show of restraint

One of the most prominent qualities of the campaign is one that isn’t necessarily used often or talked about much: restraint. More often than not, advertisers like to go big. In the case of this campaign, Hahn noted that he and his team looked from the lens of “the small, everyday moments we’ve lost, that radically changed our lives.”

“The importance [of a vaccine], could lead you to want to shout at people that this is going to change the world,” added Hahn. “People need to hear the voices inside their heads, without anyone shouting at them.”

The four ads debut today on social and air on TV in the coming days. Additionally, the PSAs are supported by OOH with a media donation of around $1.4 million from Quan Media Group.

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