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‘It’s Up To You’ Campaign to Educate Millions of Americans about COVID-19 Vaccines

Major brands, media companies, community-based organizations, faith leaders and other trusted messengers to extend reach of ‘It’s Up To You’ campaign message across all channels with a focus on Black and Hispanic communities, who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. 

The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative have revealed the platform for their COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative, “It’s Up To You.” Representing one of the largest public education efforts in U.S. history, more than 300 major brands, media companies, community-based organizations, faith leaders, medical experts and other trusted messengers are supporting the campaigns designed to reach distinct audiences. These partners include Adobe, Apple, Black Information Network, Facebook, Google/YouTube, iHeartMedia, NAACP, NBCUniversal, Pandora/SiriusXM/SoundCloud, Telemundo, UnidosUS, ViacomCBS and more.

covid-19 vaccine

Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash

“It’s Up to You” Campaign to educate about Covid-19 Vaccines

Created in close partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the campaigns urge audiences to visit GetVaccineAnswers.org (DeTiDepende.org in Spanish) to get the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, with the ultimate goal of helping the public feel confident and prepared to get vaccinated once a vaccine is available to them.

“With the ‘It’s Up To You’ platform, we’re listening to America’s top questions, understanding their concerns and working to educate and empower people across the country – particularly communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – so they can make an informed choice about vaccination for themselves and for their families,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our extraordinary partners across the communications industry are uniquely positioned to amplify these critical messages at scale. Through this truly unprecedented effort, we can get back to the moments we all miss and save lives.”

According to Ad Council research, approximately 40% of the public have not yet made a firm decision to get vaccinated as soon as vaccines are available to them. Additionally, their research shows that Black and Hispanic Americans who are undecided are significantly less confident they have enough information to guide their decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccination, compared to those intending to get vaccinated. The data reveals that targeted efforts are needed to specifically  reach communities of color who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and where there is considerable distrust in the government and medical community and high hesitancy toward the vaccines. 

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Approximately three-quarters of consumers who are undecided say they want information to address their questions about the vaccines, even if vaccines are not yet available to them.

“Public education is a critical component of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic — it is a shared effort to empower people to protect themselves, especially those in disproportionately burdened populations,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky. “Just as we are taking action to address the inequities this pandemic laid bare, we need a concerted approach to bring an end to the pandemic and to leverage the lessons learned during COVID-19 to achieve optimal health for all.”

To reach vaccine hesitant individuals across the country, “It’s Up To You” is taking an empathetic approach that reaffirms that it’s understandable to have questions about the vaccines. “It’s Up To You” conveys that one of the best ways to get back to the moments and people we miss is by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Creative assets in English and Spanish will appear nationwide across broadcast TV, digital, radio and social media, including content developed by modern culture marketing agency Alma, which customized the creative platform to produce “De Ti Depende,” a campaign designed to resonate with Hispanic communities in the U.S. 

“This is not only the most important campaign of our generation, but it needs to be the largest too,” said PJ Pereira, Creative Chairman, Pereira O’Dell. “It had to be an idea that worked not only for the audience, but allowed for brands and publishers to make it theirs, too.”

Leading brands, platforms, and organizations

The initiative will collaborate with a wide range of organizations to inform the development and distribution of culturally resonant content for Black and Hispanic audiences. Providing valuable tools and resources, events, and point-of-care and point-of-purchase educational materials for communities of color, these partners include the Black Coalition Against COVID-19 (BCAC), NAACP, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Urban League, UnidosUS, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and others.

Leading brands, media companies and social platforms and services are developing custom content and donating media to extend the “It’s Up To You” campaign message, connecting their audiences with crucial and vetted information about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Some partners include:

— Apple is a Founding Partner of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative. As part of its commitment to health, Apple will help the Ad Council keep customers informed about the benefits of the vaccine through its services, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple News, and more.

— Disney will leverage resources across a variety of its platforms (ABC, ESPN, Freeform, FX, Hulu, National Geographic) to support “It’s Up To You” PSAs.

— Google/YouTube, in addition to being a Founding Partner, is integrating the Ad Council’s vaccine campaign into their larger “Get the Facts” COVID-19 vaccine marketing efforts. Google/YouTube is also making concerted efforts to support the Ad Council’s industry movement, providing advertisers with bespoke support, insights & resources to scale their message using Google and YouTube platforms and tools.

— NBCUniversal and Telemundo are creating custom video and banner assets in both English and Spanish for support across the NBCUniversal ecosystem, also made available to other networks. NBCUniversal is also a Founding Partner of the Ad Council’s COVID-19 vaccine education initiative.

— Sesame Workshop will develop custom PSAs in English and Spanish for grownups and families, featuring their iconic characters.

— Spotify will produce custom audio PSAs and messaging points for podcast host reads to promote COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education, distributed across donated media on its free tier and integrated into podcasts on its platform.

— Twitter is developing a custom hash-emoji on behalf of the campaign and will also host and spotlight a live Q&A on their platform, featuring a medical expert to address the top COVID-19 vaccine questions facing their users.

Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, the Ad Council has mobilized the industry to launch an unprecedented, multi-pronged communications effort to combat COVID-19. To date, the Ad Council’s COVID-19 efforts have resulted in over 47 billion impressions, $445 million in donated media value, and nearly 33 million visits to Coronavirus.gov.