Coronavirus Covid-19: Ad agency uses fake funeral home to get vaccination message

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Maori party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer explains why she decided to get vaccinated. Video / Provided

The truck targeted football fans in the US city of Charlotte with a direct message: “Don’t get vaccinated”.

Beneath the white text on a digital billboard was the name and website of Wilmore Funeral Home.

The shocking targeted ad turned heads, as expected, but all was not as it seemed.

The funeral home featured on the truck didn’t exist – and anyone visiting the website saw this message instead: “Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon.”

They were then directed to a service offering vaccines.

The truck turned heads as it zipped through the streets of Charlotte.  Photo/BooneOakley
The truck turned heads as it zipped through the streets of Charlotte. Photo/BooneOakley

The whole enterprise was the brainchild of an advertising agency, BooneOakley, which sought to improve low vaccination rates.

Charlotte is in North Carolina, a state where less than half the population is fully immunized.

“I just feel like conventional advertising doesn’t work. Like, just regular posts that say ‘Get your shot’ or ‘Go get your shot’…they kind of blend in with everything else “, the agency’s director, David Oakley, told CNN.

“We wanted to do something that saw him from a different perspective and shocked people into thinking, ‘Holy moly, man.’

“I believe that even if one person gets vaccinated because of this billboard, I give it a big thumbs up. One person will be worth it to me,” Oakley added.

Oakley admitted that StarMed, the vaccination service they refer people to, was initially nervous about the idea, but quickly came to fruition.

The clever campaign was well received online, with one Twitter user calling it “god-level marketing”.

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