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Get the Facts on Covid Vaccines with Ad Council's Latest Educational Initiative



'It's Up To You' was created in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pereira O’Dell and 300 other partners

Get the Facts on Covid Vaccines with Ad Council's Latest Educational Initiative

The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative today 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 organisations, faith leaders, medical experts and other trusted messengers are supporting the campaigns designed to reach distinct audiences. These partners include Adobe, Apple, Bishop T. D. Jakes, Black Information Network, Facebook, FOX Entertainment, Google/YouTube, iHeartMedia, John Leguizamo, NAACP, NBCUniversal, Pandora/SiriusXM/SoundCloud, Sanjay Gupta, Telemundo, UnidosUS, ViacomCBS and more.

Created in close partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ensuring all 'It’s Up To You' messaging is rigorously vetted and backed by science, the campaigns urge audiences to visit ( 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 colour 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.”

Ad Council research fielded by Ipsos Public Affairs in February 2021 reveals that approximately 40% of the public have not yet made a firm decision to get vaccinated as soon as vaccines are available to them. Additionally, the data illustrates the need for a bespoke effort reaching communities of colour 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. The Ad Council’s 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. 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.

The CDC brand will be seen on select creative assets and, along with HHS, the CDC is providing scientific guidance on all aspects of the campaign. COVID Collaborative is lending insights from its scientific experts to the effort, engaging many members of its collaborative who represent the diversity of the country to help with dissemination, and connecting the campaign to Governors and other leaders in states.

“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 disproportionally 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, creative agency Pereira O’Dell worked pro bono to develop the creative platform, 'It’s Up To You'. 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. Agency JOY Collective has also worked to adapt the “It’s Up To You” platform with content specifically developed to reach and resonate with the Black communities. The strategic framework underpinning the “It’s Up To You” platform, normalizing hesitancy and answering important questions, was developed by BeenThereDoneThat.

Creative assets in English and Spanish will appear across the US on broadcast TV, digital, radio and social media. Additional work will also roll out over the coming weeks, including content developed by modern culture marketing agency Alma, which customised the creative platform to produce “De Ti Depende,” a campaign designed to resonate with Hispanic communities in the U.S. Registration is also now open for a special edition of Hispanicize on March 12 featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci, Beto Perez, John Leguizamo, Karen Martinez, Luis Guzman and others.

“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.”

“As a Black and woman-owned agency, we are proud to partner with the Ad Council to lead the campaign efforts within the Black community. With a multifaceted creative, digital, social, events and grassroots campaign focused on educating the Black community in a credible, culturally relevant way, while inspiring them to ‘get back to’ we all miss so much. Our goal is to help the Black community get the facts, despite their inherent distrust in the government and medical community, and help them make an informed decision about COVID-19 vaccines,” said Kelli Richardson Lawson, CEO, JOY Collective.

Additionally, the initiative has partnered with JOY Collective and CIEN+ to collaborate with a wide range of organizations to inform the development and distribution of culturally resonant content for Black and Hispanic audiences, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have lower vaccine confidence. 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. To kick off the initiative, the Ad Council is partnering with the NAACP to host UNMASKED: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series on February 25 at 8pm ET where leading policy makers, researchers and medical experts will share the latest on the coronavirus pandemic, treatments, and vaccine education. ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent Deborah Roberts will moderate the program, which will feature NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, Dr. Cameron Webb (member of the Biden Advisory Board for Coronavirus), Dr. Reed Tuckson (Founding Member and CEO of the Black Coalition Against COVID-19), and Dr. Chris Pernell  (Public Health physician).

In collaboration with Values Partnerships, the initiative has also developed a comprehensive strategy to engage the faith community and has established a National Faith Steering Committee to inform efforts, participate in campaign content and events, and help disseminate educational resources. This committee includes major national faith-based organizations and over 20 highly influential faith leaders across the Black and Hispanic faith communities, including the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Bishop T. D. Jakes, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Rev. Dr. Gabriel & Rev. Jeanette Salguero, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Rev. Enid Almanzar, Rev. John K. Jenkins, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Rev. Dr. Walter Kim and more. The initiative includes a PSA developed by JOY Collective and Values Partnerships and a national vaccine education event, specially developed for the Black and Hispanic faith communities, which will be on March 9 at 7pm ET. The event will feature Bishop T. D. Jakes and other steering committee members in addition to medical experts and other special guests.  In addition, the Ad Council is also collaborating with Choose Health Life (CHL) – a sustainable, scalable and transferable approach to address public health disparities in the Black Community centered around the Black church.

“COVID-19 is one of the most significant challenges we have faced as a faith community, but there is hope,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes. “We have vaccines that are effective and we have an across-the-board commitment in the faith community to ensure that all Americans are informed with accurate up to date information that will assist in the critical decisions that insure healthy outcomes. I am pleased to partner with the Ad Council and fellow clergy in this effort and am optimistic about what God is doing through the medical community and what he will do through this campaign.”

Leading brands, media companies and social platforms and services are developing custom content and donating media to extend the “It’s Up To You” message, connecting their audiences with crucial and vetted information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Partners include Adobe, Apple, BET, BIN: Black Information Network, Complex Networks, Disney, Facebook, FOX, Holler, Pinterest and many more.

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