One Target Audience at a Time.
Like many other businesses, Ashworth Creative went into lockdown mode in March, 2020. However, less typically, we never stopped working, thanks to our closely knit team, Zoom, Google Docs, and a VPN, we were all linked together and busy. We returned to the office in May, 2021 and have pretty much been there ever since. As soon as vaccines became available, our employees all were excited to be able to protect ourselves, our families and our workmates. When we were approached by our local county public health department, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health, to consider how we might develop a radio and digital campaign to dovetail with their person-to-person outreach, we were eager to participate.
The Communications Challenge of a Lifetime
As the numbers of people getting sick with the coronavirus rose and fell, then rose again, Ashworth Creative began writing and producing a number of radio and animated digital campaigns. We were aware that certain geographic areas, zip codes, and demographic groups in Dutchess County were more accepting of vaccines and others much less. Each radio and digital ad series took a different approach to address a specific vaccine hesitancy and, at the same time, helped make people feel more confident about getting vaccinated. We embarked on this work as though lives depended on it. Because they did.
A New Initiative: Why I Got Vaccinated
Ashworth Creative competed for, and won, an RFP to create a media plan and creative to run as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was surging in early 2022. Listening carefully to suggestions from diverse community members in the volunteer Vaccine Alliance, we interviewed people who shared their motivations about why they got vaccinated. Each subject was a local resident, their stories were real. They were not scripted. We filmed them in our in-house video production studio. In every case, it was not for themselves that they got vaccinated, but for those around them. Among the interview subjects were:
Mirabel is a Spanish-speaking, Covid-19 survivor, who spent a month in a coma in the ICU. She feared she might never see her husband and children again. Recorded a year later, she still has severe lung damage and warns viewers to get vaccinated because the virus can “change your life in the blink of an eye.”
Isis is a 22-year old woman who lives with her family including her 90+ year old grandmother. Since her work puts her out among the public, Isis got vaccinated so as not to bring the virus home.
Adam is head of our County Veterans Affairs Department who got vaccinated to protect friends, family, and “my veterans.”
Taloneith is a 1st grade teacher, a mother of a one year old infant, and a lead singer with a popular band. She thought most about her young daughter and her desire to keep her safe when she got vaccinated.
Aiming a Message at Younger Audiences
Research indicates that younger audiences either listen to, or react against, older people in their immediate surroundings. Ashworth decided to give them a chance to think about vaccines in language they understand, beatbox music. We designed a commercial to reach them where they spend leisure time, on the platform, Twitch, and on TikTok.
Next Step, Helping People to Get Over Covid
Throughout this assignment, events have moved fast and we’ve responded quickly to them. As Omicron began to recede, we took a bigger step to get the public’s attention. We were hearing the repeated phrase: “I’m so over Covid,” and we saw that as an opportunity to “Get over Covid-19” in digital and outdoor advertising to appeal to English- and Spanish-speaking audiences. The “King Kong” bus sides made a stunning impact!
We Began Seeing Our Ads, So We Know the Public is Seeing Them, Too.
Making advertisements for as long as we have, you almost don’t notice them when they appear. Not this time. We all keep telling each other, “I saw Isis last night!” or “I saw Maribel!” We are proud of the work we have done, and deeply grateful to Dutchess County for its efforts to protect its citizens in this dangerous and complicated time. So, have you been vaccinated yet?