The Spot

If you want something done right you should usually go to the private sector. Healthcare advertising is no exception.

Walgreens is promoting free COVID vaccinations at its locations around the United States with a TV ad featuring singer-songwriter John Legend. Watch it below:

Why It Matters

In advertising, campaigns often need personalities like John Legend’s in order to earn a following. But this is particularly true in the COVID vaccine case. 

Conspiracy theories, distrust in the government, and religious ideologies regarding the vaccine made any sort of scientifically-focused message a lost cause. And, until now, there’s been an unfortunate shortage of influencers on the national COVID vaccine stage.

The start wasn’t great.

The government canceled the influencer component for its national vaccine campaign at the last moment. Like many others, we were scratching our heads at the decision.

In this case, you can’t convince somebody to take action if they don’t trust you to begin with. Of all the cases I can think of for influencers, this is one of the best. Early on, it was a huge missed opportunity. 

Since January, this assumption has been validated.

As groups, black and hispanic Americans have low vaccination rates. Black Americans, in particular, showed high levels of vaccine hesitancy. There wasn’t a whole lot of effort put forth to speak to their community. 

One campaign isn’t going to change perceptions overnight, but it’s an important step. 

For now, Walgreens has made the right call.