Independent vaccine ads more impactful than government’s, study shows

Latest research from marketing analytics and strategic advisory agency, Forethought, has uncovered  the impact recent vaccine campaigns have had on viewers’ intention to book a vaccine appointment.

The research showed that campaigns from Victoria’s Arts Community and the Victorian Council of Social Services had a higher influence on intention to book vaccines than the recent round of Australian Government ads.

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The Research conducted last week revealed that despite some criticism, the Federal Government’s ‘ICU- Breathless’ campaign drove a 24% uplift in vaccine intentions, which meant it was the most successful vaccine campaign so far in Australia.

The research found that ‘Breathless’ stirred a high level of anger amongst viewers, which is a “strong motivating emotion”. However, the new research shows that the “positively emotive”, ‘Performance of a Lifetime‘ from the Victorian Arts Community, has driven a 29% likelihood to book a vaccine among respondents.

Another campaign coming out of Victoria, from the Victorian Council of Social Services ‘Back to the Good Things’ was even more positively received, with 43% of respondents reportedly showing a likelihood to book a vaccination appointment.

Current Forethought CEO Diane Shelton commented on the findings: “Congratulations to the Victorian Council of Social Services and to the Victorian Arts Community for developing and fielding  two strong positive communications that drive vaccine intention. The research shows clearly that to mobilise people communications must tap into emotions and that as we have seen  here the positive emotional communication is the strongest.”

The findings of the report come at a time where public perception of low vaccine availability. 77% of Victorian metro and 76% of NSW metro respondents responded that the availability of their preferred vaccine is “less than ideal”. 

Founder of Forethought, Ken Roberts said that the variance in performance of the spots was surprising. 

“The very negative elicitation of emotion last week from the Federal Government’s ICU spot was the most effective ad so far produced by the Federal Government.  Over the years we have seen numerous instances of ads that elicit negative emotions working effectively. However, in this instance the Victorian Council of Social Services’ ‘Back  to the Good Things’ ad elicits positive emotions wrapped up in a strongly positive rational message and substantially outperforms the negative ICU spot.”

Last week it was announced that Annalect CEO Darren Stein will be taking over as Forethought CEO, with Shelton moving to an advisory role.

On Q+A last week, Russel Howcroft said that the government needs to invest more in the messaging in this national vaccination campaign.

“$40 million is a lot of money, but it’s not a lot of money when it comes to the communication that’s required to beat us over the head. You have to act like a retailer, retailers spend $100 million plus to get their message out.”


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